In recent times, the awareness regarding ill-effects of bad food habits is influencing the consumers to become diet conscious. This trend has positively impacted the marketing of sweet potato belonging to the bindweed or morning glory family termed as Convolvulaceae. Direct consumption of sweet potatoes or through frozen and processed food are considered to be healthier as they are high in vitamin A and C. They are the best and healthier alternative for regular potatoes. Sweet potato products are found in various trendy food products such as soufflé, chips, and waffle. Munchies made of sweet potatoes have gone mainstream at restaurants worldwide, which has gauged attention to the vegetable’s versatility. Additionally, an emerging trend that has struck the food and beverage industry is the launch of sweet potato super seed loaf product by Vegbred, made of sweet potato flour in the United Kingdom. In 2018, the company launched sweet potato super seed loaf, new-to-market bread made with plant-based flours and it is naturally gluten-free. Sweet potato super seed loaf trend is gaining huge prominence in the UK market. The aim of the Vegbred is to increase the distribution of the product in Europe after seeking a spike in demand among the consumers of UK. Owing to such innovations, the global sweet potato products market was evaluated at $937 million in 2018. The demand for this antioxidant-rich food laoed with viscous fibers is fueling up at a profitable CAGR of 9.3% during the forecast period 2019-2025.
Worldwide, sweet potatoes are the sixth most important crop that is consumed by the people as more than 105 million metric tons are produced out of which 95% are grown in developing nations. The production of sweet potato has increased due to its greater demand from the manufacturers as they offer innovative everyday sweet potato products, meals, and snacks. Evidently, this has increased the demand for sweet potato products in the food and beverage industry.
Utilization of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato Products Trend
The orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) products are being utilized in cooking in varied forms as functional ingredients such as flours, puree, bakery products, pickles, fries, crisps, juice, and cubes. In many Asian countries, pickles and cubes made of sweet potatoes are produced commercially as they are known for beta-Carotene rich properties. This beta-Carotene is high in moisture and cannot be consumed directly, so they are used in the form of functional food ingredients. Additionally, the consumption of OFSP puree trend is more in the United States. The puree is incorporated in bread to increase the pro-vitamin A consumption as functional ingredients. Due to OFSP flour nutrition value the consumption of wheat flour has reduced in the bakery industry. The commercialization of OFSP puree bread has created ample opportunities for the sweet potato market. In the developed economies such as the U.S and European countries, awareness about nutrition has spurred the demand for OFSP which as simultaneously increased the production of novel food. Therefore, the use of OFSP puree in bread baking is an avenue for product diversification and food fortification. With high consumption of bread amongst the population, OFSP puree based bread is gaining traction in the sweet potato products market.
North America Benefiting from Sweet Potato Products Storage
The North America sweet potato marketplace is dominating with a regional market share of 40%, as of 2018. Growing concern regarding health issues have positively impacted the growth of the sweet potato product market in the region. According to the Agriculture Marketing Resource Center, sweet potato products have become popular in the U.S. with an increase in the consumption of nearly 42%, reaching 7.2 pounds per capita income in 2016. Due to the growing requirements of the products from the food and beverage industry, sweet potatoes are grown on a large commercial scale in the southern United States. Additionally, North Carolina is leading the sweet potato production in the country with the farmers harvesting 78,500 acres in 2018. The national Production of sweet potato has increased in the U.S. with a high production of 31.54 million hundredweight, estimating the total value at $705.69 million in 2016. Owing to an increase in the demand for products that are made of sweet potatoes, the production of the sweet potatoes is also increasing in the region.
Rising Uptake of Fries Surging the Sweet Potato Products Market
Fries are the fastest growing segment of the sweet potato market. Millennials and teenagers are dependent on packaged snacks. Since the growing concerns regarding chronic diseases such as obesity, blood pressure, and diabetes, the consumers are more inclined towards the intake of healthy and baked products that are rich in nutrition and vitamins and are less in calories to avoid health issues. Sweet potatoes are an important crop with an increasing trend among consumers in the form of French fries. The French frying method reduces the antioxidant contents, however the protein content becomes more bio-available while heating process. Furthermore, owing to the texture and the flavors of fries coupled with nutritional benefits of the sweet potatoes, the product is accepted by the people and the demand for the same is growing at CAGR of 9.89% during the forecast period.
The Major Players in the Marketplace
Some of the major players dominating the sweet potato products market are Mountain Harvest Foods Pty Ltd, Alexia Foods, McCain Foods, Thomas Chipman (Amplify Snack Brands Inc.), Terra Chips (The Hain Celestial Group), Orinoco Coffee & Tea, Ltd., Utz Quality Foods, Inc., Birds Eye (ConAgra Brands Inc.), and Bell Farms (The Woolworths Group Limited). Many companies are introducing new products in order to increase their market presence or entering into strategic mergers and acquisition, joint ventures, and partnerships. Some of them are listed below:
· Alexia Foods Extended Introduced Non-GMO Fries
In May 2016, Alexia Foods, a ConAgra Food brand, announced their brand will now offer non-GMO products. The complete range of products will be non-GMO project verified in the coming 12 months. The company also announced the launch of two new product line made with organic potatoes: Alexia Truffle Fries and Organic Savory Spice Sweet Potato Fries. As committed by the Alexia, both the products will be Non-GMO verified and Certified USDA Organic. This has currently increased the sweet potato products market growth.
· McCain Introduced Sweet Potato Chips in Australia
In December 2018, McCain Foods Limited, Canadian multi-national privately owned company, extended its product range in Australia by launching Sweet Potato CROSS TRAX. The product is healthier as it is oven-baked chips. The sweet potato fervor is growing drastically across Australia.
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