US leads in lycopene launches

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

The United States continues to be the most dynamic market for lycopene products, demonstrating a steady stream of activity over the past five years, according to product launch statistics.

Since 2003, there have been 143 new lycopene-containing products launched in the US, which remains leagues ahead of the next most active market – Canada – where 32 new products were launched in the period.

The figures, released to by market researcher Mintel, reveal a steady – but not always increasing – uptake of the tomato-derived ingredient in the United States, compared to a mere trickle of new products launched in other markets around the world.


Lycopene is an antioxidant that is present in red- and pink-coloured fruits and vegetables. It has been shown to have heart, blood pressure, prostate, osteoporosis, skin and other benefits in both natural and synthetic forms.

As well as being used as a food coloring, it has also used for its functional properties in food supplements and some food and beverage products, particularly those targeting the ‘beauty-from-within’ market.

Global launches

Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) tracked a total of 418 global lycopene product launches between 2003 and 2009 to date. This figure spans all categories, including foods, supplements and cosmetics.

After the US and Canada, the markets with the highest number of product launches were Japan and Brazil, although these recorded only 20 new products each over the period. France and Argentina recorded 19 new products each, while Taiwan notched 17 and Vietnam 12. The UK and the Netherlands were the last two countries to make Mintel’s list, launching 11 and 10 new products over the period respectively.

Overall, global launches increased from 17 in 2003 to 83 in 2009.

Product categories

In terms of product categories, supplements were the most popular category, recording 177 new global product launches since 2003. Skincare came next, with 81 new launches in the period. Color cosmetics were the next most popular category, recording 51 launches.

In comparison to the cosmetics and nutraceutical applications, foods and beverages lagged some way behind, indicating that the market is still hesitant despite the ingredient’s Novel Foods approval in Europe and GRAS in the US.

Out of the food and beverage applications, non-alcoholic drinks were the most popular, but still only recorded 20 new launches since 2003. The combined bakery, breakfast cereals and snacks categories recorded 17 new products. There were seven products in the processed meat, fish and egg category, and a further seven in the dairy category.

The chocolate and confectionery categories combined recorded six new products, sauces and seasonings recorded five, and desserts and ice cream also recorded five.

Source: Mintel’s GNPD

Related topics Formulation & Science