The global sunflower oil market size was valued at USD 33.86 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 56.48 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.85% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The sunflower oil market is highly dynamic and potentially lucrative, owing to the significant demand from the food and industrial sectors. Moreover, emerging opportunities, such as sunflower oil-based biofuel, sunflower oil-based beauty products, and other trending applications, further make the market more attractive.
Native to North and Central America, the sunflower (Helianthus) is a widely farmed plant for its seeds, flowers, and oil. Sunflower oil is a non-volatile oil obtained from the sunflower seed (Helianthus annuus). Both as a frying oil and an emollient in cosmetic applications, sunflower oil is frequently utilized in food. Linoleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, and oleic acid make up most of the fats in sunflower oil.
Selective breeding and production techniques produce different oil compositions with different fatty acid ratios. The expressed oil has an unremarkable flavor. The amount of vitamin E found in the oil is quite high. Genomic analysis and hybrid sunflower development are now being worked on to address growing customer demand for commercial types of sunflower oil.
|Market Size||USD 34.5 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The beauty industry saw significant changes over the past several years, owing to the shift/change in consumer preferences and lifestyles and consistent innovations from cosmetics companies. This increased the demand for sunflower oil-based oleochemicals, as these serve as the "backbone" of several beauty and cosmetic formulations. Sunflower oil can regenerate skin cells and prevent skin damage from the sun's influence or aging.
Rich in vitamins A and E, which are powerful antioxidants, topical application of sunflower oil repairs damaged skin cells, removes acne, and moisturizes dry and sensitive skin. According to Stephenson, a personal care solutions company, sunflower oil can help boost ceramide molecules that promote soft and smooth skin, combatting dryness commonly caused by traditional surfactants. It is a common ingredient in solid and liquid applications, specifically haircare, due to its moisture-rich and non-greasy feel on the hair. Thus, the surging use of sunflower oil in the beauty and personal care industry is expected to boost market growth.
The depletion of fossil fuels, supported by the increasing awareness about environmental protection, led to concentrated and accelerating research and development efforts in search of renewable and environment-friendly alternative energy sources. The recent strong demand for renewable fuels resulted in increased production of biofuels worldwide. People are turning to sustainable biofuels such as biodiesel produced from vegetable oils.
Sunflower seeds can produce approximately 600 pounds of oil per acre, more than soybeans. As a result, the oil has quickly gained popularity as a feedstock crop for biodiesel manufacturing, as it is simple to cultivate and profitable on both small and large farms. This contributes to recycling used cooking oil, resulting in a more sustainable, eco-friendly fuel with lower pollutant emissions. Thus, it will be utilized extensively in biodiesel production, fostering market expansion.
The increased presence of direct substitutes, like canola oil, olive oil, and coconut oil, with similar nutritional attributes, is one of the factors restraining the growth of the sunflower oil market globally. In addition, the manufacturing process of oils with high wax content, such as sunflower, is expensive owing to the additional filtration and dewaxing process. This phenomenon increases the overall end-product price, which is comparatively higher than other conventional oils, like soybean, palm, and groundnut, thereby hampering its adaptability in various emerging economies.
Sunflower oil is frequently marketed as healthy because it contains unsaturated fats that may benefit heart health. The non-volatile oil from sunflower bloom seeds is a monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) blend of oleic acid (omega-9) and linoleic acid. It contains glyceridic content, consisting of tocopherols and plant sterols. With good oxidative stability, regular sunflower oil has many applications in the food sector, mainly as a salad and cooking oil.
Sunflower oil is typically considered a premium oil owing to its light color, high level of unsaturated fatty acids, bland flavor, lack of linolenic acid, and high smoke point. Sunflower oil is kosher and halal, which is beneficial for creating many specialty packaged foods. Similarly, the rising global population and the rapidly expanding food processing industry are paving the way for the increase in commercial production and consumption of sunflower oil, augmenting the market's growth.
Based on region, the global sunflower oil market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Europe is the most significant global sunflower oil market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 2.82% during the forecast period. Due to their fast-paced lifestyles, European consumers opt for healthier cooking oils. As a result, oil consumption in the food service industry and households has increased significantly. These trends have contributed to the region's sunflower oil market expansion. In addition, Russia and Ukraine are the two biggest producers of sunflower seed oil worldwide. The oil and fat industry is one of the leading subsectors of the food processing industry in Russia, and sunflower oil production has increased exponentially over the past decade.
Similarly, Russia is the world's second-biggest sunflower seed and oil producer after Ukraine. As per the US Department of Agriculture, sunflower seed oil production increased from 5.12 million metric tons in 2020-2021 to 5.82 million metric tons in 2021-22 due to increased demand from the domestic processing sector and other regions of Europe. However, sunflower production has been affected by the ongoing war, increasing the price of sunflower oil and a temporary restraint on the market's growth.
