Growing understanding of actives drives product development

Published: 7-Sep-2011

US C&T speciality actives market expects 3.8% growth to 2015

Increased consumer understanding of active ingredients in personal care products in the US, driven by extensive media coverage, is pressurising active ingredients manufacturers to produce innovative products, according to research company Kline. The result is a speciality actives market in the US worth nearly $240m in 2010 and expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 3.8% from 2010 to 2015.

"The increasing average age of a US citizen and desire to look younger has raised consumer expectations for efficacy of active ingredients resulting in functionality becoming increasingly important," comments Anna Ibbotson, industry manager at chemicals & materials practice at Kline. "Consumers want to see results, and this is reflected in the trend towards more effective finished personal care products."

She adds that, for example: "In the natural products arena, the presence of plant-based ingredients in the formulation used to be enough to encourage personal care consumers to purchase the products. However, consumer awareness concerning product activity has increased, and the product's function and efficacy are regarded at least as important as the active ingredient source."

But as the demand for natural concepts continues, this is expected to sustain growth in botanicals, currently estimated as the largest speciality actives category with a 38% market share. Meanwhile the fastest growing category is biotechnology products with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 4.5% from 2010 to 2015.

In terms of functionality, the largest and fastest growing group is anti-ageing, including anti-wrinkle, firming, moisturising, skin radiance, or age spots This is said to account for 56% of the market in 2010.

While the speciality actives market is fairly fragmented, Kline says recent mergers and acquisitions are creating a more structured industry, with each category of speciality actives dominated by a different group of companies. BASF, with its own active ingredients division BASF Beauty Care Solutions and its most recent acquisition of Cognis and Laboratoires Serobiologiques, has established itself as the market leader, says Kline.

According to the researcher: “Competition in the market is centred around two key factors – combining efficacy with the natural trend, and distinction of the product due to a unique characteristic, such as patented molecules like ascorbic acid 2-glucoside (AA2G) or a unique extraction process.

Kline's report, Specialty Actives in Personal Care 2011: Multi-Regional Market Analysis and Opportunities, covering Europe and the US, suggests opportunities exist in these markets, given steady growth projections and the current diversity in supplier specialty.

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