Health concerns fuel anti-aging market

Related tags Gerontology Senescence

Staying young is more about health and less about looks, according
to a new market report which indicates that Americans spend more
than eight times as much on formulated anti-aging products for
health maintenance as they do on products to ward off the outward
signs of aging, report Jess Halliday and Simon Pitman.

The report from Freedonia Group​ entitled Anti-Aging Products​ sets the 2004 market for health maintenance products at $18 billion in 2004, compared with just $2 billion for appearance products. The overall anti-aging market is set to grow by 8.7 per cent a year over the next five years, reaching a total value of $30.7 billion by 2009, compared to an estimated value of $20.2 billion in 2004.

But although health maintenance products are expected to increase by 13.6 percent, appearance products are slated for 17.6 percent growth, with the highest increase, of 19.8 percent, in the skin care subcategory.

The aging baby-boomer generation is now contributing to a 2.5 per cent annual increase in the size of the over 50s population in the US, and the over 50s age group is rapidly changing its attitudes towards aging, which is directly affecting consumer habits, too.

"These individuals, who belong to one of the most affluent generations, are willing and able to pay for products that provide anti-aging benefits,"​ the report abstract says.

In the health maintenance segment, the biggest gains are expected in products for memory improvement, vision care and prostate care, and astute direct-to-consumer marketing will give the growth-rate a further boost. Eye health has become an area of increasing interest for aging Americans as studies have shown that carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin can help prevent the onset of the progressive eye disease age related macular degeneration.Both specialist eye care supplement makers such as Bausch and Lomb and mainstream multivitamin manufacturers like Wyeth Healthcare are now including lutein in their formulations.

Diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia is also on the increase, and is expected to affect ten million men by 2009. According to Freedonia, men are showing a greater willingness to be proactive about maintaining good health.In memory improvement, the report predicts that advances will be impeded by the inability of currently available supplements and pharmaceuticals to reverse function that has already been lost. Currently the market for cosmeceuticals (oral products for appearance)makes a very small dent in the overall market for anti-aging products, but with consumers becoming increasingly interested in natural solutions, this segment is also expected to show significant growth.

Euromonitor​ puts world growth rates at around 20 to 30 per cent, but stresses the fact that this is from a base that is tiny, compared to the rest of the market. The market for cosmeceuticals in the US is currently valued at €710 million.

Inside Beauty​, the first cosmeceuticals trade show, will take place in new York this September as part of Health and Beauty America.

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