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Getting Ahead of the Curve: Antioxidants

Views:5     Author:Natalia     Publish Time: 2015-12-25      Origin:Nutraceuticals World

By Dr. A. Elizabeth Sloan

The Nielsen Co. reports U.S. sales of food and drinks carrying an antioxidant claim topped nearly $2 billion for the year ending 11/28/09, up from $889 million in 2005; volume sales of antioxidant-touting nutritional supplements grew 10%.


But as the antioxidant market matures, consumers will look for more specific antioxidant sources and products that better align with the individual health benefits they associate with antioxidants. And, a big opportunity that will be! A recent analysis of 4000 antioxidant-carrying new products by Innova Market Insights found that 58% still carried general antioxidant claims, 38% specific claims linked to an ingredient/fruit and only 5% a specific functional benefit—most commonly, green tea, pomegranate, blueberry and acai.

 antioxidant ingredients

Market Potential

According to Sloan Trends’ TrendSense model, market interest in antioxidants overall— and supporting medical research activity— show little signs of slowing down, despite some recent negative publicity. But as the market has become more sophisticated, a new hierarchy of antioxidant benefits has emerged, representing some untapped, as well as overlooked, opportunities.


While heart health and cancer have long been the most associated mass market health linkages for antioxidants by far, it appears that the American Heart Association’ s 2008 position on the ineffectiveness of antioxidant vitamins in protecting heart health has negatively impacted the receptivity of the heart/antioxidant connection in the marketplace. The cancer linkage, on the other hand, continues to gain strength.


Undoubtedly, the most overlooked mass market opportunities lie in the positive effect of antioxidants on the skin and their role in anti-aging, which both crossed into the Commercialization Phase in 2007. Moreover, the original theory of “quenching free radicals” still represents a strong, viable and virtually untapped mass market message. All three now rank only slightly behind heart disease in the TrendSense model.


While antioxidants and eye health is poised to be a mass market opportunity, antioxidants and memory, immunity, wrinkles and joint health remain much more limited in terms of market potential—currently of interest mainly to condition-specific and health/specialty channel shoppers.

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