Sales of products containing collagen are up 33.8% in the 52 weeks ending February 25, 2018, according to research from SPINS LLC. Sales hit $46.6 million in that time period.
Collagen is the latest buzzword in the beauty and wellness industry. According to Google Trends, consumer awareness of this ingredient has hit an all-time high. The ingredient was the talk of recent trade shows, including the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. Booths were offering collagen powders, bars, teas and baked goods.
Collagen has been traditionally associated with beauty products, cosmetics and nutricosmetics. But in recent years, the ingredient has been finding its way into the beauty-from-within category. Collagen has also gained traction as a bone, joint, digestive and muscle supplement.
As researchers continue to learn about the effects of collagen on the body and how the protein works, the supplement and beauty industry will continue to adapt and include this ingredient in its products.
Scientists, for example, recently discovered an enzyme – USP8 – that controls the formation of collagen carriers. The researchers at Tokyo Tech found that switching on the enzyme effectively reduced collagen discharge. Turning off the enzyme accelerated collagen transport, which expanded collagen secretion.
Too little collagen secretion has been linked to bone diseases, while too much collagen secretion has been linked to organ fibrosis. The research could be used to improve treatments for these conditions, but they may also be used to enhance collagen use through specialized beauty and sports nutrition formulations.
Collagen is quickly becoming a staple in the sports performance industry. Manufacturers are focusing more on marketing the ingredient as a source of protein, which has shifted the growth to meal replacements and protein supplements.
While the shift may seem subtle, it has expanded the ingredient’s reach to a much larger audience. Now, collagen is being marketed as a health-and-wellness protein boost rather than just a supplement for serious athletes.
Sales of collagen products targeting protein-supplementing consumers grew by 751% over the 52-week period ending February 25, 2018. The increase helped sales reach $8.7 million.
The shift in collagen products from topical to edible is a natural move. Collagen has been an ingredient in topical beauty products for years, but the ingredient is most effective when ingested.
Experts predict that collagen will start making its way into a variety of functional foods, including protein bars, snacks and beverages. The odorless, tasteless ingredient is easy to include in most formulations.