Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA.com after the recent announcement that leading CoQ10 supplier Asahi will exit the market by the end of this year due to unprofitability, Euromonitor’s Daniel Latev said he believes the category still has “huge potential”.
CoQ10 – or coenzyme Q10 – has soared in popularity in recent years on the back of growing awareness of its role in cognitive health, heart health and anti-ageing. The rapid expansion in demand led to a tight supply situation several years ago, which cascaded into massive price volatility followed by increased production.
The entry of Chinese manufacturers into the picture tipped the scale towards overcapacity, which last month prompted Asahi – originally one of the leading four Japanese suppliers dominating the global CoQ10 market – to announce it was abandoning the category.
However, this move is neither expected to impact pricing for the ingredient, nor is it a forecast of dismal times to come, according to industry experts.
Latev, who is OTC healthcare manager at Euromonitor, suggested growth for CoQ10 will likely be driven by its expansion into less established markets.
“I am expecting that overall as a dietary supplement Q10 has good prospects as there is still huge potential for development outside of US and Japan,” said Latev, highlighting that Belgium recently approved the sale of CoQ10.
Overall, the CoQ10 market accounts for just over 1 percent of the global vitamin and supplements market, according to Euromonitor. Currently, Japan and the US make up around 85 percent of the global market for the ingredient.
Beyond its use in supplements, CoQ10 has also been used in beauty foods sold in Japan, although the category has not yet met the same success in the west.
The ingredient is also used extensively in cosmetics products, particularly in anti-aging creams. According to Latev, CoQ10 is now starting to move out of the “cutting edge and very innovative” realm in cosmetics, and into the mainstream.
Moving forward, Latev suggested that growth lies in expansion away from the beauty category:
“Further to expanded geographical positioning some of the benefits of the product have not been explored extensively - apart from its use as a beauty supplement its benefit for heart health or anti-aging can be further explored either as single ingredient or in combination with other products,” he said.
Last year, the global market for CoQ10 increased by 9 percent, said Euromonitor, after rebounding from the sales slump several years ago. The global market for CoQ10 was valued at $835m in 2008, compared to $380m in 2003.
When broken down into geographical regions, North America holds the largest slice of the market, valued at $459m in 2008. This is followed by Asia Pacific at $287m, Western Europe at $48m and Eastern Europe at $30m.
Chinese CoQ10 supplier ZMC estimates that world demand for the ingredient is at 225MT. ZMC itself says it has a capacity of 120MT.
“The exit of Asahi from the market is not likely to have any impact on CoQ10 pricing as supplies remain abundant from other suppliers,” said Sander Krupski, national sales manager at ZMC-USA.