Anti-aging food and beverage still small but growing

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition

The anti-aging food and beverage market worldwide remains small and fragmented, but new product activity suggests growth continues to speed up, a Leatherhead report says.

In 2010 the market researcher estimated the global market to be worth $2.1bn, up from a figure of around $1.7bn in 2006, representing a market increase of 24 percent over the four year period.

Highlighting the fragmentation of the market and its different evolution in the US, Asian and European markets, the report points to the fact that in the US market anti-aging supplements continue to overlap with the beauty supplements industry.

UK-based Leatherhead Food Research stresses that the product launch activity indicates that consumers continue to display an interest in food and drinks that counter-act both the physical and mental signs of aging.

Beauty leads the way in anti-aging claims

Although some of the more important launches in this category are aimed at cognitive function, bone health and eyesight, for the most part the launches are aimed at the beauty segment, targeting nails, hair and skin.

The report highlights how most product launches have emerged within the soft drinks category, especially for beverages such as bottled waters and ready-to-drink tea.

In 2010 global sales of ready-to-drink beverages offering some form of beauty claim totaled 144 million liters in volume terms, a figure that has risen by an estimated 30 percent since 2006, giving a market value of approximately $1.55bn in 2010 – accounting for approximately three quarters of the total anti-aging market value.

Scrambling for beauty drinks

These drinks typically incorporate functional health ingredients such as aloe vera and collagen, as well as fruit juices that give a combination of vitamins, as well as being rich in anti-oxidants.

More recent product launches have expanded out of the beverage segment, into more diverse categories, such as confectionary – particularly chocolate – and dairy products such as yoghurt.

However, the launch of Danone’s Essensis yoghurt brand in 2007, which was marketed on the strength of its benefits to skin was not a success and was later withdrawn from the market.

Beauty and health claims prove a pain

The report also highlights the fact that health claims for beauty from within products have continued to prove problematic for the industry, which is something that has proved to be a particular hurdle for companies marketing products in Europe.

In May of last year, L’Oreal-Nestle brand Laboratoires Innéov had a submission linking its proprietary blend with improved skin health turned down by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claims panel.

The objections in the proprietary science dossier for Innéov included reference to 29 scientific publications, of which EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) said all but three were irrelevant to the proposed claim.

Many were deemed to be of no scientific importance to the claim in question because the trials were conducted on individual components of the Innéov blend, and not the whole blend which contained blackcurrant seed oil, fish oil, lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin E.

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