The findings come in a new report from the Kline Group, entitled: Specialty Actives in Personal Care 2011: US Market Analysis and Opportunities, which provides detailed information about this fast growing and increasingly crucial aspect of formulation.
According to the report findings, the market for specialty actives in the US reached an estimated value of $240m in 2010, and is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 3.8 percent between the years 2010 to 2015.
BASF leads the way in specialty actives
Although the market remains fragmented, the Kline report points out that each category of the actives market is dominated by a different player, although BASF is the clear market leader, a position that was boosted with the acquisition of Congnis and Laboratoires Sérobiologiques, last year.
Personal care media campaigns that detail the science behind active ingredients and the efficacy they bring to formulations is pinpointed as being the main reason behind the heightened awareness amongst US consumers, the report says.
“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,” said Anna Ibbotson, industry manager at Chemicals & Materials practice at Kline.
Demanding consumers fuel growth
“Consumers want to see results, and this is reflected in the trend towards more effective finished personal care products,” Ibbotson added.
Ibbotson also points out the fact that this rising consumer awareness is also affecting perceptions of natural-based products. Specifically she points out that, whereas once it was good enough just to have botanical extracts in the formulation, now consumers also want to know about efficacy and functionality.
Kline estimates that botanicals currently account for around 38 percent of the total market share for specialty actives, and continued interest in natural concepts is likely to be a major source of growth for the category.
Combining efficacy with natural ingredients
Highlighting this factor, the Kline report points out the fact that combining efficacy with natural-based ingredients is one of the leading trends in the specialty actives ingredients arena.
The other key trend is the distinction of the product by using a unique characteristics to give the product market- or category-leading claims for functionality and efficacy.
While the fastest growing category is biotechnology actives, which are expected to grow at a rate of 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2015, the most important product category remains anti-aging, specifically for anti-wrinkle, firming and moisturizing products.