Tofu is a smooth, protein-packed soy product produced by curdling fresh soy milk and pressing it into a solid block. Tofu that has not been processed comes in a range of textures, including extra-soft, soft, silken, firm, and extra-firm. Its ability to absorb flavors from spices, seasonings, sauces, and marinades makes it popular in a variety of cuisines. The growing vegan population along with the growing health-conscious population looking out for gluten-free healthier meat alternatives is driving the growth of the market.
Growing demand for gluten-free products is driving the market
The increasing demand for gluten-free products due to the growing prevalence of celiac disease is driving the growth of the tofu market. Tofu is made from soy curd and has a gluten-free content, which is why people especially looking for meat alternatives along with gluten-free content are highly preferring this. It has been observed that one out of every 133 Americans suffers from celiac disease. The prevalence of celiac disease was 4% in South America, 0.5% in Africa and North America, 0.6% in Asia, and 0.8% in Europe and Oceania. A high prevalence of the disease is expected to drive the production of gluten-free products such as tofu on a global level. Some of the popular gluten-free brands are Azumaya Tofu, House Foods Tofu, Nasoya Tofu, and Trader Joe's. Moreover, with the growing vegan population, the demand for meat alternatives is increasing which is supporting the market growth across the globe. Tofu is considered a healthy and gluten-free food. One 3.5 ounce serving of this product contains 8% protein and 2% carbohydrates along with other nutrients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that the daily consumption of 25 grams of soy protein ensures the proper protein intake along with balanced cholesterol levels.
Asia Pacific is dominating the tofu market led by China
Asia-Pacific holds the largest share of tofu market with China being the largest contributor. The encouragement shown by government towards reduction in consumption of meat has increased the demand for tofu in this country. According to an article posted by the vegan business magazine, the local plant-based industry is rapidly growing, aided by the Chinese government's goal of reducing meat consumption by half by 2030, which is highly supporting the market growth in this region. Moreover, domestic companies such as Zhenmeat, HERO Protein, and Hey Maet are customizing their goods according to the Asians taste, which is keeping up the demand for tofu among Chinese and other Asians. Key manufacturers operating in China are Hangzhou Huayuan Bean Food Co. Ltd., Hebei Gaobeidian DouDou Food (Group) Co. Ltd., Jiaxing Jiajiale Foods Co. Ltd., and Shanghai Xuyang Green Food Co. Ltd. Japan was the second-largest regional consumer as a result of the easy access to the product due to the presence of a large number of manufacturers in the country. Many U.S.-based food manufacturers have started offering packaged tofu in Japan to meet high product demand.
North America is estimated to register the fastest CAGR of XX% from 2021 to 2028. Consumers prefer soy-based products due to health and philosophical reasons. The rising interest of U.S.-based consumers in plant-based foods is anticipated to drive regional growth. The growing vegan population in the U.S. and Canada is anticipated to contribute to the regional demand as the product is considered a good meat alternative with high protein levels. Also, emerging nations of the Middle East and Africa have huge opportunities to the global tofu market due to its high nutritional benefits. For instance, tofu is currently being used in shawarma, a fast food staple in the Middle East, as a substitute of meat, which boosting the tofu market.
The global tofu market is highly fragmented with large number of players like Olam International, Barry Callebaut, Blue Diamond Growers, Kerry Group, Zentis GmbH & Co. KG, Besana, Lubeca, Puratos, Almendras Llopis S.A.U., Kanegrade, Moll Marzipan. Companies are investing in emerging economies to increase their revenue share. For instance, in April 2019, Japan-based food manufacturer Invigorate Foods invested over USD 8 million in India to boost its soy-based product offerings in the country. In the same year, the company launched a product Genki-Ya Tofu, made of fresh soy milk extracts. Companies are also adopting mergers and acquisitions as one of the major business strategies. For instance, in January 2018, Keystone Natural Holdings LLC completed the acquisition of Canada-based Superior Tofu Ltd.