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Lactose Market - By Type (Monohydrate, Anhydrous, Galactose, Lactulose, Tagatose), Form (Powder, Granule, Liquid), Application (Food, Feed, Pharmaceuticals, Infant), End-use (Food and Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Animal Feed) – Global Forecast, 2024 – 2032

  • Report ID: GMI8392
  • Published Date: Mar 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Lactose Market Size

Lactose Market size was valued at around USD 2.3 billion in 2023 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% between 2024 and 2032. This robust market growth can be attributed to various factors, including ongoing advancements in lactose production, increasing consumption of dairy product, and growing demand for functional foods and nutraceuticals, among other contributing factors.

Lactose Market

Moreover, lactose is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry as an excipient in tablet formulations and dry powder inhalers. The growing pharmaceutical industry, driven by factors such as aging populations, increasing healthcare expenditure, and the prevalence of chronic diseases, contributes to the demand for lactose. With advancements in novel drug delivery systems and the development of new pharmaceutical products, the demand for lactose as a pharmaceutical ingredients continues to grow.

For instance, according to a recent United Nations (UN) research report, the number of people aged 65 and over globally is predicted to treble over the next three decades. The senior population is expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2050, accounting for more than 16% of the worldwide population.

Furthermore, technological advancements in dairy processing and lactose production have led to increased efficiency, higher yields, and improved product quality. Advanced manufacturing processes enable manufacturers to produce lactose more cost-effectively and sustainably, meeting the growing demand from various industries, thereby contributing to the market expansion.

Lactose serves as an important source of energy and nutrients, particularly for infants and young children. It also plays a crucial role in the flavor, texture, and nutritional profile of dairy products.

Lactose Market Trends

The market is experiencing several notable trends that are shaping its growth and development. Factors such as continuous technological advancements in purification methods, expanding applications in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, rising focus on clean label and natural ingredients, and growing demand for dairy ingredients and products, among other factors are propelling the industry growth.

  • The demand for dairy ingredients and products remains robust globally, driven by factors such as population growth, rising disposable incomes, and increasing awareness of the nutritional benefits of dairy consumption. As a key component of dairy products, lactose experiences steady demand from manufacturers of milk, cheese, yogurt, infant formula, and other dairy-based foods and beverages.
  • Moreover, the rising popularity of plant-based diets and vegan lifestyles prompts consumers to seek plant-based alternatives to dairy products, including lactose-free options made from plant sources such as soy, almond, coconut, and rice. Plant-based milk alternatives, creamers, and dairy-free desserts cater to consumers looking for lactose-free, allergen-friendly, and environmentally sustainable alternatives to traditional dairy products.

Lactose Market Analysis

Lactose Market, By Type, 2021 - 2032 (USD Billion)

The market by type is categorized into lactose monohydrate, lactose anhydrous, galactose, lactulose, and tagatose. The lactose monohydrate segment garnered USD 1 billion revenue in 2023.

  • Lactose monohydrate is extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry as a pharmaceutical excipient in tablet and capsule formulations. It serves as a diluent, binder, and filler in solid oral dosage forms, facilitating the uniform distribution of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and improving tablet cohesion and disintegration properties. The increasing demand for oral solid dosage forms, including tablets and capsules, drives the demand for high-quality lactose monohydrate as a pharmaceutical-grade excipient.
  • Furthermore, the trend towards direct compression formulations in tablet manufacturing further drives the demand for lactose monohydrate as a preferred excipient. Direct compression formulations eliminate the need for wet granulation and drying steps, streamlining the manufacturing process and reducing production costs. Lactose monohydrate offers excellent flow properties, compressibility, and blending characteristics, making it suitable for direct compression formulations and enabling faster, more efficient tablet production.
Lactose Market, By Form (2023)

Based on form, the lactose market is segmented into powder, granule, and liquid. The powder segment dominated the market and accounted for over 63% business share in 2023 and is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period.

  • Lactose powder is preferred for direct compression formulations in tablet manufacturing due to its excellent flow properties, compressibility, and compatibility with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Direct compression formulations eliminate the need for wet granulation and drying processes, streamlining the manufacturing process and reducing production costs. Lactose powder enables efficient tableting processes, ensuring uniform tablet weight, hardness, and disintegration characteristics.
  • Moreover, lactose powder offers versatility in formulation design, allowing pharmaceutical manufacturers to develop a wide range of dosage forms with different release profiles and therapeutic applications. It is compatible with various APIs, excipients, and formulation technologies, enabling the development of immediate-release, sustained-release, and controlled-release formulations tailored to patient needs and treatment requirements.

