Gases that are employed by the food and beverage industry at every step of the supply chain that commences from the field, right to the consumption. Food grade gases are extremely important for preventing food losses along with the implementation of coordinated strategies. Further due to increasing purchasing capacity, rapid urbanization coupled with the hectic schedule has resulted in the increasing demand for processed food in developing economies, at the same time there has been a steep rise in natural, fresh, and minimally processed foods with fewer artificial additives, including preservatives. The preference for food with high nutritional quality is estimated to be a long-term trend. Food grade gases find a variety of applications that are inclusive of but not limited to cooling and deep freezing, inerting and carbonating beverages, hydrogenation of oils, as well as modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), among others.
The food-grade gas market growth is expected to be augmented by various government, supra-national regulations, and policies that mandate the adherence to certain principles and guidelines during the application of gases for food applications. With regards to regulatory policies in the EU, the following is important to note: The Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 establishing the requirements of the general principles of food law laying down the foundation for European Food Safety Authority and prescribing the procedures pertaining to food safety. Also, the regulations on foodstuff hygiene which is Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 as well as the Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food of the European Parliament of the Council of 27 October 2004. Another is Directive EC/2008/84 that covers specific purity criteria of food additives. There are also professional associations from different sectors that impact the compliance of food-grade gas through the means of recommendations.
For example, the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) publishes guidelines covering different processes of beverage production. Included within the guidelines are carbon dioxide and nitrogen which are subjected to dedicated documents that comprise procedure for gas analytical impurity measurement protocols, delivery, specification, supply chain, and testing. Further, national and regional industrial associations around the world, such as AIGA (Singapore), ANZIGA (Australia/New Zealand), CGA (United States), JIMGA (Japan), and SACGA (South Africa) that cooperate among each other and with European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) of which the former are associated members. The member companies closely cooperate in matters of safety as well as technical matters that comprise production, transport, storage, and application to ensure highest safety standards are met and environmental considerations are taken into account during the handling of gases.
The APAC food and beverage industry is witnessing the growth of consumption at a rapid pace primarily due to increasing disposable income, rapid urbanization, increased internet penetration, growing digitalization, and population growth. According to the United Nations (UN) as of 2019 with a population numbering to 4.6 billion, Asia is expected to reach 4.9 billion by 2030. This is expected to create a profusion of opportunities for the food and beverage companies enabling them to cater to a higher degree of demand. Besides the growing population, the rising per capita income has facilitated a shift from traditional starch-based meals to more varied, higher value, further-processed, and protein-based foods that reportedly include dairy, fruits, meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and wheat-based products. Thereby creating new avenues for food-grade gas applications which will aid in making convenient and ready-to-use products, among others through the means of chilling, crust freezing, freezing, hardening, temperature control, and modified atmosphere packaging.
Furthermore, the aspect of the diverse taste and preference to which the multinational food and beverage corporations need to adapt and create a localized brand is also expected to catapult the food-grade gas markets to stratospheric heights. Moreover Besides, as per the State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2019/2020, as of 2018, there were 1.8 billion Muslim consumers around the world, and in the same year, they had spent an estimated US$2.2 trillion on food, among others. Additionally, the launch of a Halal Lifestyle District that is to the tune of US$18 million has been Indonesia’s aspiration. Moreover, the Halal Economy Masterplan 2019 – 2024 was also carried out by the nation via its National Shariah Finance Activity, recently established to foster an efficient ecosystem, of companies within the ambit of halal food and products. Considering the substantial short-term disruption brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian hotel, restaurant, and institutional (HRI) industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country and is primarily propelled by heathy tourism and growing consumer spending.
As per USDA, the nation’s retail sector is developing at a fast pace and the popularity of high-end/premium grocery stores is growing rapidly. In 2019 the total sales were to the tune of $26 billion. Moreover, in 2019 the food processing industry of the country accounted for approx. 10% of the nation’s total manufacturing output and is growing at a pace of 3% per year. Moreover, the food processing industry has been identified as a critical sector by the Government of Malaysia for future economic growth. On the other hand, considering China, while there is a preference for fresh food, the Chinese diet is evolving and is more oriented towards convenient snacking. Further due to increased disposable income which is being increasingly spent on processed ready to eat food products. Further, the growing population has also necessitated the increased import of food-related products to meet the demand. In 2018, the import value of consumer-oriented food products reached approximately $45 billion, up 18 % from 2017. Urbanization that is leading to the rise of 2nd and 3rd tier cities is creating more opportunities for imported food and beverages where there is relatively less market saturation. The prevalence of eCommerce and its reinforcement due to CoVID 19 lockdown measures is expected to indirectly impact the food-grade gases market during the next few years facilitating a robust growth of the same.