Rising demand for edible oils driven by increased appetite for healthy options, says Kerfoot

A rise in demand for edible oils has been accompanied by increasing consumer awareness about healthier options, according to global speciality oil supplier Kerfoot.

The company pointed to a report published in Grand View Research that valued the global edible oil and fats market at US$97.32bn in 2018 while a report published by Bloomberg projected the same market to surpass $162bn by 2025.

Speaking about the trend for customers to demand low-fat, low-calorie and low-cholesterol oils, Simon Corner, commercial director at Kerfoot, said: “Consumers are shifting towards non-GMO, healthy and organic products, increasing the demand for speciality fats and oils that come with specific flavours and dietary benefits.

“Consumer interest in clean label, halal and vegan functional foods and the emerging markets of ‘free-from’ and specialist foods are creating demand potential for speciality oils. The need for trans-fat alternatives is also increasing the demand for these types of oils which are derived from seeds, nuts and fruits by cold-pressing.”

Speciality oils, including avocado oil, chia seed oil and hempseed oil, had benefited from a growing body of scientific evidence backing their healthy properties, explained Corner.

Chia seed, for example, was known for its high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Hempseed oil, produced from hempseeds, was also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and was becoming more popular.

“With a flavour profile similar to sunflower oil, it can be blended with other oils to produce a milder flavour or be used as a dressing on salads and cold dishes,” explained Corner.

Avocado oil, with an estimated market value of US$906M in 2019, was one of the newest cooking oils, he added.

“Some beneficial properties of avocado oil such as its levels of antioxidants and good fatty acids are the key reasons for health experts to recommend its consumption, he said.

Avocado oil also had the highest smoking point of all plant-based cooking oils. Grapeseed oil was also emerging as a substitute for olive oil due to its high smoke point which made it suitable for stir-frying and sautéing.

A global supplier of bulk and packed, refined and speciality oils, Kerfoot is part of the Avril Group, a French agro-industrial company.