The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the soy food market in the US for 2017-2021. The report also lists soy oil, whole soy foods, and other soy foods as the three major product segments, of which the soy oil segment accounted for more than 46% of the market share in 2016.
According to Akash Pandey, a lead analyst at Technavio for food research, “The soy food market in the US is predicted to witness a consistent growth rate due to the functional benefits that are associated with soy and its products. A rise in the demand for healthy food choices has made soy a crucial food product. Soy is beneficial for gym goers as soy protein is the sole plant protein that provides nourishment equal to that of an animal protein.”
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Technavio analysts highlight the following three market drivers that are contributing to the growth of the soy food market in the US:
- Rising levels of lactose intolerance and dairy allergies
- Increasing health awareness among individuals
- Cost effectiveness of soy
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Rising levels of lactose intolerance and dairy allergies
An increase in the number of people detected with lactose intolerance and dairy allergy is increasing the sales of soy-based products. Soy milk is extracted from soybeans and is 100% lactose-free. It has been found that about three-fourths of the people in the world lose the capacity to digest lactose over time. Soy-based products like soy milk, yogurt, and tofu are the next best alternatives to dairy-based foods.
Lactose intolerance has no cure, but to achieve the required nutrients, calcium-fortified soy products can be consumed. For instance, WHITEWAVE FOODS, a manufacturer of packaged plant-based food and beverages, offers Silk Organic Unsweetened Soymilk. Similarly, Hain Celestial is a manufacturer that offers a variety of dairy-free products under brand names like WESTSOY's Organic Soy Milk, which is rich in calcium and can be consumed by people with lactose intolerance.
Increasing health awareness among individuals
The population of the US is increasingly shifting toward healthy lifestyles and dietary habits. Soy has been widely used as an animal-protein substitute due to its high nutritional value. Soy consists of the three essential macronutrients, all essential amino acids, good quality fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, complex carbohydrates, and many phytochemicals. Additionally, soy is characterized by cosmetic benefits; it is highly beneficial for hair and skin as it moisturizes the skin, has anti-aging properties and restores shine to the hair.
“Soy is popularly known to lower cholesterol levels, and it is also characterized by properties that reduce hypertension, lower the risk of a few types of cancers, regulate glucose levels in people with diabetes, increase bone density, improve renal function, help regulate menopause, and promote weight loss,” says Akash.
Cost effectiveness of soy
Soy consists of essential amino acids that the human body requires. With abundant production of soy across the US, soy prices across the US market have declined. A decline in the price of soy has boosted the demand for the same in the US market. Many soy-based products, such as textured soy protein, feature as functional food items that offer viscosity, gelling, and a smooth texture, in addition to providing the same amount of nutrition as animal proteins like beef and fish. Thus, soy-based products are inexpensive when compared to animal-based protein products, and they also offer an equal amount of nutrients.
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