Increasing health consciousness among consumers and producers’ focus on research and development (R&D) are set to drive the growth of the edible oil market in the coming years, a new market study finds.

According to a recent market report by global research and counselling firm Credence Research, the edible oil market was valued at US$82.9bn in 2015 and was projected to reach US$124.3bn by 2023.

This marked an increase of nearly 50%, which the market was expected to reach at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4%.

Soyabean, rapeseed, palm and sunflower oils were the leading products in the marketplace and were expected to maintain their dominance in the forecast period.

Growth in the market was spurred on by the increasing popularity of healthy and organic vegetable oils, which coincided with consumers’ growing emphasis on health and increasing acceptance of oils that were low in calories, fat and cholesterol.

In addition, Credence expected the variation in vegetable oil composition, intake of wide varieties of oil, as well as generally changing preferences for healthier options would stimulate a growth in revenues.

On the producers’ end, escalating R&D initiatives by key producers in order to produce new products had strengthened the market in the past few years, according to Credence.

“Significant production of oil, enhancement in retail networks as well as growing economies, especially in Asia, are anticipated to intensify the growth of edible oils,” the firm wrote.

The edible oil market was characterised by the presence of players of various sizes, from small-scale producers to large multinationals.

Despite the size differences, all were expected to focus on R&D to expand their product portfolios and maintain their market share.