The global pulse flour market size was estimated over USD 17 billion in 2015. Pulse flour obtained from the hull of pulses like chickpea, pea, lentils, and other legumes is gaining popularity as an essential functional food ingredient. The growing vegetarian population is driving the demand for these products in various food products. Extensive R&D for new product development coupled with government initiatives about the promotion of pulses is expected to have a positive impact on market growth over the forecast period.
Pulse flour contains low-fat source, low glycemic index, and high fiber content owing to which this product exhibits many advantages over wheat flour and rice. The presence of rare elements such as potassium, selenium and sodium & nutrients is responsible for growing demand in end-use applications.
The growing incidences of diabetes and obesity have increased the importance of naturally sourced ingredients such as pulse flour as they increase the nutritive value of food. The demand for pulse flour has been on the rise owing to growing demand for gluten free foods. Gluten free foods aid in minimizing the risk of excess weight and increase energy levels. The changing lifestyles coupled with a rise in on the go eating is expected to boost the usage of pulse flour in the manufacturing of gluten-free foods.
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Bakery & snacks were the largest segment in the market accounting for more than 85% of the market share in 2015. Rising awareness about consumption of healthy bakery products is anticipated to boost the consumption of pulse flour in this application segment.
Numerous private volunteer organizations and commercial food processors are working towards inclusion of pulse flour in formulations of beverages. Pulse flour demand has received a boost on account of growing application in infant formulations. It has also proven to be an effective alternative for children suffering from soy and lactose allergies.
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In 2015, Chickpea flour products dominated the market globally by accounting over 30% share. The demand for this product is driven by its ability to control health issues such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and coronary heart disease.
Lentil’s rising utilization in combination with pea flour is anticipated to boost market demand over the forecast period. Many food products are reformulated using lentil flour to reduce carbon footprint in food and to increase protein quality.
In 2015, Europe dominated the pulse flour market globally by accounting over 25% of share in terms of revenue. North America and Asia Pacific are key consumers of beverages. Rising consumption for sports and energy drinks are expected to witness a growth over the forecast period.
The Middle East & Africa is the fastest growing region on account of growing application of pulse flour in curries, soups, tajines, and hummus. Growing food services and retail sales coupled with high population growth in the region is likely to have a positive impact over the forecast period. The growing hospitality industry is in countries such as Morocco, UAE, Israel, and Egypt is expected to further augment market demand over the forecast period.
The key players in the market are Harvest Innovations, Parakh Agro Industries Ltd., CanMar Grain Products, ADM, Ingredion Incorporated, Best Cooking Pulses Inc., Ganesh Grains Ltd, Diefenbaker Seed Processers, and AGT Food & Ingredients.
Industry participants are adopting merger & acquisition and new product development strategies to strengthen their market position. In October 2014, Archer Daniels Midland Company acquired WILD Flavors GmbH in October 2014.