Science will help support green tea market, report finds

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Green tea

The market for green tea extracts is expected to grow by more than
13 per cent for the next seven years and emerging markets in
eastern Europe will open new opportunities, a report has said.

Strong growth in the European extracts market, currently estimated to be worth $44m (€29.7m), is being fuelled by the escalating demand for natural ingredients, research and improved extraction technology. According to Frost & Sullivan's Green Tee Extracts Market,​ academic validation is motivating the market and will continue to do so. Indeed, there has been a wealth of science building up support of the extracts at having a positive effect on various diseases, including Alzheimer's, certain cancers, cardiovascular and oral health. The analysts say the market is in a stage of "late growth​" and is it nears maturity a good way forward is to expand into emerging economies such as Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific. Asia​ There is already "intense competition​" with over 15 manufactures on the market last year. Some of the big players include Indena, DSM, Cognis and Naturex. Asian competition is also a significant problem for this market, Frost & Sullivan said. The analysts said: "Traditionally, the Asian countries service the market mainly as sourcing areas. However, this scenario is set to change as Asian competitors such as Taiyo Wuxi, introduce their own line of branded Asian green tea extracts. "Thus, Asian competitors are increasingly donning the roles of ingredient manufacturers.​" Asia has certainly caused one or two headaches for European companies in other roles. Most notably competition from cheaper production of vitamin C in China led to BASF and DSM closing production sites. The expansion of the European Union to include Bulgaria and Romania will add more new undeveloped markets, which in turn will offer considerable potential for growth, Frost & Sullivan said. Branding ​While the science supports the healthy profile of green tea, better branding is needed by the industry to increase growth in the segment. "The market is in dire need of advances promoting the efficacy and reliability of the quality of green tea extracts, in order to drive expansion in the market. The market for these extracts is growing with applications moving into antioxidants, antimicrobial, food and feed sectors, in addition to existing applications​," the report said. And branding is becoming a common phenomenon, the report added. Indeed, DSM has increased the branding of its extract Teavigo. Teavigo is an ingredient and now a seal, which shows to consumers that the product contains the ingredient. DSM has said its quality seal for green tea extract is inspiring global consumer confidence in the efficacy of the extract. The four primary polyphenols found in fresh tealeaves are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epicatechin. Green tea is a rich source of catechins, compounds suggested to play a beneficial role in reducing the risk of various diseases, including Alzheimer's, certain cancers, cardiovascular and oral health, with some, namely EGCG, now emerging as particularly powerful. Green tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable polyphenols, while black tea (green tea that has been oxidized by fermentation) contains between 3 and 10 per cent. Oolong tea is semi-fermented tea and is somewhere between green and black tea.

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