Solazyme’s expansion shows consumer appetite still strong for microalgae

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Solazyme’s expansion shows consumer appetite still strong for microalgae

Related tags: Personal care market, Cosmetics, Algenist

With naturals still grabbing the industry’s focus, Solazyme is looking to further expand distribution of its microalgae brand, Algenist, in the US, via a partnership with Nordstorm. 

The Health Sciences business targets the global skin and personal care market, estimated at $323 billion, in developing microalgae-derived skin care products, and has also previously signed distribution deals with Sephora International, Sephora USA, and QVC.

Algae is increasingly popular in cosmetics for a wide variety of applications, from hair care to skin care and in most sub categories. Algae-based ingredients are processed into forms such as algal flakes, oils, powders and flours.

Since the initial launch of the brand in 2011, Algenist has grown quickly in the U.S. and is now available in 15 countries worldwide throughout over 1,400 retail locations, representative of the strong and increasing consumer demand for algae-based products.


Although the raw material is becoming a hot resource for the cosmetics industry when looking for more sustainable and 'natural' ingredients, the area still comes with its own challenges when it comes to sourcing and cultivating.

Responding to this, researchers at the University of Alicante recently patented a device that cultivates microalgae more efficiently; a technology that its lead scientist says will be of great value to the cosmetics industry as algae based formulations become more of a trend.

Antonio Marcilla, who heads up the research group in polymer processing and pyrolysis at UOA, explained the technology to 

The subject on the cultivation of microalgae is having a major boom in terms of research in the last fifteen years. This technology aims to overcome any difficulties or problems that have been presented over the years with the use of other similar cropping systems​,” he said.

Luxury offering

The move to launch within Nordstorm’s ‘Advanced Skincare’ product range heralds a push within the luxury segment for the Solazyme brand, signalling that naturals have become a key focus right across the industry, from masstige to more premium offerings.

Their selection of luxury and high quality brands, coupled with their top-notch service, is unmatched in the industry, making Nordstrom the ideal place to experience a brand like Algenist​," stated Frederic Stoeckel, SVP & General Manager of Algenist.

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