Collagen has been known to be a panacea for all age-related woes, and it's an indispensable component of most skin care products - particularly the anti-aging ones. However, that is not all! Collagen has been one of the most widely used food additives as well as a must-have component of most of the Nutri cosmetics that are gaining popularity. Let's explore the market sentiments to this novel protein.
Proteins are one of the important classes of nutrients. Protein is the structural component of body tissues, which helps in the growth and overall development of the body. Collagen protein is the cement that holds everything together.
Collagen is the most profuse protein in the entire animal kingdom, constituting approximately 30% of the proteins in the body. It is naturally produced in the bodies of animals and is the main component of connective tissues, thus contributing to the elasticity of the skin. Apart from that, collagen is also one of the important components of the first line of defense and prevents absorption and spreading of pathogenic (disease-causing) substances, environmental toxins, microorganisms and cancerous cells.
How the global market is responding to this natural sweetener?
A report by a market research firm, estimates global collagen market to grow at a CAGR of 6.3% during the period 2017-2022.
As per the source, there are two varieties of collagen, namely, animal-based collagen and marine-based collagen. The former dominates the market with more than 75% of the total extraction being sourced from animals, particularly the bovine and porcine sources. The reason for this major market share of animal-based collagen is its economic extraction, abundant supply, and easy availability.
Despite being a dominant source of collagen, the popularity of the animal-based segment has been declining gradually due to the risk of disease transmission, immunogenicity, allergenicity, and mandatory halal status required in the Islamic countries where porcine-based collagen is strictly prohibited.
The marine-based collagen segment is expected to grow moderately at the cost of animal-based collagen, positioning itself as a suitable alternative. Marine-based collagen is characterized by various advantages, such as, high bioavailability (absorbed quickly into the bloodstream), odorless and tasteless quality, ease of blending, and zero fat and calcium content, which is not the case with animal-based collagen. Moreover, the extraction of marine-based collagen is a classic example of waste product utilization as collagen tissues are majorly found in skin, bone, and scales, which constitute about 30% of marine fish processing waste.
Globally, North America has the largest share of the collagen market due to the largest consuming populace residing in the United States. The growing popularity of bone-broth among millennials, owing to the surging sports nutrition segment, and huge demand for dietary supplements from growing geriatric population have been retaining the market share for developed regions, like North America and Europe.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market for collagen and its derivative products due to increasing health consciousness, rising disposable incomes, and huge demands from various application segments, such as dietary supplements, food additives, meat & meat products, and beverages, particularly functional drinks.
The main hurdles for the market are the Low efficacy of isolated collagen protein to impart desired health benefits, a risk of disease transmission and allergenicity, and growing popularity of vegan alternatives, like plant-based gelatin, silica, and soy-protein.
Way ahead: The overall market share of collagen is unlikely to be captured by plant-based alternatives, at least in the near future. This can be attributed to the evolving therapeutic benefits of collagen, in particular, the beneficial effects on protecting cardiovascular health, tissue regeneration, and blood glucose levels of the body. Moreover, the application spectrum of collagen as a food additive is also expanding, and this food additive segment is only expected to grow in the light of the overall growth of food processing technology.