From Field to Table: The Journey of Soybean Processing
Soybean Processing Market was valued at USD 78.95 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 146.13 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 8.00%


Soybeans have been a staple crop in many parts of the world for centuries, providing a vital source of protein and oil for human consumption. However, in recent years, soybeans have also gained significant attention for their role in the processing industry. The processing of soybeans into various products has seen a significant increase, with the demand for soybean-based products rising worldwide. In this guest post, we will explore the evolution of soybean processing, market trends, and factors driving growth, as well as the market scope and size, and country-level analysis.

Soybean has become a highly sought-after crop in modern times due to its significant role as a major food source for both animals and humans. The noteworthy chemical and physical properties of soybean have greatly contributed to its widespread use. The soybean processing industry is experiencing a rapid growth rate of 9 to 10% annually, yet there is still room for expansion in order to meet the nation's protein needs. To address this, the government has incorporated the soybean processing sector into its nutrition programs. This strategy aims to make soybean products easily accessible on local and regional levels, providing a cost-effective solution for meeting the nutritional needs of the masses. Additionally, this initiative is expected to create employment opportunities during the projected period."

Market Definition

Soybean states to a leguminous vegetable crop normally grown in tropical and subtropical climates and measured one of the most valuable crops in the globe. It is an oilseed crop, a good source of protein in the human diet, feed for livestock and as a biofuel and aquaculture. The conventional soybean extraction process contains four steps: preparation, extraction, solvent recovery from miscella and desolventizing or toasting of meal. Modern soybean processing includes large plants with various operations that must be measured.

The Evolution:

The history of soybean processing can be traced back to ancient China, where soy milk and tofu were first produced. However, the modern era of soybean processing began in the 1920s when the soybean oil extraction process was developed. This led to the production of soybean meal, which quickly became a popular feed for livestock. The demand for soybean meal continued to grow, and by the 1950s, soybean processing had become a major industry in the United States.

Over the years, advancements in technology and processing methods have allowed for the production of a wide range of soybean-based products. From soybean oil and meal to soy protein, soy lecithin, and soy-based beverages, the versatility of soybeans has led to a diverse market for soybean processing.

Soybean Processing Market Trends and Factors Driving Growth:

One of the main factors driving the growth of the soybean processing industry is the increasing demand for plant-based protein. With the rise of health-conscious consumers and the growing trend towards vegetarian and vegan diets, the demand for plant-based protein sources has skyrocketed. Soybeans are considered a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, making them a popular choice for those looking to incorporate more plant-based protein into their diets.

Furthermore, the increasing awareness of the health benefits of soy products, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and improving bone health, has also contributed to the growth of the soybean processing market. Additionally, soybeans are also a sustainable crop, requiring less water and land compared to other protein sources, making them a more environmentally friendly option.

Soybean Processing Market Scope and Size:

The market for soybean processing is not limited to just food and feed products. Soybeans are also used in various industrial applications, such as biodiesel production, adhesives, and plastics. This has further expanded the market scope for soybean processing, making it a multi-billion dollar industry.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global soybean processing market size was valued at USD 341.0 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 506.0 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2021 to 2028. The Asia Pacific region dominates the market, accounting for the largest share due to the high consumption of soybean-based products in countries like China, India, and Japan.

Country Level Analysis:

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of soybeans, with the majority of its production used for domestic consumption. The country's growing population and increasing demand for protein have led to a significant increase in soybean processing in recent years. In addition, the Chinese government's support for soybean production and processing through policies and subsidies has also contributed to the industry's growth.

In the United States, soybean processing is a major industry, with the country being the world's second-largest producer and exporter of soybeans. The demand for soybean-based products, both domestically and internationally, has led to continuous growth in the industry. The U.S. is also a leader in soybean research and development, constantly working on improving processing methods and creating new soy-based products.

In South America, Brazil and Argentina are the top producers and exporters of soybeans. The two countries have seen a significant increase in soybean processing, with the majority of their production used for animal feed and biofuels. The growing demand for soybean-based products and their favorable climate for soybean production make them key players in the global soybean processing market.

India is home to a wide range of soy food processing equipment, catering to the needs of the industry. The process of soy food production is a captivating one, with skilled professionals from esteemed institutions such as IIM and IIT at the forefront. The country boasts over 2,000 soy food companies operating on different scales, fulfilling the demand for soy-based products at both regional and local levels. These companies are constantly producing high volumes of popular soy products like tofu and soymilk on a daily basis. To enhance their production capabilities, these companies are investing in quality equipment and seeking technical expertise from other countries. Many of these manufacturers attend international food expos, such as the Anuga food show in Germany and Gulf food in Dubai, and visit countries like Southeast Asia and the United States to participate in factory visits, short-term courses, and training programs related to soy food processing. These acquired techniques and knowledge are then applied in their production processes to further develop and expand their businesses.


Soybean processing has come a long way since its humble beginnings in ancient China. With the increasing demand for plant-based protein and the numerous health benefits of soy products, the soybean processing industry is expected to continue its growth trajectory. The market scope and size are vast, with various factors driving its growth, such as sustainability and the expanding applications of soybeans in different industries. As such, the future looks bright for soybean processing, with more innovations and advancements on the horizon.

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