The Largest Consumable Markets for Lab Instruments

Consumables currently comprise a little less than one-third of the total market for laboratory instruments, and their market share will grow to a little more than one-third in just a few years. One thing to keep in mind about this gain, however, is that about half the market for these consumables is being driven by only four technologies: HPLC, sequencers, nucleic acid extraction and purification platforms, and PCR.

Consumable Market Share by Technology

Consumable Market Share by Technology Pie Chart

HPLC is one of the most ubiquitous advanced forms of analytical techniques in laboratories, whether used for analytical or preparative purposes. In fact, more laboratories around the world use one than don’t. The consumables market for HPLC is quite large, as end users routinely have to replenish mobile phase solvents and replace their columns. GCs follow a similar pattern actually, except its users are replenishing gases instead of solvents and the market is less than a third the size of HPLC.

Sequencers are used to determine the order of nucleotides in a genetic sample, a technology which has revolutionized life science research phenomenally over the past decade, providing a practical means of expanding beyond traditional genomic and molecular biology applications into areas such as personalized medicine and environmental monitoring. The size of the market for kits and reagents used to support this technology dwarfs the size of the instrument market by itself. In fact, the size of the consumable market for sequencing nearly doubles in size if the consumables used for nucleic acid sample preparation is considered part of it.

PCR (for research use only) is an indispensable tool in all laboratories that work with DNA, a technique that allows millions of copies of DNA segments from only a single template. In fact, the growth of PCR is in part driven by the expanding use of sequencing, as the technique is required for most NGS library prep workflows. The market for PCR is dominated by consumables of course, as it requires kits with enzymes, dNTPs, master mixes, and other reagents. Other life science techniques also have a sizable market for consumables, including flow cytometry, microarrays, transfection, and electrophoresis.

This year, SDi has devoted much of its resources to assessing the current market for laboratory consumables, whether they are used to support instrumentation or as standalone analysis and sample prep tools. With our data backed by careful research from primary and secondary sources, we will soon be releasing the first annual Global Laboratory Consumables Report 2020. This publication takes a dive into the market landscape for a variety of chromatography and life science consumables, offering market segmentation and five-year forecasts for products like HPLC columns & supplies, NGS library prep, NA prep consumables, PCR reagents, antibodies, oligonucleotides, chromatography resins, and many more.