Consumers seek functional foods and supplements to enhance wellness quotient

An expanding aging population and increased consumer awareness boosts growth for the U.S. bone and joint health ingredients market. Consumers increasingly seek supplements and functional foods that enhance their wellness quotient and have strong scientific backup. The rise in the incidence of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis reinforces the need for well-researched ingredients that deliver tangible advantages.

Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis spread at an alarming rate in the U.S., affecting nearly 44 million and 34 million people, respectively. The estimated cost of osteoporosis-related fractures was estimated at $19 billion in 2005, and it is projected to reach $25.3 billion in 2025.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.food.frost.com), U.S. Bone and Joint Health Ingredients Market, finds the market earned revenues of over $178.4 million in 2008 and estimates to reach $246.4 million in 2015. The study offers individual market forecasts for calcium, prebiotics, soy isoflavones, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. In addition, it provides qualitative analysis of ingredients such as vitamin D, methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), hyaluronic acid, collagen, and other botanicals positioned for bone and joint health benefits.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides a brief synopsis of the research and a table of contents, then send an e-mail to Johanna Haynes, Corporate Communications, at [email protected]">[email protected], with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country. Upon receipt of the above information, a brochure will be sent to you by e-mail.

"Traditionally, bone health supplements were predominantly targeted to women and individuals above 60 years of age," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Arthi.V. "However, this target group is widening, with an increasing number of men and younger adults being diagnosed with osteoporosis or at high risk due to low bone mass."

The National Institute on Aging reported that in the U.S. more than two million men have osteoporosis, with over three million at high risk of contracting this disease.

The prominent competitive factors in the U.S. bone and joint health ingredients market include price, quality, distribution efficiency, ability to provide a point of differentiation through novel ingredient combinations, and value-added services that include assistance in product formulation and regulatory support.

The ongoing economic slowdown is a key factor affecting the food and beverage industry. While the average share of consumers' food budget relative to their total income increases, there is a shift from lavish spending to a more conservative purchase pattern. Consumers move away from specialty products and opt for value alternatives.

Tight financial resources, however, reduce manufacturer spending on product innovation at the ingredient and end-product level. Furthermore, the U.S. bone and joint health ingredients market faces stiff competition from Asian manufacturers in certain market segments such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and isoflavones. These low-cost alternatives have narrowed the margins for local manufacturers. The U.S. market is already highly price sensitive, and competition from Asian manufacturers amplifies this price sensitivity.

In addition, there is a growing threat from alternative ingredients, particularly in the joint care segment. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are established in this sector, but newer ingredients are positioned for joint health benefits. The market is also confronted with issues concerning ingredient purity.

"Maintaining high quality standards will enable manufacturers to gain consumer confidence and loyalty," states the analyst. "This will also guarantee the steady demand for existing ingredients despite the widening array of alternatives in the market."

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