World demand for food safety products — including disinfection and diagnostic products, smart labels and tags, and software and tracking systems — is projected to rise 8.1 percent per year to $13.6 billion in 2014, according to a report by the Freedonia Group. Freedonia predicts advances will be stimulated by gains in food and beverage processing activity and increasingly strict food safety regulations worldwide, especially following several recent high-profile cases of food contamination. Some of the best opportunities for food safety products are expected in the Asia/Pacific region, which will account for two-fifths of aggregate market value gains between 2009 and 2014.

While the United States is by far the world’s biggest national user of food safety products (accounting for 23 percent of total demand in 2009), the most rapid advances will occur in developing regions, according to Freedonia. Gains in Asia, the Africa/Mideast region, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America will all outpace the global average. Industrialization trends and increases in living standards will fuel demand for food safety products in these regions. China will continue to see some of the fastest demand growth, due to mounting pressure on the part of consumers, producers and regulators to ensure the safety of the food supply.

Disinfection products will continue to account for the bulk of food safety product demand worldwide. While demand for disinfectants is relatively mature, the rising number of reported foodborne outbreaks and food product recalls will support sales going forward. Food safety diagnostic product demand will be boosted by trends toward the use of rapid diagnostic tests, which are more expensive than their conventional counterparts. Increases in food safety inspections by government agencies — especially in developed countries and in countries with large, export-oriented food industries, such as China — will also boost demand for diagnostic products as a matter of course. Demand for smart labels and tags, software and tracking systems in food safety applications will see fast advances, albeit from small bases. These products are important in ensuring food product traceability.