Momentum is a hard thing to acquire in the nutraceutical business, but once you have it, it seems to feed on itself. So it seems with krill oil, which is now the second-best selling form of omega-3s for supplements after fish oil, according to krill supplier Aker BioMarine.
“In the mass market krill oil is now 14% of total omega-3 sales,” Rebecca Wright, Aker BioMarine Antarctic's communications and marketing director, told NutraIngredients-USA. “According to SPINS, the order is now fish, krill oil and flax.
“Obviously fish oil is the large majority. After krill and flax are the algal oils and some of the other specialty oils like chia,” she said.
Market sans one major player
The increase in krill oil sales has come at a time when one of the major players, Neptune Technologies and Bioressources, has been hamstrung by the destruction of its production facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec. While it is unclear how much krill oil Neptune has been able to secure in the open market to fulfill its existing contracts, it is clear that Neptune has not been in a position to increase its output, which it was planning to do in the weeks before the explosion and fire at the plant in November, 2012. So the big increase in krill oil sales can be attributed to other players in the market.
Wright said she had no comment on Neptune’s current participation in the market, but did say, “our activities have not been hampered with any of the recent market fluctuations. We have only been growing and getting stronger in the market.”
Aker also has the benefit of supplying the raw material for the best selling omega 3 sku in the US market, Schiff’s MegaRed brand, which is now part of Reckitt Benckiser.
“The other part of it with Reckitt being such a big player, that makes a strong partnership,” Wright said. “I think they have got some very big plans for krill.”
Aker recently beefed up its science team with eight new hires at its headquarters in Oslo, Norway. The additional manpower will help the company accelerate some of its development goals, Wright said.
“One of our initiatives is to get some of these additional commercial developments off the ground. We are working toward a food application,” she said.