Based on application, the lactose market is segmented into food, feed, pharmaceuticals, and infant formula. The food segment accounted for over 46.7% business share in 2023.

  • Lactose serves as a versatile ingredient in food formulations due to its functional properties, including its ability to enhance texture, flavor, and mouthfeel in a variety of products. It acts as a bulking agent, sweetener, and browning agent, contributing to the sensory attributes and overall quality of food products such as baked goods, confectionery items, and dairy products.
  • Additionally, lactose is a source of energy, carbohydrates, and essential nutrients in nutritional supplements and dietary products. It is used as a base ingredient in powdered protein supplements, meal replacements, and sports nutrition products, providing a convenient and easily digestible source of carbohydrates and calories for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and individuals with increased energy requirements, thereby fostering segment growth in the market.

The lactose market by end-use is categorized into food and beverage industry, pharmaceutical industry, animal feed industry, and other end-users. The food and beverage industry segment accounted for around USD 1.1 billion revenue size in 2023.

  • Lactose is widely used in the production of bakery and confectionery products as a sweetener, bulking agent, and flavor enhancer. It provides sweetness and moisture retention properties to baked goods such as bread, cakes, cookies, and pastries, improving their texture, crumb structure, and shelf life. Lactose also contributes to the taste and texture of confectionery items such as chocolates, candies, and caramel coatings.
  • Additionally, lactose exhibits excellent compatibility and stability in food and beverage formulations, making it suitable for a variety of processing conditions and applications. Its compatibility with other food ingredients and additives allows for formulation flexibility and innovation in product development. Lactose's inert nature and low reactivity ensure product stability and consistency in diverse food systems, including dry mixes, liquid concentrates, and emulsions.


North America Lactose Market, 2020- 2032 (USD Million)

North America lactose market accounted for USD 930.1 million revenue in 2023 and is predicted to witness substantial market growth.

  • North America has a significant consumption of dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. The regions population continued preference for dairy-based foods drives the demand for lactose, which is a natural sugar found in milk. As the consumption of dairy products remains steady or experiences slight growth, the demand for lactose as an ingredient in various dairy formulations also increases.
  • Furthermore, technological advancements in food processing and manufacturing have led to increased utilization of lactose in various food products. Improved processing methods allow for the incorporation of lactose into a wider range of food and beverage applications, including bakery goods, confectionery items, processed foods, and functional beverages. The versatility of lactose as a functional ingredient contributes to its growing use in the North American food industry.

Lactose Market Share

The lactose industry is competitive in nature, with several large multinationals and small and mid-sized companies competing in the industry. The development and launch of novel advanced types based on different technologies is among a key market strategy. Some of the leading industry players including BASF SE, Armor Pharma, Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., MILEI GmbH, among others have a notable presence in the market.

Lactose Market Companies

Some of the eminent market participants operating in the lactose industry include:

  • Armor Pharma
  • Ba'emek Advanced Technologies Ltd.
  • Davisco Foods International, Inc.
  • Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc.
  • Hoogwegt 
  • Kerry Group plc.
  • Lactose India Limited
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • MILEI GmbH

Lactose market research report includes an in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue in USD Million from 2018 to 2032 for the following segments:

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Market, By Type

  • Lactose monohydrate
  • Lactose anhydrous
  • Galactose
  • Lactulose
  • Tagatose

Market, By Form

  • Powder
  • Granule
  • Liquid

Market, By Application

  • Food
  • Feed
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Infant formula

Market, By End-use

  • Food and beverage industry
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Animal feed industry
  • Other end-users

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • UK
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • Australia
    • South Korea
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • UAE
    • Rest of Middle East and Africa


Authors: Mariam Faizullabhoy, Gauri Wani

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

Lactose market size was USD 2.3 billion in 2023 and is estimated to reach over USD 4.5 billion by 2032, attributed to the ongoing advancements in lactose production and increasing consumption of dairy product.

The powder form segment accounted for over 63% of the market share in 2023 and is anticipated to witness significant growth by 2032, due to its excellent flow properties, compressibility, and compatibility with active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

North America lactose market size was USD 930.1 million in 2023, driven by the continued preference for dairy-based foods.

Armor Pharma, Ba'emek Advanced Technologies Ltd., BASF SE, Davisco Foods International, Inc., Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., Hoogwegt, Kerry Group plc., Lactose India Limited, Merck & Co., Inc are some of the major industry contenders.

Lactose Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 10
  • Tables & Figures: 267
  • Countries covered: 22
  • Pages: 120
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