Innovation is key in Indian active ingredients market

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Active ingredients Cosmetics Consumer

For active ingredients companies that can offer novel products and easier formulations, the Indian personal care market is a ‘fertile breeding ground’, according to analysts at Frost & Sullivan.

Its most recent research, Strategic analysis of the Indian personal care active ingredients market,​ showed that in 2008, the market recorded revenues of $190 million, a figure which is predicted to reach $329.8 million in 2014.

Natasha Telles, senior research analyst of chemicals, materials and food at Frost & Sullivan said that the market is characterized by a high degree of innovation and large R&D investments, and as a result, there is a constant search for new and better modes of cosmetic delivery.

Growth in development of multifunctional polymers

According to Telles, a major growth area in this sector is the development of multifunctional polymers.

“Indian cosmetics companies are looking to reduce their cost structures by introducing multifunctional polymer ingredients that can cover more than one performance target,” ​she told CosmeticsDesign.

For example, surfactants, in addition to cleansing, need to be able to provide a richer lather and improve the sensory nature of the product, she explained. Similarly, rheology modifiers are no longer used solely as a thickening agent in personal care formulations; but also offer enhanced appearance, such as improved pouring properties.

In 2008, Dow Corning developed upon traditional silicone technology to introduce a silicon elastomer. The new ingredient delivers a different skin feel due to its ability to absorb oil and sebum, thus offering a complete sensory experience. In addition, its spherical structure makes handling and formulations easier.

Manufacturers need to distinguish their products

Rising consumer awareness and increasing ease of application of active ingredients have spurred market growth, yet manufacturers need to take steps to further communicate the benefits of their products in order to differentiate them, said Frost & Sullivan.

“Showing superior ingredient backing through academic research and clinical trials would result in consumers developing ingredient as well as supplier loyalty, enabling participants to distinguish their products,” ​suggested Telles.

Recognized Indian actives trump exotic alternatives

According to Frost & Sullivan, once manufacturers realize consumers are likely to prefer recognized Indian actives such as turmeric rather than exotic alternatives, they can significantly increase their consumer base and thus market share.

In terms of herbal ingredients and bio-based products, India has traditionally been a highly educated market. In addition, bio-based products are cheaper in India than their synthetic alternatives, thus “it is an easy choice for Indian consumers to choose the local and more economical bio-based products,” ​said Telles.

Related topics Market Trends

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