The demand for natural ingredients is growing in the North American shelf-life extension food additives market, as consumers increasingly opt for healthier alternatives to conventional antioxidants, which are perceived to be unhealthy if consumed over a long term. Negative media reports about the side effects of synthetic ingredients have popularized natural antioxidants, such as green tea extracts, oregano and grape extracts. Customers are also partial to natural ingredients, as their clean label tags will earn them a positive brand image among consumers.
In a new analysis from from Frost & Sullivan, “North American Shelf-life Extension Food Additives Market,” finds that the market earned revenues of $106 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $197.8 million by 2018.
As customers mostly demand non-genetically modified (GM) materials, the severe shortage of the by-product form from the vegetable oil distillation (VOD) process has caused a significant scarcity of natural vitamin E as a shelf-life extension food additive.
“Apart from the shortage of raw materials used for extracting natural antioxidants, a demand-supply imbalance has escalated the prices of natural antioxidants,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Ashwin Raj Ravinder. “Naturally derived antioxidants such as mixed tocopherols are particularly challenged by huge price hikes.”
As a result, ingredient manufacturers are blending different antioxidants that prolong the shelf life of food products. For instance rosemary extracts are blended with mixed tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate to reduce the final cost of the product and yet improve the overall efficacy of the antioxidant.
“Furthermore, antioxidants manufacturers are resorting to vertical integration," said Mr. Ravinder. “Strategic partnerships and alliances with raw material suppliers are critical to gain market share in the natural shelf-life extension food additives market.”
Suppliers can also remain competitive by partnering with end users and implementing co-branding strategies.