Global Kefir Market Effect and Growth Factors Research and Projection

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Kefir is a fermented drink made from kefir grains and possesses the consistency of drinkable yogurt. Kefir grains are described as combinations of bacteria and yeasts living on a substrate, made up of various dairy components. Kefir is produced by cow, sheep or goat’s milk. Additionally, kefir, being a milk product contains a high amount of calcium, which supports the enhanced body immunity and building of bone density. Furthermore, kefir has a high content of vitamin B12 and K2, biotin, magnesium, enzymes, vitamin, probiotics, and folate.

Growing awareness regarding the health benefits associated with consumption of kefir is expected to propel the growth of the kefir market. These health benefits include fighting against cancer and killing aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens found in improperly stored staple commodities, including corn, peanuts, cassava, chili peppers, wheat, rice, cottonseed, millet, sesame seeds, sorghum, sunflower seeds, and a variety of spices. Kefir is increasingly being used as a dietary supplement, which in turn, lends traction to the growth of the market. 

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Kefir contains large amounts of good bacteria that aid in digestion, accounting for a broader nutrient content as compared to yogurt. This, in turn, makes kefir highly beneficial to the lactose intolerant population, which is another major factor driving the growth of the market.

However, high production costs of kefir and a weak presence of the major manufacturers operating in this field in the developing economies such as Asia Pacific and Latin America are some of the factors impeding the growth of the market at present.

In terms of revenue, Europe held a dominant position in the market in 2016, accounting for over 45% market share and is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. This is majorly due to its wide range of application in several food items such as sauces, dips, and ice-creams. Moreover, kefir is highly preferable for obese and gastric patients, as it improves metabolism and smoothens bowel movement. Further, rising number of gastric patients and growing obese population in the region is contributing to the overall market growth of kefir. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2017, obesity or overweight is considered to be the root cause of around 2.8 million deaths each year globally. Further, obesity in Europe has increased significantly over the past few years. According to Coherent Market Insights, in 2016, approximately 30% of the entire population in England were found to be obese, most of them falling in the age group of 55 and above. In addition, U.K. ranks higher in terms of obesity compared to France and Germany, accounting for a share of 27.3%, while Germany accounted for 24.6% and France accounted for 17.5%. Furthermore, U.K. recorded around 6980 cases of stomach cancer in 2016, which was mainly prevalent among the male population. The growing gastric and stomach cancer cases are expected to increase demand for kefir, as it is highly effective against gastritis and gastric ulcers. This, in turn, is projected to propel the growth of the market in the near future.

Asia Pacific accounted for below 20% market share due to weak penetration of major manufacturers of kefir operating in the region, in turn, resulting in the low availability of kefir. Furthermore, kefir is positioned as a substitute for dairy products, such as processed cheese, butter, cottage cheese and clarified butter, however, the populace in the region is more inclined towards consumption of such products than kefir. This, in turn, restrains the growth of the market for kefir in the region. However, this trend is expected to change in the future due to growing awareness about the benefits associated with kefir such as anti-carcinogenic properties, anti-allergic properties, and various others. In addition, changing consumption pattern of the populace in this region and the rising inclination towards the consumption of healthier food items, which is majorly influenced by the western culture is expected to pave the way for kefir in the near future.

In 2017, the overweight and obese population in Asia Pacific reached 1 billion which has resulted in the region spending more than USD 160 billion on healthcare. This factor is expected to pave the way for kefir in the region. Further, the strengthening economic condition of countries such as India, China, and Japan among others is expected to lure the major manufacturers operating in this field to penetrate these markets for better investment opportunities and to cater to a broader consumer base. Further, Asia Pacific is expected to display a higher growth rate for kefir compared to the other regions during the forecast period. 

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 Among compositions, the milk segment held a dominant position in the kefir market in 2016. Among applications, the dietary supplements segment held a dominant position in the market in 2016 and is expected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period.

The global kefir market is marked by intense competition from major manufacturers operating in this market. Strategic mergers and acquisitions, product innovations, and joint ventures, among others, are some of the key strategies adopted by these companies to ensure long-term sustenance in the market. Some of the major players operating in the market are Groupe Danone, Lifeway Foods Inc., Hain Celestial Group, and Fresh Made Inc. among others.

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