Clearance from FDA and Regulatory Bodies as ‘Safe to Use’ Product to Increase Consumption

The demand for sorbic acid has witnessed a gradual rise over the past few decades from several industrial domains. The growing interest in organic and natural acids is one of the primary factors expected to boost the growth of the sorbic acid market in the upcoming years. As new trends and consumer preferences garner momentum worldwide, the adoption of sorbic acid, particularly in the food & beverages industry has surged at a steady pace. While the food & beverages industry is projected to provide a safe haven for the players involved in the sorbic acid market, other industrial domains, including cosmetics & personal care, pharmaceutical, animal feed, and chemical are projected to provide lucrative opportunities.

The increasing adoption of sorbic acid as a food preservative is expected to provide considerable boost to the market for sorbic acid during the assessment period. Moreover, as the FDA has classified sorbic acid as ‘safe for regular use’, the demand has consistently moved in the upward trajectory. The growing demand for ‘clean label’ food products is another factor that is expected to propel the growth of the global sorbic acid market in the upcoming decade. At the back of these factors, the global sorbic acid market is anticipated to surpass the market value of US$ 700 Mn by the end of 2030.

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Growing Adoption as Food Preservative to Boost Market Growth

The food & beverages industry is expected to remain the primary end-use industry of sorbic acid. Over the past couple of decades, natural acids, including propionic, sorbic, and benzoic acid are increasingly being used as preservatives in the food industry. Sorbic acid is also naturally present in a range of food and beverages such as cheese, wine, fish, meat, pastries, etc. The increasing demand for sorbic acid salts is another key factor likely to have a direct impact on the demand for sorbic acid.

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The favorable soluble properties of sorbic acid salts are one of the primary factors due to which, the demand for sorbic acid salts is currently increasing in comparison with that of sorbic acid, especially in the food & beverages industry. While sorbic acid salts continue to gain worldwide popularity, sorbic acids have emerged as the primary preservative in food applications due to the ideal antimicrobial activity and ability to inhibit the growth of molds, bacteria, and yeast. Innovations and research activities across the food & beverages industry pertaining to different ingredients is another major factor estimated to widen the application area of sorbic acid during the assessment period.

While the food & beverages industry is likely to remain at the forefront in terms of demand, the adoption of sorbic acid in the manufacturing of personal care and cosmetic products is also on the rise– a factor that is expected to propel the global sorbic acid market. Sorbic acid is increasingly being used in the formulation of the eye and facial makeup and a range of hair and skincare products.

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Demand for Sorbic Acid to Remain Steady amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The global sorbic acid market is slated to expand at a steady pace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the demand for sorbic acid is expected to drop in comparison with that in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a short-term impact on the market growth. The demand for sorbic acid from the food & beverages sector continues to remain a major driving factor for the market during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. In addition, research and development activities are projected to continue during the pandemic, as governments in several nations have exempted research and development activities from lockdown policies. Moreover, the packaging sector has emerged as one of the key end-use industries of sorbic acid, as the demand for antimicrobial packaging films made from sorbic acid-based coating has surged in 2020. Anti-microbial packaging films with sorbic acid-based coatings have emerged as a promising packaging alternative – a trend that is anticipated to gain considerable momentum in the upcoming years.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global sorbic acid market is expected to expand at a moderate CAGR of ~5%, in terms of value, during the assessment period. The market growth is primarily driven by the growing adoption of sorbic acid as a preservative in food applications, and increasing demand for natural and clean label preservatives. In addition, rising adoption of sorbic acid in the manufacturing of personal and cosmetic products is another major factor that will provide a boost to the sorbic acid market in the upcoming years. Market players should focus on improving the functional characteristics of sorbic acid and increasing their production capacity to gain a competitive edge.  

Sorbic Acid Market: Overview

  • In terms of value, the sorbic acid market is expected to cross US$ 700 Mn by 2030
  • Rise in demand for sorbic acid, owing to its wide applicability in food & beverages and pharmaceutical applications is anticipated to boost the global sorbic acid market during the forecast period
  • Food & beverages is projected to be a highly lucrative application segment of the global sorbic acid market in the near future

Sorbic Acid Market: Key Drivers and Restraints

  • In the pharmaceutical industry, many of the ingredients used in formulations have the ability to promote microbial growth. Such formulations are susceptible to unwanted contamination. Antimicrobial agents or preservatives are added to formulations to prevent contamination. Preservatives protect products against microbial proliferation. Sorbic acid and its salt and potassium sorbate are antimicrobial agents often used as preservatives in medicines to prevent the growth of microorganisms. They are used in a wide range of medicines, including Biaxin 500 mg and Clarithromycin 250 mg. Therefore, increase in demand for sorbic acid, owing to their extensive use in the pharmaceutical sector is expected to drive the global sorbic acid market during the forecast period.
  • The global pharmaceutical industry has been expanding. According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the domestic pharmaceutical market turnover reached US$ 20.03 Bn in 2019 from US$ 18.12 Bn in 2018, exhibiting an increment of 9.8%. The Government of India is also taking initiatives to promote the pharmaceutical sector in the country. For instance, India plans to set up a nearly US$ 1.3 Bn fund to provide boost to companies to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients domestically by 2023. Therefore, growth in the pharmaceutical sector is anticipated to propel the demand for preservatives such as sorbic acid, as it helps prevent the growth of microorganisms. This is estimated to boost the global sorbic acid market.
  • In rare cases, consumption of sorbic acid tends leads to side effects. In some cases, allergic contact dermatitis occurs when a cosmetic cream containing sorbic acid is applied on the skin. In extremely rare cases, toxic reactions to sorbic acid occur when handling it in its pure, undiluted form. This is expected to restrain the sorbic acid market during the forecast period.

Sorbic Acid Market: Major Forms

  • Based on form, the global sorbic acid market has been bifurcated into powder and encapsulated
  • Powder is expected to remain the high-value form segment of the global sorbic acid market in the near future. This trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. The encapsulated segment of the global sorbic acid market has been expanding at a sluggish pace since the last few years. Its CAGR is anticipated to remain stagnant during the forecast period.

 Sorbic Acid Market: Prominent Applications

  • Based on application, the global sorbic acid market has been divided into food & beverages, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, chemical production, and others
  • The food & beverages segment is estimated to dominate the global sorbic acid market during the forecast period. Sorbic acid is used as a preservative in a wide range of food and beverages, including dairy, meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, bakery, emulsions, wine, and fruit drinks. Advantages of sorbic acid in food and beverages include broad antibacterial spectrum of activity; lack of effect on organoleptic properties of food; good activity in less acidic conditions (compared to propionate or benzoate), and safety.

North America to be Highly Lucrative Region of Sorbic Acid Market

  • In terms of demand, the U.S. has been a lucrative country of the global sorbic acid market since the past few years. The country accounts for more than 85% share of the sorbic acid market in North America.
  • North America is estimated to dominate the global sorbic acid market during the forecast period. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers sorbic acid to be safe for regular usage, as it is not linked to cancer or other major health issues. Some people can be allergic to sorbic acid, but reactions are typically mild and consist of light skin itching.

Sorbic Acid Market: Competition Landscape

  • Key manufacturers operating in the global sorbic acid market include –
    • Celanese Corporation
    • Wanglong Tech Co., Ltd.
    • Sorbic International PLC
    • Daicel Nanning Food Ingredients Co., Ltd.
    • Nantong Acetic Acid Chemical Co., Ltd.