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According to Kline & Company’s study "Specialty Actives and Active Delivery Systems for Personal Care 2008: U.S. and Europe," botanicals consumption is growing at 8%, outstripping growth of other specialty actives with average growth of 5.4%. The increased use of botanicals is one of the major changes in the cosmetics and toiletries industry in recent history.
The market for specialty actives and delivery systems in North America and Europe is approximately $840 million, with specialty actives in the European market accounting for the lion's share of the market. Botanical actives are growing in share within the specialty actives segment in both the European and U.S. markets. “Labeled” actives are showing extremely quick growth, upwards of 20% per year.
A variety of plant extracts have been known for many years to confer therapeutic effects on the skin, building grounds for further development. “Today’s consumer wants not only natural products, but also performance,” says Nikola Matic, senior analyst, chemicals and material industry, Kline. “These two requirements were regarded as contradictory a few years ago, but highly substantiated botanical products developed recently brought new solutions to formulators.”
The use of botanicals in cosmetic and toiletry formulations is strengthened by the “natural” trend. The move from synthetic ingredients to more “natural” ingredients has increased and should now be regarded as an established growth driver, which has benefited botanicals above all. Nowadays, if a synthetic product and a botanical are offering the same functionality and efficiency, the botanical active will be the formulator’s first choice, according to Kline.
Changing demographics, with an aging population in the U.S. and Europe, will also promote growth in botanical consumption in the antiaging segment. Botanical suppliers, in order to compete with existing formulations, are promoting their products as more effective at lower levels, when compared to, for example, vitamins, making the botanical actives comparable in price on a cost-performance basis.