The global resveratrol supply market is valued at $50.2m (€40m) according to a Frost and Sullivan report, with 90% of volumes accounted for by the US food supplements market.
Frost said Europe would retain second place in the market with the Asia Pacific region growing the fastest – especially Australia and New Zealand.
Frost differentiated between the food supplements and functional food markets.
“The end user price per 100mg of resveratrol ranges from less than $0.10 for resveratrol-only supplements to up to $8.0 and more for the mix of ingredients formulations,” the analyst said.
“It is estimated that for food and beverage applications, the cost per 100mg serving of resveratrol for consumers would be higher, due to the challenges faced in formulating food matrices with high water activity.”
Resveratrol is often touted as the bioactive compound in grapes and red wine, and has particularly been associated with the so-called 'French Paradox'. The phrase, coined in 1992 by Dr Serge Renaud from Bordeaux University, describes the low incidence of heart disease and obesity among the French, despite their relatively high-fat diet and levels of wine consumption.
Other studies with only resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement, and protection against Alzheimer’s.
Interest in the compound exploded in 2003 when research from David Sinclair and his team from Harvard reported that resveratrol was able to increase the lifespan of yeast cells. The research, published in Nature, was greeted with international media fanfare and ignited flames of hope for an anti-ageing pill.
According to Sinclair’s findings, resveratrol could activate a gene called sirtuin1 (Sirt1 – the yeast equivalent was Sir2), which is also activated during calorie restriction in various species, including monkeys.
Since then studies in nematode worms, fruit flies, fish, and mice have linked resveratrol to longer lives. Other studies with only resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement, and protection against Alzheimer’s.
Although resveratrol is most commonly associated with red wine and grapes, it is more commonly sourced from knotweed and Frost said knotweed-sourced resveratrol would remain the dominant form.
An abundance of supply, including synthetic forms, would continue to place downward pressure on prices it said, but noted, “Customers rate quality and supply ability higher than price when deciding on a supplier.”
Consumer press exposure of its health benefits and surging interest in Asia was driving growth, it said.
But it observed that the market had suffered from misleading claims, and could continue to do so.
“The high demand for resveratrol supplements, which arose as a result of the media publicity received, encouraged the entry of many dietary supplement manufacturers with varying dosages and formats.”
“Some of these products have misleading label claims with respect to concentration, source, and purity of the product, which also affects the final dosage and efficacy.”
“Negative consumer reaction has the potential to damage this high growth market and supplement manufacturers have to recognize this restraint on the growth of the total market.”