Robust growth in the European health supplement market as a whole will help drive sales of carotenoids, according to a new study from market consultants Frost & Sullivan.
"We expect the health supplement market to experience growth rates of about 10 per cent," explained Anna Ibbotson, food programme manager at Frost & Sullivan. "Carotenoids are included in most multivitamin and antioxidant mixes and will therefore benefit from the overall growth of the vitamin supplement market."
The report forecasts that the total European carotenoids market will grow from $375 million (€428m) in 2001 to reach over $448 million by 2008. Carotenoids are used in the feed and food ingredients markets, but it is their use as dietary supplements which will drive the growth, as consumers become increasingly aware of their antioxidant properties, the report said.
"Many studies confirm the antioxidant properties of carotenoids and their effect on the health status of elderly people. The effects of carotenoids are not yet well published in Europe, but in the long term, advertising campaigns are likely to raise public awareness. The ageing European population constitutes a strong market potential for carotenoids, and the rise in awareness of their benefits amongst European consumers is likely to be a strong driver behind the growth of the carotenoids market" said Ibbotson.
But she stressed that it was down to manufacturers to raise European awareness of the nutraceutical properties of carotenoids. Only then would they be able to cash in on the expected growth.
The European Phytonutrients report from Frost & Sullivan looks at the five most common phytonutrient groups: vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids, isoflavones and phytosterols.