Agist society brings boom in vitamins, herbals

Related tags Vitamin Coenzyme q10

Vitamin and herbal producers will see surging demand from
anti-aging products, as US consumers demonstrate an increasing
desire to slow the effects of aging, reveals a new report.

Vitamin and herbal producers will see surging demand from anti-aging products, as US consumers demonstrate an increasing desire to slow the effects of aging, reveals a new report.

Demand for anti-aging products is expected to increase more than 11 per cent each year to $29 billion in 2007, according to a new report, and herbals, antioxidants and cosmeceuticals are expected to satisfy a large part of these sales.

Vitamins and antioxidants alone are expected to generate $390 million in 2007 from anti-aging formulations, growing 7.6 per cent annually, finds the Freedonia Group's new report, Anti-Aging Products​.

Vitamins and antioxidants are becoming widely accepted as anti-aging nutrients, and both cost advantages and development of improved products and delivery systems will also support demand.

But growth will be stunted by professional opinions and conflicting clinical results that raise doubts about the actual health and appearance benefits of many compounds, notes the report. And in cosmeceutical applications, increasing competition from multifunctional natural compounds, complex formulation requirements and threats of adverse reactions will restrict advances.

Vitamin E will remain the top-selling antioxidant, predicts Freedonia, through its use in both dietary supplements and anti-aging cosmeceuticals and supported by widespread perceptions of multiple anti-aging advantages. However, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is expected to see the fastest gains based on widening uses in age-defying cosmeceuticals and in dietary supplements.

Herbal extracts are also to see strong growth - 11.1 per cent annually - to $300 million in 2007. Consumers are increasingly proactive about their health as they pass through middle and old age, and a heightened awareness of a variety of herbal extracts (plus a full pipeline of innovative plant-derived chemicals) is expected to spur robust gains, details the report.

However, because prices for botanical extracts are generallymuch higher than for their synthetic counterparts, most have traditionally been used in minor concentrations, particularly in rejuvenating skincare lotions, where they often serve primarily a marketing rather than a functional purpose.

Nevertheless, overall growth is expected to slow only slightly from theheady growth of the prior decade, with steady gains projected for herbal andrelated extracts with clinically supported anti-aging benefits and proven safety.

Growth prospects for individual herbal extracts will vary greatly, however, depending on changing trends. Surges in trend-related demand are often followed by oversaturation of the market with too many products touting similar benefits. Demand for one ingredient falls as another becomes the latest trendy botanical.

The supply of herbal extracts also suffer from ill-defined methods of extraction, and variations in color, odor and other performance properties are significant. Whileadvances in biotechnology are expected to make available a range of enrichedbotanical extracts of superior purity and functionality, future labeling policiesregarding genetically modified materials may have a major impact on productpreferences, suggests Freedonia.

And although strong products can stand alone using single herbs, combinationherbal products which are able to take advantage of synergism among different herbs and other chemicals are expected to record faster gains. Also, multi-ingredient formulations reduce the number of individual pills required by an individual - an important advantage since people have a harder time swallowing a large number of pills as they age.

Traditionally, small-to-medium-sized chemicals companies, such asIndena, AM Todd and Triarco, and distributors affiliated with offshoreproducers have been the leading suppliers of herbal extracts to the US market. But larger chemicals companies, attracted by the potential growth forthese plant-derived chemicals, are increasing their market presence, adds the report. Last year Cognis entered the market with the acquisition of Spanish botanical extract firm Laboratorios Dr. Vinyals, reintroducing a number of the herbal extracts under a line specifically developed for various anti-aging cosmeceutical formulations.

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