The global sourdough market size was valued at USD 2.9 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 5.3 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period (2022 – 2030). The definition of sourdough is a natural leavening agent composed of flour and water. Due to the presence of wild yeast and lactobacillus, sourdough goods are easier to digest than conventional dough. It is recognized that sourdough goods are healthier than other bread products. The global Sourdough market is expected to witness growth owing to the increasing consumer interest in bakery products, coupled with the rising awareness about the nutritional benefits of the natural fermentation process of sourdough. Besides, the availability of various sourdough products and product innovation are further expected to propel market growth.
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Growing Demand for Gluten-Free Baked Products
The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing consumer awareness regarding nutrition, health, and wellness. Various awareness campaigns run by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and companies have boosted consumer understanding of the nutritional benefits of baked products, which, in turn, is projected to fuel market growth. The pandemic outbreak has also raised awareness about the benefits of vegan and gluten-free baked products, which is expected to drive market growth during the post-COVID period.
Gluten-free baked products cater to the millions of individuals who seek a gluten-free diet and those with medical needs, from celiac disease to gluten intolerance. The benefits associated with gluten-free products, such as their ability to help manage celiac disease, promote healthy digestion, fiber-rich composition, and maintain freshness, are primarily bolstering the market growth. The rising focus on outdoor games and healthy lifestyles has increased the number of athletes across the globe who follow gluten-free diets for performance gains, further supporting the market growth.
Some major brands offering gluten-free breads include Bread SRSLY, SHILOH'S FIVE LOAVES, INC. (Simple Kneads), New Grains Gluten-Free Bakery, Ener-G Foods, and Cook's Gluten-Free Sourdough. The rapidly increasing focus of manufacturers on using gluten-free raw materials to cater to the shift in consumer preferences is supporting the market growth.
Rising Popularity of Artisanal Bread Culture
Most artisan breads come from Europe, where bakeries and boulangeries have perfected a wide range of distinct varieties using only the most essential ingredients. Artisan bread is made by a skilled worker by hand using more prolonged and traditional processes; it is fresh, crusty, delicious, and rustic. Sourdough is a type of artisan bread that is better for gut health due to the longer fermentation time that allows enzymes in bread to break down gluten, a compound that is not easily digestible for most people.
Sourdough bread is a handcrafted product, which makes every loaf a true artisan product. Sourdough bread resists mold, unlike conventionally leavened bread, creates acetic acid, a natural preservative, and aids easy gluten breakdown, making it tolerant for people sensitive to gluten. Manufacturers are providing artisan sourdough bread with unique features, supporting market growth. For instance, Maui Artisan Sourdough (MAS) uses Maui-born wild yeast to leaven dough naturally. It uses high-quality organic whole grain wheat and bread flour from San Francisco, milled from spring wheat, to produce sourdough bread products with zero commercial dry yeast. The company has developed methods to improve freshness and use natural products to ensure quality, extend shelf life, and provide freshly baked sourdough daily.
Fluctuating Raw Material Prices
Critical raw materials required for producing sourdough include whole wheat, oats, rye, barley, and others, which are used to make flour and mixed with water and other ingredients to make sourdough. However, continuous fluctuation in raw material prices owing to the variations in agricultural produces coupled with the changing environmental condition is anticipated to restrict the growth over the forecast period. The uncertainty in the climate conditions like excessive rainfall or inadequate rainfall, severe cold or drought affecting agricultural produces is now a common condition due to increasing pollution and population simultaneously. Thus the factors are likely to restrict the growth over the forecast period from 2022 to 2030.
Fluctuating raw material prices are also a result of continuously changing international trade laws by the respective governments of countries worldwide in exchange for their relations with the export/import country, transportation costs, including various taxes, as well as manpower costs, which are expected to restrict the growth of the market over the forecast timeframe.
Shifting Consumer Preference for Traditional & Healthy Food in Western Europe
The sourdough market in Western Europe is expanding due to escalating urbanization and rising consumer demand for fast food items like pizza. Sourdough pizza bases are becoming more popular among frozen pizza makers since they freeze better than regular bases and significantly enhance flavor. Chemical components in bread with a high GI score are linked to higher blood sugar levels. As a result, Western Europe is experiencing a rise in the demand for low-GI foods, further encouraging consumers to buy confections made with sourdough. To appeal to a broader consumer base, several bakery product makers in Western Europe are creating and releasing low-GI sourdough goods, which is anticipated to result in positive developments in the sourdough industry.
The global sourdough market is segmented by type, application, and region.
