Rising health concerns among people and the increasing need for a gluten-free diet are facilitating the growth of flour market. Excess gluten concentration in food can pose a serious threat to human health and may lead to anemia, osteoporosis, intestinal damage, and infertility in the long run. Naturally gluten-free property of rice is likely to favor higher adoption of rice flour in near future. People in North America and Europe have been among the first consumers of pre-gelatinized or gluten-free flour over other flours due to rising health responsiveness. While the global sales of rice flour reached a value worth US$ 712.9 Mn in 2017, the market is expected to thrive at a moderate CAGR of 4.4% over the forecast period, attaining a value of US$ 1,003.1 Mn by the end of 2025.
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In 2016, according to DDW (Digestive Disease Week), hospitalizations for celiac disease have increased more than 600% from 1998 to 2013. Rising wheat and gluten sensitivity cases worldwide are augmenting preference to rice flour over wheat flour. Moreover, growing application of white rice flour as a gluten-free ingredient in a wide range of flour-based products is accelerating the demand of rice flour as well as other gluten-free flours. As a growing consumer base is embracing improved, healthier, easy-to-cook, and ready-to-eat options of foods to suit their busier lifestyle, baked foods and snack products have been gaining traction since the recent past. Rice flour manufacturers are thus anticipated to capture immense growth opportunities in the baking industry.
One of the major challenges to the growth of the global rice flour market is the price volatility of grains due to climatic changes. Irregularities in climate and seasonal variations critically affect crops, adversely affecting agricultural yields in many regions, eventually resulting in variations in input as well as output prices. Moreover, fluctuating costs of energy, chemicals, and fertilizers also lead to a volatility in the prices of crops. According to Transparency Market Research, key players in the global market for rice flour are ought to find efficient operational responses to secure margins in the long term. The price of aromatic rice firmed in the same month as well, with active demand from international markets and lower production aspects.
Some of the major companies operating in the global rice flour market are Associated British Foods PLC, Ebro Foods, S.A., Ingredion Incorporated, Archer-Daniels Midland Co., Wilmar International Limited, General Mills, Inc., Bunge Ltd., Whitworth Bros. Ltd., The Soufflet Group, Shipton Mill Ltd., KRÖNER-STÄRKE GmbH, Caremoli Group, Belourthe SA, Bressmer & Francke (Gmbh & Co.) KG, and EDME Food Ingredients Limited.