Asia-Pacific is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 8.51% over the forecast period. The presence of emerging nations like China and India is expected to boost the Asia-Pacific market. According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, sunflower oil imports in China increased by 74.8% in 2019 to 1.23 million metric tons, surpassing soybean oil as the third most imported oil in the same year. Sunflower oil consumption increased to 1.36 million metric tons in the same year. Sunflower oil has been gaining popularity among households in India owing to its light golden character and clarity, which is representative of higher quality.
Additionally, cholesterol problems are very common among Indians owing to genetic risk, lack of physical activity, and suboptimal dietary habits. According to the Indian Heart Association, the risk of young people dying from heart disease doubles for every 40-point increase in total cholesterol. Growing consumer awareness about high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular diseases has driven the demand for sunflower oil, widely known as "cholesterol-free," during the review period.
North American region consists of three major countries, i.e., the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The U.S. is the leading revenue contributor to the regional market growth. The surging prevalence of cardiovascular disorders across the country and higher demand for healthy food products, especially snacks and functional foods, are some prominent drivers of the sunflower oil market in the United States. Similarly, sunflower is planted across Canada as an oilseed and confectionary sunflowers. Most sunflower oil produced domestically is consumed domestically, and the rest is exported. NuSun™ or mid-oleic sunflower type are grown on the most acreage in Canada.
Additionally, Mexico heavily depends on fossil fuels and coal for most of its fuel and energy. The government has been investing in developing biodiesel space in the country to meet its energy needs. The increasing biofuel production is expected to create a demand for ideal sources like sunflower oil in the coming years.
In South America, rising awareness and adoption of sunflower oil due to its potential and functional benefits as an ingredient in the production of numerous food products, coupled with the adoption of public policies that allow the use of sunflower oil with better nutritional and industrial properties, are prime drivers of that are elevating the demand for the sunflower oil market. In Brazil, sunflower oil has been exploited for biofuel production as it has shown advantages as a raw material for biofuel use, such as high oil content. However, with its high nutritional and functional properties, most of the sunflower oil in the country is directed for application in the food industry.
The global sunflower oil market is segmented by type and application.
Based on type, the global sunflower oil market is bifurcated into linoleic oil, mid-oleic oil, and high-oleic oil.
The linoleic oil segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.73% over the forecast period. Linoleic acid is a fundamental fatty acid found in various oils, including sunflower, safflower, and grape seed oil. It is a colorless or white oil insoluble in water but in a wide range of organic solvents. Linoleic acid is important for natural skin functions and wound healing, and its deficiencies can lead to skin and hair issues. The benefit related to skin healing has led to the linoleic acid-based sunflower oil demand in the personal care segment.
In addition, the demand for sunflower oil in developing countries due to consumer shifting their focus toward nutrient-rich edible oil has also let the manufacturers focus on product innovation and business expansion. For instance, in 2019, Russia-based vegetable oil manufacturing company EFKO and Egypt-based United Oil came together for a joint venture to produce vegetable oil in Egypt, including sunflower, soybean, and groundnut oil.
The variety of mid-oleic oil is widely favored due to its global occurrence. This is so that mid-oleic oil has a high level of oleic acid, retains linoleic acid levels, and is less prone to rancidity and breakdown. The large-scale application of mid-oleic sunflower oil across many sectors is a major growth factor for the sunflower oil market. Similarly, the expansion of the food and beverage sector and increased consumer awareness about health will likely boost the overall demand for sunflower oil over the forecast period. Moreover, an increase in the prevalence of cardiac disorders worldwide has resulted from increased demand for sunflower oil in the healthcare industry.
Based on application, the global sunflower oil market is segmented into food, biofuels, and personal care.
The food segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.73% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for sunflower oil as cooking oil in the food industry and food service sector is the major reason for the increased growth boost. The rise in the overall final product price is greater than other conventional oils like soybean, palm, and groundnut. This contributes to its low adaptation in several emerging economies. Thus, it is expected to restrain the sunflower oil market soon. In addition, the need for frying oil is very high in the food industry. The global market for sunflower oil is expected to expand steadily due to high demand from food producers. The sunflower is highly used in manufacturing various processed foods such as snacks. For instance, from 2003 till the present, Frito-lay, an American subsidiary of Pepsico, has switched to sunflower oil to make snacks.
Sunflower oil treats a wide range of diseases and chemical compounds. It is widely used in personal care products; therefore, demand is expected to increase shortly. In addition to its application in the healthcare sector, sunflower oil is anticipated to be in high demand among cosmetics manufacturers. Rising consumer demand for sunscreen, face masks, and eye treatments will help the global market for sunflower oil grow over the forecast period.
Additionally, rising demand for oil-based personal care products free of chemicals among cosmetics consumers is anticipated to fuel the global sunflower oil market. Sunflower oil is widely used in the personal care industry. Major market participants use sunflower oil to make clean-label and sustainable products. For example, in April 2019, L'Oreal released Seed Phytonutrients, a sustainable beauty brand based on sunflower seed oil.