The flavor masking agents market size is projected to grow from US$ 235.64 million in 2022 to US$ 383.01 million by 2030; the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% from 2022 to 2030.
Flavor masking agents are additives and compounds that mask the undesirable flavor of certain ingredients in processed food and beverages, pharmaceutical drugs, dietary supplements, and pet food. The flavor masking agents market has witnessed significant growth owing to the increasing consumption of processed foods. Moreover, increasing demand from the sports nutrition industry is estimated to boost the flavor masking agents market in the coming years.
Consumers are highly inclined toward plant-based foods and beverages as they perceive them as healthier than conventional items. The global proliferation of veganism among people propels the consumption of plant-based products. As per the data published by Veganuary, a nonprofit organization encouraging people to become vegan for the whole month of January, ~5.8 million people signed up for the "Veganuary Campaign" in 2021.
Plant protein is added to plant-based products, including meat substitutes and dairy alternatives, to fulfill the nutritional requirements. Pea protein is a popular choice of plant protein in meat alternatives due to its high protein content, low saturated fat, and high fiber content. Plant proteins such as pea, soy, almonds, and other ingredients give the end product beany, bitter, cardboardy, and chalky tastes. There might also be unpleasant perceptions around aroma, astringency, and mouthfeel. Kerry Group, Synergy Flavors, and Glanbia are among the well-established brands offering flavor masking agents for plant-based products.
Flavor masking agents are highly used in plant-based products to give the desired flavor and taste. Thus, increasing demand for plant-based products among consumers owing to their associated health benefits is expected to create lucrative opportunities for the flavor masking agents market during the forecast period.
Geographically, the flavor masking agents market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), the Middle East & Africa (MEA), and South & Central America. In 2022, Asia Pacific held the largest share of the flavor masking agents market, and Europe is estimated to register the highest CAGR over the forecast period. The increasing interest in healthier and more natural food options in the European region contributes to market growth. European consumers have been embracing organic and plant-based diets, often incorporating ingredients with strong or unfamiliar tastes, such as certain vegetables, grains, and legumes; to make these health-conscious choices more appealing, food manufacturers use flavor masking to mitigate any overpowering or objectionable flavors, ensuring that products maintain wide consumer acceptance while adhering to natural and clean label trends. This demand aligns with the broader European food quality, taste, and an awareness of sensory experience, all contributing to the flavor masking agents market growth in the region.
Based on application, the food and beverages segment held the largest share of the flavor masking agents market in 2022. The food and beverages segment is further sub-segmented into bakery and confectionery; dairy and frozen desserts; beverages; meat, poultry, and seafood; meat substitutes; dairy alternatives; RTE and RTC meals; and others. The dairy alternatives segment is projected to witness the fastest CAGR from 2022 to 2030. In the dairy alternatives segment, flavor masking agents are used to ensure that plant-based milk, cheese, and yogurt options taste pleasant and mimic their dietary counterparts. The demand for dairy alternatives is upsurging as more consumers opt for dairy-free alternatives due to lactose intolerance, dietary preferences, or ethical reasons. Flavor masking agents enable manufacturers to create dairy alternatives that cater to these needs and provide an enjoyable taste experience. This factor significantly drives the flavor masking agents market growth over the forecast period.
Sensient Technologies Corp, Firmenich International SA, Tate & Lyle Plc, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co, Kerry Group Plc, Carmi Flavor & Fragrance Co Inc, Synergy Flavors Inc, Virginia Dare Extract Co Inc, GEO Specialty Chemicals Inc, and Koninklijke DSM NV are among the key players operating in the flavor masking agents market. These players are focusing on developing plant-based, natural, organic, and clean-label flavor masking ingredients which is expected to open new growth opportunities in the coming years.
The overall flavor masking agents market size has been derived using primary and secondary sources. To begin the research process, exhaustive secondary research has been conducted using internal and external sources to obtain qualitative and quantitative information related to the market. Also, multiple primary interviews have been conducted with industry participants to validate the data and gain more analytical insights into the topic. The participants of this process include industry experts such as VPs; business development managers; market intelligence managers; national sales managers; and external consultants, including valuation experts, research analysts, and key opinion leaders, specializing in the flavor masking agents market.