The botanicals market is seeing a number of new entrants and emerging stars quickly gaining ground.
The botanical ingredients market is rapidly growing, with domestic sales growing 8.5% in 2017 to reach $8 billion USD for the first time ever, according to the American Botanical Council’s latest HerbalGram Herb Market Report.1 American consumers are rapidly adopting new botanicals. Here are just some of the rising stars that are expected to see rapid growth in the near future.
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Black cumin extract is a potential respiratory support ingredient
Nigella sativa has featured prominently in a number of cultures over time, with Arabic, Unani, and Ayurvedic medicinal systems making use of the botanical. However, until recently, studying black cumin extract ingredients proved challenging due to the lack of a standardized dose.
Shaheen Majeed, president, worldwide, of Sabinsa (East Windsor, NJ), says that advances are happening. “Lack of standardization has made it difficult to study black cumin’s efficacy,” Majeed says. “Sabinsa’s scientists solved that with a patent-pending supercritical fluid extraction of black cumin seed standardized to contain thymoquinone.”
With this new black cumin extract in hand, scientists can now effectively study the ingredient’s viability as an anti-inflammatory supplement. New studies, Majeed says, indicate that Nigella sativa may hold value as a respiratory support ingredient.
One in vitro study on Sabinsa’s branded black cumin ingredient Nigellin found that Nigella sativa suppressed the release of cytokines.2 Based on the results of the in vitro study, the study authors hypothesize that the Nigella sativa ingredient may work as a combination anti-inflammatory/ immunomodulator that could have useful applications as a respiratory support agent in the context of asthma.
2. Koshak A et al. “Comparative immunomodulatory activity of Nigella sativa L. preparations on proinflammatory mediators: A focus on asthma.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 9 (2018): 1075
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Sacha inchi: The next superfood?
Omega fatty acids have long been popular supplements, but Ramon Luna, marketing coordinator for Ecuadorian Rainforest (Clifton, NJ), says that demand will soon grow for natural omega complex supplements. Luna says that the vegan movement will fuel part of this market growth.
“A growing number of people are going on vegetarian and vegan diets, and it can be difficult to source a botanical ingredient that offers all of those nutrients in one package,” Luna says. “That’s why sacha inchi will become a big ingredient in 2019.”
A type of South American peanut, sacha inchi (botanical name Plukenetia volubilis) is rich in important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin E, and fiber. Beyond general nutrition, though, sacha inchi is also an excellent vegan-friendly source of omega 3-, -6, -9 fatty acids.
Luna says sacha inchi is a versatile ingredient that works in several formats. He expects sacha inchi to become a highly talked-about ingredient in 2019.
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Mango extracts to attain market dominance
One unusual ingredient that analysts say is set to see unprecedented growth is African mango seed extract (Irvingia gabonensis). Persistence Market Research (New York, NY) is forecasting that global sales of African mango seed extract will grow at a steady rate of 3.7% CAGR until 2026, featuring prominently as a weight-loss supplement.3
However, weight loss is only one of the functional concerns driving growth of and interest in mango-derived botanicals. Animal studies have shown that mango leaf extract acts as a central nervous system stimulant, and that one branded extract acted synergistically when administered with caffeine.4 Expect mango leaf extract to quickly gain ground as a strong new entrant in the botanical weight loss and energy supplement spaces.
3. Persistence Market Research. “African mango seed extract market revenue expected to increase to US$249.9 MN by 2026: Persistence Market Research.” PR Newswire. Published online August 16 2018.
4. Dimpfel W et al. “Zynamite (Mangifera indica leaf extract) and caffeine act in a synergistic manner on electrophysiological parameters of rat central nervous system.” Food and Nutrition Sciences, vol. 9 no. 1 (January 2018): 502-518
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High-fiber ingredients gain popularity in formulations
One emerging arena for botanicals is blood glucose support. Many of the botanical ingredients being added to new blood sugar management formulations share a common trait: They have a high fiber content.
Margaret Gomes, director of marketing for NP Nutra (Gardena, CA), says that seaweed ingredients in particular are often used in product development in the blood sugar management niche. Gomes says these ingredients are desirable in blood sugar formulations due to the manner in which they influence digestion: “Seaweed ingredients like kelp and spirulina are being used in blood sugar management supplements and are showing promise in blood sugar support. Due to their high fiber content, these ingredients may help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates and sugars.”
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Botanicals market offers opportunity for savvy brands
With growing consumer interest in botanicals, the botanical supplement space is more than ready for innovation and new product entries. Botanicals like horehound (Marrubium vulgare) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) are driving mainstream market growth and are expected to continue making headlines.1 Brands and marketers looking to enter the botanicals space can expect consumer demand to drive growth, especially as lesser-known botanicals come to the forefront.
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