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Disease outbreaks and recalls to fuel food safety product demand

By Joe Whitworth , 06-Dec-2012
Last updated on 06-Dec-2012 at 15:56 GMT2012-12-06T15:56:34Z

Foodborne illness outbreaks and large product recalls will see demand for food safety products rise 8.4% per year to $18bn in 2016, according to Freedonia.

Food processing plants will continue to account for the majority of the market but dairy and beverage sectors will also report growth, say the market analysts.

Demand will also be boosted by the adoption of more stringent food safety regulations in developed and developing countries as prevention, identification, and traceability remain key issues for consumers, food industry participants and legislators.

Sector demand

Pauline Tung, industry analyst at the Freedonia Group, told FoodProductionDaily.com that restoring consumer confidence in the food supply is a major goal in virtually all food safety programs.

“Demand for food safety products in the dairy industry (excluding products sold to dairy farms) will be supported by continued growth in dairy product output and efforts on the part of dairy product manufacturers to use food safety advances to extend dairy product shelf life. 

“Organic dairy products will be a significant driver in this regard, as organic milk is generally pasteurized with an ultra high temperature (UHT) process that can extend milk shelf life to several weeks.”

Advances from 2011 demand of more than $12bn will be supported by growth in food and beverage production.

Demand for food safety products in the beverage industry will be fueled by continued investment in disinfection equipment to purify water supplies (including ultraviolet and ozone equipment), as a primary requisite for the beverage industry is clean water,” Tung added.

Additional affluences include globalization of the food industry, well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks, and changing and increasingly stringent regulations, she said.

“This not only drives spending on food safety products in the various markets, but also provides incentives for food safety product manufacturers to research and develop new technology and better (faster, more efficient, more sensitive, and more accurate) products.”

Global view

The US will remain the world’s largest national user of food safety products by far, accounting for one-quarter of the world market.

However, the most rapid advances will occur in developing regions such as Asia, the Africa/Mideast region, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe outpacing the global average.

China will continue to see some of the fastest growth in demand, due to mounting pressure to ensure the safety of the food supply following a number of food safety incidents.

Product type

Disinfection products, including disinfectants and sanitizers and equipment, will continue to account for the largest share of the global market for food safety products, representing over one-half of total demand through the forecast period.

Demand for diagnostic testing products, such as test kits, reagents, sensors and detectors, will benefit from an upsurge in the frequency of food plant inspections, due to increasingly strict food safety regulations worldwide.

The analysts said good opportunities would exist for smart labels and tags, driven by the rapid adoption of smart label technology in food packaging and heightened emphasis on traceability in the supply chain.

Tung added new technologies made it easier to trace food from its source to consumers’ plates, ensuring the source and scope of problems could be quickly identified and limited and measures taken to prevent future issues.

“Recent product developments and introductions include nanobiosensors, infrared thermometers, diagnostic testing products that can simultaneously detect two or more contaminants in a single test, and the use of robotics in an increasing array of food safety functions, from food "tasting" to temperature monitoring and machine cleaning.”

The top four suppliers - Ecolab, Diversey (Sealed Air), Tetra Laval International, and bioMérieux - together accounted for 12% of worldwide sales in 2011, Freedonia claims.

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