Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) Market Set to Reach $332.6 Million by 2028, Finds Allied Market Research Report

Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) Market

Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) Market

Allied Market Research predicts the global Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) market will reach $332.6 million by 2028

Human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) is a class of structurally complex, unconjugated glycans found in high concentrations in human milk.”
— Allied Market Research

WILMINGTON,NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, UNITED STATE, March 20, 2024 / -- According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled “Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) Market by Type, Application, and Distribution Channel: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021–2028, the global human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) market size was valued at $125.9 million in 2020 and is estimated to reach $332.6 million by 2028, registering a CAGR of 14.1% from 2021 to 2028.

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Human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) has emerged as a vital component in promoting gut health, especially among infants. As a prebiotic, it fosters the growth of beneficial bacteria, particularly in the Bifidobacterium genus, which contributes to metabolic activities crucial for health. Its antimicrobial and prebiotic properties have led to its inclusion in various foods, including pharmaceuticals, medicinal foods, and infant formulas.

Being the third most abundant solid nutrient in human breast milk after lactose and fats, HMOs play a pivotal role in enhancing infant health by supporting immune development, neurodevelopment, and digestion. Moreover, they hold promise for benefiting adults as well. Commercially manufactured HMOs can replicate some of the nutritional effects found in human milk, facilitating their inclusion in a wider array of products.

Fermented HMOs have revolutionized the production of infant formula, making it more akin to human milk, thus enabling formula-fed infants to derive essential components similar to breastfed babies. HMOs serve multiple primary functions, including infection prevention, prebiotic effects, and the provision of sialic acid, which is crucial for brain growth. However, infant formula derived from bovine milk contains lower levels of oligosaccharides compared to human milk, prompting researchers to explore techniques such as extracting HMOs from cow milk using sophisticated methods or synthesizing them using microbial processes.

The current trends in the Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO) market indicate a robust demand trajectory, driven by the increasing number of health-conscious individuals globally and growing awareness about the benefits of HMOs. Factors such as rising consumer concerns regarding health stability and the uptake of food and dietary supplements have propelled exponential growth in the HMO market.

In recent years, a multitude of players have entered the global HMO market, resulting in diverse HMO products with varying nutritional content available through numerous distribution channels. Additionally, the digital revolution has provided brands with new avenues for promoting their products, further fueling market growth. While the HMO market remains competitive, participants are expected to focus on packaging, pricing, and marketing strategies to gain a competitive edge.

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Market segmentation for HMOs is based on type, application, distribution channel, and region. The types include 2’FL, 3’FL, 3’SL, and 6’SL, with applications spanning infant formula, functional food & beverage, and food supplements. Distribution channels encompass hypermarkets & supermarkets, drug stores or pharmacies, mass merchandisers, department stores, mono-brand stores, specialty stores, and online sales channels. Regionally, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

In 2020, the 2’FL segment accounted for the highest revenue, driven by its ability to protect against infectious diseases by preventing toxins and pathogens from adhering to epithelial cells. Infant formula emerged as the dominant application segment due to the beneficial properties of HMOs in supporting memory formation and cognitive performance, which are crucial for infant growth and development. Drug stores or pharmacies led the distribution channel segment, emphasizing convenience factors to attract and retain customers.

The accelerated demand for HMOs in infant formula owing to global concerns about nutrition and premature mortality presents a significant market opportunity. HMOs' prebiotic properties, potential to enhance memory and brain growth, and high nutritional value are key drivers of market growth. Additionally, breast milk's ability to shield babies from infections and allergic reactions is expected to further propel market expansion, as it offers long-term protection against various health conditions.

The introduction of new products tailored to address specific health issues, such as diabetes and indigestion, is anticipated to drive market growth further. Leading manufacturers are already focusing on offering products targeting specific health and wellness categories, such as digestion and cognitive enhancement. As such trends gain momentum, they are expected to significantly influence the expanding functional food & beverage market, thereby strengthening brand equity.

However, the production of HMOs faces challenges, primarily due to the scarcity of donor groups required for direct synthesis from human milk. Current manufacturing methods involve chemical and enzyme synthesis, necessitating substantial investments of time and resources, which ultimately limit the scale of production. Moreover, functional alternatives such as fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides, prevalent in infant formula, pose a competitive threat due to their lower cost and widespread availability.

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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a notable impact on the global HMO market, with retail channels experiencing closures due to stringent lockdown measures. However, brands swiftly pivoted towards e-commerce platforms to sustain revenue and bolster sales during the lockdown. As governments ease restrictions, offline sales are gradually rebounding, contributing to market recovery.

To navigate the competitive landscape, players in the HMO industry are employing strategies such as product launches, mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, and geographical expansions. Key market participants include Abbott Laboratories, BASF S.E., Biosynth Carbosynth, Chr. Hansen Holding A/S, Dextra Laboratories Ltd., Dupont Nutrition & Biosciences, Elicityl S.A., Glycom A/S, Glycosyn, Inbiose NV, Medolac Laboratories, Neolacta Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd., Nestle Health Science, Royal DSM, and ZuChem.

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Allied Market Research (AMR) is a full-service market research and business consulting wing of Allied Analytics LLP, based in Portland, Oregon. Allied Market Research provides global enterprises as well as medium and small businesses with unmatched quality "Market Research Reports" and "Business Intelligence Solutions." AMR has a targeted view of providing business insights and consulting to assist its clients in making strategic business decisions and achieving sustainable growth in their respective market domains.

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David Correa
Allied Market Research
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