Anti-aging skin care looks set to boost vitamin E sales

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Marketing Antioxidant

A new report says that the market for the supply of vitamin E is in
turmoil as consumers become confused by conflicting media messages,
but despite this the cosmetics and toiletries industry is likely to
fuel future growth as it is increasingly incorporated into a range
of skin care products.

The report outlines that as vitamin E manufacturers consolidate their operations and make the most of less expensive production methods, prices are likely to fall but that demand will vary according to industry sector.

Market data contained in the Frost & Sullivan report reveals that the US vitamin E market earned revenues of $209.6m in 2005 and is estimated to reach $260.8m by 2012.

But evidently the picture is likely to be a mixed one for the industry, as demand is hit by different perceptions of the vitamin's benefits.

In the supplements sector Vitamin E is marketed on the strength of its powerful antioxidant properties and its known benefits to both skin and hair, positioning it for both well-being and beauty purposes.

However, Cognis Nutrition and Health, one of the leading suppliers of vitamin E in the US recently reported a decrease in demand for its natural vitamin E products of 40 per cent, which led to a drop in revenues of 18 per cent in 2005.

"With the decreased demand for vitamin E in human supplement applications, there is a surplus of supply over demand thought to drive down the market price per pound,"​ said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jennifer Steinke.

The report suggests that this problem has arisen due to low consumer understanding that means the increased interest in vitamin E supplements is likely to be limited.

The paradox is that as consumers become more aware of the health benefits of food ingredients, in turn they lack an overall understanding due to a deluge of information on the subject that is not always positive.

"Low consumer understanding of the health benefits of vitamin Esupplementation impedes market growth,"​ explained Steinke. "Thus, the market for vitamin E in supplements is not expected to return to normal until consumer understanding increases."

To tackle this problem, the report suggests that marketers of vitamin E supplements should aggressively undertake marketing strategies that counter-attack negative aspects associated with the vitamin and stress its attributes.

Demand for vitamin E is being driven by the feed market - for 70 per cent of global supply goes to animal nutrition - but also by new research supporting its use in cosmetic applications, with growth in these areas expected to be sustained for the next five years.

For cosmetics applications vitamin E oil is known to help maintain general skin healing and condition and can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Equally, taking it as a supplement is said to promote shinier hair as well as promoting general skin health.

But where it has proved to be particularly popular is in its application for the skin care segment. Because of vitamin E's antioxidant qualities and its ability to smooth out fine lines, it has proved an increasingly popular ingredient for products aimed at the booming anti-aging market.

Considering this trend, its seems that supplement manufacturers might gain a larger market share if they were to market vitamin E supplements on the strength of beauty and well-being properties in an effort to muscle in on some of the growth being experienced in the cosmetics and toiletries sector.

The Frost & Sullivan report, entitled US Vitamin E Markets, provides an overview and outlook for the market for vitamin E in animal feed, food and beverages, cosmetics and supplements.

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