The market for surfactants is set to grow 3.2% annually to reach a value of $14.4bn by the year 2018, according to the latest study by Freedonia Group, entitled Surfactants.
Although a lot of this growth is expected to be led by industrial sectors, annual growth has continued to be fed by steady demand from the personal care market, which is expected to continue into the mid- to long-term.
Demand for personal care surfactants set to accelerate
In the period 2008 – 2013 demand for personal care surfactants grew at an annual rate of 1.8% to reach a total value of $1.07bn, up from $980m in 2008.
In the period 2013 to 2018, growth in demand for surfactants from the US personal care industry is expected to accelerate, in line with a stronger economy and increased spending power, to reach a value of $1.22bn.
Signs of that recovery in the US personal care industry have already been recorded in the past year, giving credence to Freedonia's forecast that the market should grow at an average yearly rate of 2.7%.
Higher performance and naturally-derived surfactants
In particular, a shift towards higher performance surfactants, with additional formulations, is helping to drive growth in the value of the market, which is mirrored by the trend towards increasingly complex personal care formulations.
The report highlights that the growth is being driven by demand for surfactants that are gentle on the skin and hair, while also be environmentally sustainable, an area that should offer significant opportunities for suppliers.
Surfactants such as amphoterics, silicone, and certain types of nonionics will benefit the most from this particular trend, the Freedonia experts state.
Likewise, the personal care market will also see an expanded use of naturally derived biosurfactants that will be increasingly incorporated into the formulation of products that are marketed as ‘natural’.