CoQ10 supplements soar, drinks lag behind, Mintel US data

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

The US supplement market has seen a surge of new Co-enzyme Q10 products launched this year, amounting to over three times the number of products launched in the antioxidant’s mother market of Japan.

The latest market statistics, supplied to NutraIngredients-USA.com from Mintel, tracked CoQ10 supplement launches in 14 countries around the world in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe.

Although supplement launches have shot up in the United States, launches of food and drink products containing CoQ10 have dwindled behind, indicating a market still struggling to embrace the ingredient.

Benefits

A powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy in mitochondria - the 'power plants' of the cell - by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body's co-called 'energy currency'.

It has been studied for its role in cognitive health, heart health, and anti-ageing (in oral and topical formulations).

Product launches

According to the latest figures from Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), there have been 241 new CoQ10 dietary supplement products launched in the US in 2010 to date.

This compares to 72 product launches tracked by Mintel in Japan, 27 in Canada, 19 in Taiwan and 15 in the UK.

When it comes to food and drink products formulated with the ingredient, Mintel has tracked only 12 new launches in the US so far this year, compared to 60 in Japan.

Market share

In the US, CoQ10 was first used in supplements in the 1980s, and as awareness of the ingredient increases so too are the number of consumers actively seeking out CoQ10 supplements. Estimates suggest that around six million consumers in the US are supplementing an average of 82mg CoQ10 daily.

Data from the market research firm IRI also points to a surge in demand, revealing that CoQ10 as an ingredient saw a 19 percent increase in dollar sales volume at retail level in the US, and a 9 percent increase in unit sales in 2007.

More recent figures from Euromonitor reveal that last year the US accounted for over half of global sales of CoQ10 – 56 percent, compared to Japan’s 31 percent of global sales. The market researcher also singles out Norway, Russia and South Korea, each of which held a 2 percent share of global sales for the ingredient last year.

“Russia is the fastest growing market for CoQ10 dietary supplements, but the US is by far the largest and most promising market,”​ wrote Euromonitor in a fact sheet on Beauty from Within.

Chemistry of CoQ10

CoQ10 has properties similar to vitamins, but since it is naturally synthesized in the body it is not classed as such. With chemical structure 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-6-decaprenyl-1,4-benzoquinone, it is also known as ubiquinone because of its 'ubiquitous' distribution throughout the human body.

The coenzyme is concentrated in the mitochondria - the 'power plants' of the cell - and plays a vital role in the production of chemical energy by participating in the production of adenosince triphosphate (ATP), the body's co-called 'energy currency'.

A role beyond the mitochondria is also acknowledged, with CoQ10 acting as a potent antioxidant. The coenzyme plays an important role in preserving levels of vitamin E and vitamin C.

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