Consumption of plant sterols has been clinically proven to reduce cholesterol, backed by a ‘Consensus Statement’ from the European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS). As stated by the EAS, consumption of two grams of plant sterols per day in functional foods can help manage cholesterol for those with moderate heart disease risk. The industry has over 100 clinical studies that have demonstrated the capability of plant sterols/phytosterols to significantly reduce the blood cholesterol level. Physicians worldwide thus recommend consumption of sterol-based dietary supplements, foods with naturally high sterol content, or foods with added plant sterols.
Recently, a group of researchers has also discovered through a bio-accessibility study that the incorporation of plant-based sterols in infant formula can introduce an excellent product in the baby food products industry. This and more such studies are presumed to uplift the potential applications of phytosterols in near future.
Applications of Plant Sterols in Food & Dietary Supplements Boost Sterol Consumption
Persistence Market Research (PMR), in its recent outlook titled, “Sterols Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2018-2026,” projects that the market revenue will expand at a CAGR of 7.4% during 2018 to 2026. Global Sterols market is expected to attain the revenue in excess of US$ 1,300 Mn by 2026 end, primarily driven by increasing consumer demand for functional food and dietary supplement products. Easy availability of plant sterol supplements by function such as immune health and heart health is expected to support the segmental as well as market growth in near future. Moreover, booming online sales are expected to result in substantial growth over the forecast period.
Increasing instances of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases will reportedly encourage the consumption of dietary supplements containing plant sterols. Moreover, frequent product launches and growing R&D efforts by manufacturers are believed to push the market further. Increasing demand for naturally-sourced ingredients will also play a vital role in strengthening the prospects for sterols market in dietary supplements and food industry.
While Europe & North America Maintain a Major Collective Revenue Share, APAC Is Poised for Lucrative Growth Prospects
As phytosterol-based supplements are witnessing visibly high traction in European countries, the market in Europe is anticipated to secure the top market position between 2018 and 2026. Increasing number of product launches in the US, which are focusing on heart health using plant sterol as a key ingredient, will significantly benefit North American market for sterols throughout the forecast period. Developing countries such as India, China, and Singapore are expected to be the major contributors to the sterols market value in Asia Pacific, which has been projected to exhibit the fastest growth over the next eight years.
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Sterols suppliers, despite targeting high potential developing markets, have not been able to demonstrate significant penetration and strong presence in countries such as India, China, Brazil, South Africa, and others. Limited knowledge and awareness about the potential health benefits of consuming sterols is restricting their widespread adoption. However, with growing purchasing power of consumers and extending healthcare expenditure by regional governments, it is most likely that sterol manufacturers and suppliers will be able to access a pool of potential targets in near future.