With the wave of obesity continuing to make headlines, the weight loss ingredients market is expected to experience substantial growth.
Frost & Sullivan (food.frost.com) finds that the Global CLA Markets earned revenues of $65.4 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $109.9 million in 2013.
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However, incidences such as the ban of ephedra in 2004 have increased consumer skepticism about the credibility and use of weight loss ingredients. Currently, the weight loss ingredients market demands ingredients that are supported by clinical evidence. This need has been addressed by conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) manufacturers to a very large extent and the CLA market is characterized by a high level of research and development (R&D) activities.
In the geographical context, the United States and Europe are developed markets for CLA, accounting for 85 percent of the revenues. Meanwhile, Asia is an emerging market, with Japan being the only developed market for CLA accounting for nearly 75 percent of the volumes consumed in Asia. However, other countries such as China, Thailand and Korea are potential markets in Asia.
"The rising incidence of obesity is the key factor driving growth in the global CLA market," states Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Arthi V.
"In addition, burgeoning health care costs have stimulated consumer interest towards preventive medication."
This has augmented the consumption of dietary supplements, which is further propelling growth in the CLA market. Apart from this, heightened media coverage on the ill-effects of obesity has increased consumer awareness and created interest in weight management. Increasing scientific evidence on the benefits of CLA and growing demand for fortified foods have encouraged food and beverage manufacturers to incorporate CLA in their products.
However, the uncertain regulatory scenario is a vital factor restricting the use of CLA in a number of applications such as food and beverage, as well as animal feed. In Europe, CLA was introduced before the European Union's 1997 Novel Foods Regulation. Therefore, CLA did not undergo any safety approval by the European Commission. This scenario has raised skepticism regarding its use by the food and beverage manufacturers.
"In the United States, CLA holds a self-affirmed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status," remarks Arthi. "While this status has supported its use in the dietary supplements industry, there are still uncertainties associated with the use of CLA, which have created ambiguity among food and beverage manufacturers regarding the use of this ingredient."
Currently, the dietary supplements industry represents 90 percent of the volume consumed in the Global CLA market. Thus, CLA is largely used as a dietary supplement and potential volumes in the food and beverage, as well as the animal feed sectors have been restricted. However, these industries are prospective application areas, which are likely to witness strong growth rates once legislative issues are resolved. Moreover, by working in close coordination with legislative organizations and providing a balanced view on the use of CLA in foods, manufacturers can enhance credibility and encourage its use by food manufacturers.
Strategic Analysis of the Global CLA Markets is part of the Food & Beverage Ingredients Subscription, which also includes research in the following markets: dietary supplements, food and beverage, animal feed. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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