Rice Protein Market Growth – Redeifingning Plant-Based Consumption Trend

Increased consumer interest in health, ethical considerations accommodating environment stress, animal welfare are the prime factors that are driving the plant-based consumption. Additionally, the pool of consumers who wishes to substitute the source from which the protein content of their diet is derived is also shifting their focus on plant-based protein like rice protein. Furthermore, copious amounts of dissemination of information pertaining to detrimental effects of meat and dairy consumption leading to Green House Gas (GHG) emission are also another factor that is driving the demand for plant-based protein sources like rice protein. Moreover, the demand is further augmented by the value-driven millennials who occupy a significant share of the consumers’ pool. On the other hand, from the perspective of food processing companies, there is an increasing need for them to invest in newer opportunities to expand their existing geographical footprint. This is mainly to achieve economies of scale are increasingly turning towards plant-based product innovation which necessitates the use of rice protein among others.

rice protein market

Further, the food and beverage MNCs are also increasingly aware of the small disruptor brands which are engaged in plant-based market space making them invest in either mergers and acquisitions and /or launch a new range of products enabling them to protect their market share and capitalize on expanding market. This also positively impacts the market for rice protein reaffirming its upward growth trajectory in the coming few years. Nevertheless, there has been an increasing appetite for traditional protein in developing markets as opposed to that of developed economies. Further with protein being an essential ingredient for animal feed that is necessary for animal growth is also an important consideration in today's’ animal feed product design where rice protein has emerged as a viable alternative that leads to cost reduction as well.

Final Consumption Expenditure of Households – Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverage

rice protein market


In Millions of Euro, at current prices

Food and Beverage applications that are inclusive of but not limited to bakery & confectionery, dairy alternatives, meat analogs & extenders, sports & energy nutrition, among others, are expected to dominate the rice protein market during the next few years. Like many other plant-based proteins derived from rice are used along with other proteins which are also derived from plants in predefined proportions. Increasing consumers awareness buttressed by rising earning capacity, shifting dietary preference (both stemming from dietary restrictions & lifestyle choices) and proactive government initiatives are the primary drivers that are facilitating the expansion of food and beverage share of the rice protein market. It is also widely recognized for being a good source of aminoacids, Vitamin B, and Vitamin E. Further it is hypoallergic and is the natural preference of individuals who are allergic to bovine milk or are lactose intolerant.  Along with assisting in reduced high-carb meals absorption, rice proteins are accompanied by quite a few health benefits like blood sugar level stabilization.

In recent times, vegan consumers in German have emerged as a cognizable group that its erstwhile fringe status. Moreover, people who identified themselves as either complete or nearly completely vegetarians were reported 8 million people in 2019 which is an increase by approx., 700 thousand individuals. Furthermore, as per the study conducted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 1% of the 8 million are vegans along with the fact that 63% of Germans are making efforts to reduce their meat consumption. Moreover, in the case of Germany is reportedly the net importer of all categories of food products and grocery retailing had attained an estimated 273.5 billion in 2018, with agricultural products imports increasing by 2.9% to USD 108 billion. Additionally, the German vegan/vegetarian market was worth $1.96 billion. Additionally, in Spain, there is a similar consumer inclination towards protein derived from plants. To this end, a Spanish biotechnology company involved in R&D and manufacturing of food ingredients and protein derivatives, Pevesa Biotech, SAU had reportedly launched a new rice protein concentrate for extrusion applications monikered as OryzaPro V80 that consists of 80% protein in February 2019. It is reported as devoid of GMOs and non-allergic. Further in cognizance of the importance of and opportunities that can be leveraged from hydrolyzed plant protein space, the world’s leading company in taste and nutrition Kerry Inc had reportedly acquired Pevesa Biotech, SAU.

The APAC region is estimated to reach a healthy growth in the rice protein market owing to various development in the food and beverage industry

Looking towards the orient, the outbreak of African Swine Fever in 2019 (ASF) that had affected many countries in the APAC region has inadvertently aided in the significance of animal-based protein. The APAC region mostly comprises of newly industrialized nations and emerging economies they are witnessing healthy growth in various industries namely the food and beverage industry in this context. The plant-based trend has spilled over the earlier limitation of meat alternatives and is are being made available in the form of cookie dough, plant-based ice creams, and protein bars. The plant-based trend, among others, also incentivized Starbucks in April 2020 to introduce a plant-based food and beverage menu in China reportedly across its 4,300 stores. Thus, with such opportunities, the rice protein market of the APAC is expected to further strengthen the growth of the market during the next few years. The region has witnessed certain market developments. Axiom Foods, Inc. has been reportedly awarded the first patent in China i.e. Patent No. ZL 201480013156.1 pertaining to Oryzatein® brown rice protein, which encompasses methods of increasing the rate of absorption of leucine – an essential branched-chain amino acid which has reportedly equivalent muscle development benefits that are experienced with animal-based whey protein, albeit with a different amino acid profile.

The organization also mentioned its intention to offer licensing opportunities for manufacturers to integrate the patent process as well as to formulate products containing Oryzatein® brown rice protein.

Another development that was reported in February 2020 is the strategic partnership between cooperative group 12,000 farmers with expertise in sugar process from a variety of resources and its product portfolio are finds applications in animal feed, food, among others and Jinnong which is a major player in the rice protein sector in Asia and is acknowledged for supplying rice as well as known for producing rice protein and various derivatives which is to the tune of 5,500 tons of rice protein per year. Within the ambit of this partnership, a full range of rice proteins will be reduced for and subsequently supplied to Tereos who will be responsible for exclusively market these products in the APAC region, except for China.