Shea Butter Market Headed for Growth and Global Expansion by 2025

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Shea Butter is an extracted product, which is a vegetable oil or fat containing triglycerides. It is ivory or off-white colored compound which is extracted from the nut of Vitellaria paradoxa (African Shea tree). Shea butter is a sustainable source of edible fat, and is used as a vegetal source of stearic acid in cosmetics and chocolate industry. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in 2015, the natural cosmetics sale in Europe witnessed a growth of 6% while the growth in North America was 7% as compared to the overall growth of the global natural cosmetics which was 2.5%. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), along with other companies a classification system was suggested for Shea butter untying it into five grades which are: A (raw or unrefined, extracted using water), B (refined), C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane), D (lowest uncontaminated grade), E (with contaminants).

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Market Drivers

The Shea butter market is majorly driven by its adoption as a substitute to cocoa butter in the chocolate industry. Different parts of the Shea tree such as roots, stems, leaves, fruits and the bark are used for the treatment of various diseases and infections such as wound infections, dysentery, skin diseases, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal tract infections. Shea butter is used as a treatment for inflammation of the nasal congestion, nostrils, cough, leprosy and rheumatism and in treatments of minor bone dislocation. Shea butter is used as a raw material for the production of soap, margarine, candle, and detergent. The low quality butter along with its by-products from the processed nuts are tarnished on clay or mud walls, which acts as a waterproofing agent to protects the walls during the rainy season. Shea butter is also used by the African pregnant women for healing purpose after circumcision which helps to accelerate the process of healing and prevents stretch marks. According to Global Shea Alliance (GSA) until 2014 no reports were filed due to the consumption of Shea butter or its yields. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Shea butter is expected to gain significant traction to its application in cosmetic, soap making, and traditional medicine in rural areas. Also, it is projected to gain traction in international markets, owing to its richness in food nutrients, which are utilized as a baking fat, margarine and in other fatty spreads, confectionery and chocolate industry in Europe and Asia Pacific.

According to USAID in 2014, Shea butter market has helped in the sustainability of the west and east African countries. Global Shea Alliance (GSA) with USAID helped in increasing the production capacity of the Shea butter production for international market due to high usage as natural ingredient in cosmetics and medicines. In 2014, the GSA launched its sustainability program named as Global Shea Alliance Sustainability Program, and in June 2016, GSA and USAID signed an agreement over US$ 6.5 million along with other 25 private sector sustainability partners. This collaboration has resulted into 250 Shea warehouses, capacity building for 137,500 women Shea collectors and processors and a 50 percent improvement in financial benefits to participating Shea cooperatives.

Market Outlook

Utilization of Shea butter as a cosmetic ingredient is expected to be major driving factor for growth of the Shea butter market over the forecast period. Shea butter has application in cosmetics as a sun screening agent. Furthermore, it helps softening in of the skin and tissue cell regeneration. Collagen and elastin present in Shea butter has anti-aging properties. These factors are expected to fuel growth of the personal care segment in Shea butter market during the forecast period.

Africa is expected to gain major traction in Shea butter market, over the forecast period (2018 – 2025). The Shea tree is found in the western and eastern regions of Africa, which are namely Ghana, Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Mali, Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Niger, Togo, Sudan, Guinea, Uganda, and Zaire. According to USAID, the Shea industry in West Africa is rapidly expanding. Demand for Shea butter produced in the region has nearly doubled in the past ten years, and it is an important ingredient in food and cosmetic products worldwide. More than 16 million rural women in Africa work in a Shea extraction factories where the Shea butter is extracted from the nut by grinding, crushing, cracking, roasting, separating oils and shaping. Major players such as Shea Radiance, Star Shea Ltd. and others are investing in market due to wide availability of raw materials for the Shea butter and low labor cost.

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Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region in the Shea butter market during the forecast period. The high stearic acid content of Shea butter helps to prevent or maintain the cholesterol level, which reduce the low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein, and the total cholesterol. According to World Health Organization (WHO), every 1 in 3 persons suffers from high cholesterol in Asia Pacific region. According to the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology Congress, in 2016, around 60% population in Myanmar was suffering from high cholesterol. Thus these factors are expected to drive growth of the market, as Shea butter could be used as both medicinal purpose and also as an edible product.

The major players in the shea butter market include, Star Shea Ltd., Bread For Life, All Pure Nature Ltd. Lovinah Naturals Shea Radiance, Jedwards International, Inc., Maison Karite Sociedad Limitada, Vink Chemicals Gmbh & Co. Kg, Shebu Industries, Shea Therapy Ltd, and The Pure Company.

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