By Type, the global market is segmented into type I, type II, type III, fish, and others. The type III segment dominated the market and is estimated to register a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period. It is a ready-to-use sourdough type mainly used at the industrial level as a flavoring agent. It uses dried sourdough powder as an acidifier and flavoring for short-processed commercially yeasted dough. Moreover, Type III is a Type II sourdough, usually spray or drum drying, subject to a drying process. It is widely used for commercial production as Type III sourdough enhances taste and aroma. The high volume of output in the retail market primarily supports segment growth. The continuously increasing demand in the end-use market is another factor expected to support the growth over the forecast period. Industrial dried sourdoughs or Type III sourdoughs dominate the global market due to their widespread use across the industrial sector. The manufacturers continuously focus on producing various sourdough products owing to their increasing demand and worldwide awareness.
The type II segment is the second largest. The use of nutritional flour such as rye, wheat, and spelt flour in Type II sourdough products supports its growth in the global market. Additionally, the increasing demand for bakery products with nutritional ingredients is another factor supporting its growth in the market. The sourdough preparation is done through a single or multi-stage process in dough bowls and metered manually, making it time-consuming and labor-intensive. However, the demand for artisanal bread, which is more effectively possible through manual processing, supports its growth in the global market.
By Application, the global market is segmented into bread, cookies, cakes, waffles, pizza, and others. The bread application segment accounted for the maximum demand and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. The widespread use of bread is supporting segment growth across the globe. Sourdough bread baking is one of the oldest biotechnological processes that has been experiencing growth in recent years owing to its associated health benefits such as blood sugar control, fiber-rich composition, and enhanced taste with nutritional benefits. Moreover, using varied kinds of toppings on sourdough bread is another major factor catching consumers' focus in the global market. The wide range of sourdough bread available in the market, such as Altamura bread, San Francisco bread, rye bread, French bread, wheat bread, croissants, and panettone, is expected to support the segment growth in the global market. This comprehensive portfolio is one of the major factors driving the product demand as the flour used in these bread variants provides nutritional benefits. This is projected to contribute to segment growth over the forecast period.
By Region, the global sourdough market is segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa.
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Europe accounted for the maximum market share and is estimated to register a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period. The region is estimated to maintain its dominance over the project period through its significant economies, including the UK, Germany, and France, which are contributing to the maximum revenue of the regional sourdough market. Bakery products have been present in the region for centuries, the primary factor contributing to the maximum revenue share on the global market. The number of small, medium, and large bakeries in the region is very high compared to other regions, further supporting the region's dominant share. The rising trend of vegan diets is another critical factor driving the market. The health benefits offered by sourdough products on account of their nutritional value are urging consumers to focus on sourdough products. Furthermore, the proportion of vegans in Europe has doubled from 1.3 million in 2016 to 2.6 million in 2020, accounting for about 2.6% of the continent's population. Therefore, as more consumers shift their eating habits and prefer vegetarian food, the demand for sourdough products is projected to increase in Europe in the coming years. As more consumers demand bakery products in the region, several well-established companies and startups are introducing baked products with various flavors and ingredients that provide nutritional benefits and a good texture, taste, and fragrance.
Asia Pacific is the second largest region. It is anticipated to reach an expected value of USD 1276 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% and projected to experience the fastest growth at a CAGR of 7.3% over the forecast period from 2022 to 2030. The development of the sourdough market in Asia is driven by increasing awareness regarding healthy eating habits among consumers. Furthermore, the rising disposable income of consumers in developing countries like India and China contributes to the market's growth. Increasing awareness about several health benefits offered by sourdough products has increased the industry's consumer base. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 260 million adults will have diabetes in Asia by 2045, up from the current estimate of 238 million. In 2021, approximately 2.3 million deaths were caused by diabetes. Thus, the rising prevalence of diabetes among adults, and consumers becoming more conscious about their diet, are projected to increase the demand for sourdough products as they can manage their sugar levels. According to Kerry Group, consumers in Asia Pacific are becoming more health-conscious and food safe. Many are actively changing their diets to lead sustainable and healthier life following the outbreak of COVID-19. The demand for bakery products has also experienced significant growth after the COVID-19 outbreak owing to the temporary halt on restaurant and hotel operations, bolstering consumer demand through retail and online purchases.
North America is the third largest region. The region's increasing risk of heart-related diseases supports the demand for healthy food products among all demographics. The rising number of obese people, along with growing chronic lifestyle diseases, is projected to support the growth of sourdough across application sectors. Rising health concerns among consumers are anticipated to shift consumer preference toward a healthy diet owing to the health risks associated with consuming artificial food ingredients through highly processed food products. This is expected to bolster the intake of baked products in the region. These changes in the eating patterns of the North American population are projected to fuel the demand for sourdough as it offers a high amount of nutrients and proteins. New product launches replicating the texture, flavor, and taste of bakery products are projected to boost the growth of the U.S. sourdough market.
The key companies in the global sourdough market are