07 Feb Health From Within: Understanding the Nutraceuticals Industry
The global message is loud and clear and has been for quite some time now- we have to take better care of our environment and the planet that we call home. This global issue has, in turn, driven consumer and manufacturing trends to change direction and refocus on how things are produced, and what we consume. Enter, the nutraceuticals market.
Caring for the environment is now at the forefront of many manufacturers’ and consumer’s minds. This has an influence on the direction, quality and ingredients of manufactured products the world over – most notably within the beauty industry. With this in mind, let’s unpack the meaning of ‘nutraceuticals’…
What are nutraceuticals?
The word ‘nutraceutical’ offers up the implication of nourishment, and the added benefit of these products is that they offer restorative qualities, i.e. they are naturally good for you. The word ‘naturally’ is especially important. A nutraceutical product is one that offers restorative benefits due to its natural, organic components- meaning the product does not contain any man-made, synthetic or unnatural elements.
A nutraceutical is categorised as a supplement-rich, dynamic food or component of a food, i.e. omega-3, vitamin-C etc. These supplement-rich foods and their components are now being broken down and harnessed for their goodness. These natural ingredients are being added to cosmetics, beauty products and other foods to produce an organically enriched product.
The nutraceutical industry is not new- it has been on a healthy roll for years now. But with the rise in eco-conscious consumerism and manufacturing practices, the industry has truly begun to boom in recent years.
Health food for your skin
The beauty industry, in particular, has seen natural ingredients find their way into finished products and whizzing off shelves as they increasingly resonate with the ‘natural’ favouritism of consumers worldwide.
Ranging from seed, plant and fruit extracts, consumers are driven by the natural, organic approach of the nutraceuticals market. In essence, there has been a great shift in the way consumers choose to look after the quality of their skin, hair and overall health. Consumers now seek the natural benefits of the products they choose, which work to care for the body from the inside, out.
The boom in the nutraceuticals market has also been accredited to a seismic shift in diet preference and the rise of exercise culture across the globe. A rise in veganism, vegetarianism and high-protein, natural diets is also a huge driving factor behind the success of nutraceuticals.
The merging of industries
Manufacturers have recognised that consumer behaviour with regards to diet, lifestyle and product choice are merging, and, as such, aim to cater to this development. As this industry evolves, both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies are set to work together to cater to the increase in demand.
Indeed, there have already been mergers of this kind in recent years. This includes Nestlé’s acquisition of German-based pharmaceutical conglomerate Merck KGaA. As well as the merging of German-based supplier of active pharmaceutical omega-3 fatty acids, KD Pharma, and U.S. based nutritional supplement supplier, Marine Ingredients, among others.
Together, the nutraceutical and pharma industries could make ground-breaking progress in the development of both beauty and healthcare products that work to protect all organs – not just the appearance of skin and hair. Experts believe there is plenty of room for growth and discovery in years to come.
According to research by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the nutraceuticals industry is set to gather momentum and grow at a rate of 7.1% from 2015-2020. By 2024, the U.S. market is set to reach a worth of $102 billion.
Nutraceutical regulation standards
The truth of the matter is that the nutraceutical market is widely unregulated, just as the supplement market is within South Africa and many other nations worldwide. Market entry requirements for a nutraceutical product, functional foods and supplements vary from country to country. That’s why it’s best to have an expert in regulation on your side when looking to register any one of these new products.
Most essential vitamins and minerals have achieved widespread acceptance in both nutraceutical and supplemental products. But the regulation of other bioactive and botanical ingredients varies from case to case, country to country and across different regions within positive or negative ingredient lists. At present, most nutraceutical products are regulated under the category of food, and, as such, these market entry requirements fall into three main categories: registration, notification and no entry requirements.
Indeed, it is an on-going journey to achieve satisfactory levels of regulation for supplements, functional foods and nutraceuticals within South Africa. But rest assured, NP-SA always has your best interests at heart when assisting in the registration of your new product to market.