The global industrial hemp market size is estimated to be valued at USD 6.8 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 18.1 billion by 2027, recording a CAGR of 21.6% in terms of value. The growth of this market is attributed to the growing consumption of hemp seed in the food & beverage industry.
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Industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is cultivated primarily for its seeds and its fiber. It has a wide range of applications in the textile, food & beverage, construction, animal care, personal care, pharmaceutical, paint, lubricant, bioplastic, and biofuel industries. The legalization of hemp cultivation in various countries is one of the major drivers of the global industrial hemp market’s growth. Furthermore, growing awareness of hemp’s nutrient-rich profile and its health benefits is expected to boost hemp cultivation even more. The high content of essential fatty acids in hemp seed and oil helps to prevent many common ailments, which has led to its increased use in food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products.
Hemp seed is in high demand in the food and beverage industry. Hemp seed contains high-quality, easily digestible proteins edestin and albumin, both of which are high in essential amino acids. Furthermore, they contain more digestible protein than meat, eggs, cheese, and milk, which is expected to drive their demand as food ingredients, particularly among plant-based diet consumers, in the coming years.
Leading players profiled in this report:
• Marijuana Company of America Inc. (US)
• Cronos Group Inc. (Canada)
• Ecofibre Limited (Australia)
• Green Thumb Industries (US)
• Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (US)
• GenCanna (US)
• HempFlax BV (Netherlands)
• Konoplex Group (Russia)
• Hemp Oil Canada (Canada)
• BAFA (Germany)
Hemp production produces by products, one of which is hemp meal. Because of its high fiber, fat, and protein content, hemp meal is a potential feedstuff for animal agriculture and a possible substitute for soybean meal in many livestock diets. Furthermore, hemp products face regulatory hurdles before they can be legally incorporated into livestock feedstuffs, due to concerns that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in hemp biomass, could be transferred to animal products intended for human consumption. Hempseed and hempseed cakes could be used as feed materials for all animal species, according to the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Additives and Products or Substances Used in Animal Feed, with species-specific differences in the rate of inclusion in the diet. Hemp oil, as a rich source of essential fatty acids, can be used as a supplement in animal feed, while hemp seeds and hempseed cakes can be used as a fat and protein source in animal diets.
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In the forecasted period, the European region will be the fastest growing. The area dedicated to hemp cultivation in the EU has increased significantly in recent years, rising 75% from 19.970 ha in 2015 to 34,960 ha in 2019. France has the largest agricultural area dedicated to hemp cultivation in the EU, with nearly 18,000 hectares, followed by Italy, the Netherlands, and Estonia. Simultaneously, hen production increased by 62.4%, from 103,750 tons to 168,455 tons. France produces the most, accounting for more than 70% of EU output, followed by the Netherlands (10%) and Austria (4%). In Europe, hemp fibers are primarily used for specialty pulp and paper, with applications ranging from cigarette paper to Bible paper, bank notes, and technical filters. However, with the European Commission’s increased R&D support and funding, new applications of hemp fibers in automotive and construction materials have emerged. The increased consumption of hemp seeds as food, as well as their widespread use in other food products such as smoothies, yogurt, cereals, and bars, particularly in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, is expected to drive hemp growth in this region.