Enzyme demand in the United States is forecast to increase 3.0% per year to $2.2 billion in 2019. Healthcare reform and efforts to combat rising healthcare costs will lead to changes in the medical and pharmaceutical industries that in turn will result in strong gains in enzymes used in the research and biotechnology, in vitro diagnostics, and biocatalyst markets. In more mature industrial markets, efforts to reduce energy and water use will continue to have a positive impact on enzyme demand. These and other trends are presented in Enzymes, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Strong growth in research and biotechnology enzyme demand will result from pharmaceutical companies looking to improve production processes by using biocatalysts and investing in the development of new biopharmaceuticals. According to analyst Christine O’Keefe, “Increased diagnostic testing and genome sequencing in support of a personalized medicine approach, along with greater testing due to more insured people undergoing routine medical care and the generally increased medical care required by an aging population, will further drive enzyme demand.”

An increasing focus on sustainability by many companies will continue to support enzyme demand in otherwise mature industries such as food and beverage processing and pulp and paper production. Sustainability and personal environmental impact are becoming increasingly important to consumers as well. The growing popularity of high efficiency washing machines and the increasing use of cold water washes will require laundry detergents formulated with more expensive enzymes. Consumers are more frequently looking for foods with “clean labels,” that is, those that do not have chemical additives, benefiting enzymes that can replace these chemicals in food processing. While the biofuels market was the primary driver of increases in US enzyme demand between 2004 and 2014, growth going forward will be limited, restrained by conflicting government policies, reluctance by vehicle manufacturers to incorporate higher levels of bioethanol into the gasoline supply, and changing consumer driving habits and attitudes toward biofuels.