Global lactose demand is set to expand at nearly 4% in 2021, as burgeoning focus on health and wellness create substantial opportunities. While demand for powdered lactose will remain higher than granular lactose, the latter is set to grow at a higher rate. US will continue to be the largest market, however, lactose manufacturers can expect growing opportunities in Latin America and Asia Pacific. These insights are according to the latest edition of the study, conducted by ESOMAR-certified research and consulting firm, Future Market Insights (FMI).

Used as a filler or filler binder in the manufacturing of drugs and capsules, the pharmaceuticals domain has emerged as a lucrative application area for lactose-based products. Developing advanced manufacturing processes and technological innovations in industry to produce quality lactose that are consistently safe and effective has fuelled lactose production worldwide.

In recent years, hundreds of supply shortage incidences have been reported and hence leading to the expansion of advanced technology production facilities will accelerate production capacity and narrow down the supply-demand gap. The ongoing expansion of production facilities with advanced technology accelerates the consumption of lactose and is expected to lead to market growth across the globe.

Key Takeaways

  • Lactulose to emerge as the lucrative derivative type, accounting for nearly 30% sales
  • United States will continue to account for significant market share among all countries
  • Powdered form lactose will continue to outsell lactose in granule form
  • Food industry will be the mainstay for lactose demand, but opportunities in animal feed are growing
  • UK lactose to mimic broader consumer trends in Europe
  • Lactose market players in Japan and South Korea target novel applications

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Competitive Landscape

Emerging nations represent an exceptional opportunity for the lactose industry. Players are making significant investments to penetrate the untapped markets through affordable offerings. Key stakeholders in the lactose market have commenced significant revamps to their strategies in emergent countries and purpose is to increase access to their products.

In recent years, lactose market has witnessed product launches with the development of lactose by key manufacturers in order to increase their market share globally. Companies are coming up with various lactose based ingredient and derivatives for application in various segments.

  • In 2015, Meggle one of key player of lactose, launched triple compound pharma grade lactose CombiLac®, specifically designed to ease oral solid dosage.
  • In 2019, Kerry announced to launch Aero Flo brand for inhalation lactose grade. Brand named Aero Flo® for inhalation grades of lactose have been explicitly developed for usage in dry powder inhalers for pulmonary delivery of pharmaceuticals.

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Who is Winning?

Some of the key players operating in the lactose market are, Armor Pharma, Avantor, Inc., Ba’emek Advanced Technologies Ltd (Tnuva Group), BASF SE, Davisco Foods International, Inc., DFE Pharma (JV of Royal FrieslandCampina & Fonterra Ltd.), Hilmar Ingredients, Hoogwegt Groep B.V., Kerry plc., Lactose (India) Limited, Merck KgaA, Milei Gmbh, Molkerei MEGGLE Wasserburg GmbH & Co. KG and other players.

Key players are focusing on partnership in order to gain larger market share and to capture new geographical areas to get access to new markets.

  • In 2019 LBB Specialties announced that it has signed a strategic partnership deal with Meggle for the distribution of Meggle’s Pharmaceutical Lactose excipients, including lactose for inhalation formulations, in the United States.
  • In 2019, MEGGLE Excipients & Technology signed an agreement with Quadra Chemicals Ltd., a leading chemical and ingredient distributor, to represent its lactose excipient portfolio for the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries in Canada.

Key Segment


  • Powder
  •  Granule

End Use

  • Food and Beverage
    • Bakery
    • Confectionery
    • Functional Food
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Animal Feed

Derivative Type

  • Lactose Monohydrate
  • Galactose
  • Lactulose
  • Lactitol
  • Other (tagatose, lactobionic acid)


  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • East Asia
  • South Asia
  • Middle East and Africa (MEA)
  • Oceania

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