With work commencing on both sites at the beginning of 2022, the program will ensure a capacity increase of more than 40 percent of Beneo’s global chicory root fibre production to meet rising customer demand and drive further growth within the market.
The expansion comes off the back of current market trends for digestive health, immunity, inner well-being, weight management, blood sugar management and bone health, which have seen a high demand for prebiotic ingredients.
The prebiotics ingredients in the European market are categorised into fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), mannan oligosaccharide (MOS), and inulin, most of which are naturally occurring substances in a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, etc.
Of these, inulin prebiotics, extracted from chicory root fibre, are gaining tremendous prominence across various applications thanks to its unique properties which make it helpful for improving the taste and texture of plant-based products.
In fact, over the past four years, the number of new product launches containing chicory root fibre inulin has grown by 50 percent globally (Euromonitor September 2021), with the market expected to reach 11.48 billion USD in 2028 (researchandmarkets.com).
Christoph Boettger, member of the Executive Board at Beneo, said: “Beneo's chicory root fibres meet key consumer needs of today and we are convinced that they will continue to play a central role in healthy nutrition in the future. With increased capacity, Beneo continues to offer a secure supply to its customers and partners worldwide.
“In summer 2022 a second refinery line in Pemuco will already increase the production capacity significantly. But we won’t stop there. The recent investment decision will ensure that Beneo’s production capacity is further growing. On top of this capacity increase, CO2 emissions are being reduced. This means that the production site in Pemuco, Chile, will be carbon neutral in a few years. Additionally, the site in Oreye, Belgium, will have reduced the specific energy consumption per ton of product by more than 50 percent by 2030.”
Chicory root shooting up
This is the latest in a series of investments from chicory root suppliers. Netherlands-based Sensus committed to 'significant' expansion of its production capacity starting in 2021, saying its planned investments will be matched by increased acreage for chicory roots with its farmer base.
Business Research firm Graphical Research reported last year that the consumer buzz for boosting 'good' gut bacteria would see Europe's prebiotics market value exceed $3.5 Billion by 2026. It further predicted that the global prebiotics industry size may record a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% till 2026.
“Rising public awareness, particularly in the Europe region, regarding the significance of fiber and high-quality protein consumption, in order to maintain ideal nutritional levels is expected to spur the growth of the prebiotics industry," said Saloni Walimbe, Graphical Research content writer.
"In fact, according to estimates from credible sources, the Europe prebiotics market is anticipated to surpass a valuation of nearly $3.5 billion by 2026.
“Estimates suggest that Europe's prebiotics industry size from the inulin segment is poised to record a growth rate of nearly 9% through 2026. This growth is attributed largely to the prominent role of the product as a key source of sugar reduction and fat substitute, as well as its widespread usage across a vast array of health products.”