LONDONEuropean consumers are looking for more biodegradable home and personal care products, which have a lesser environmental impact than synthetic solutions. This demand for organic and natural ingredients in the Western European market has manufacturers exploring novel sources, including oleochemicals, to develop specialty ingredients.
Frost and Sullivan conducted a new study that estimates revenues of the organic and natural ingredients market in Western Europe at $659.2 million in 2012 and to cross $800 million in 2017. However, there are factors that present challenges such as cost and certifications.
Innovation and product differentiation are key success factors in this fiercely competitive market," said Aparna Balasubramanian, materials and food research analyst for Frost and Sullivan Chemicals. The cost associated with the procurement and processing of organic and natural raw materials into specialty ingredients is higher than that for synthetic chemical-based ingredients."
The lack of common unified standards can lead to consumer confusion, affecting market development. Although certifying bodies such as Ecocert are recognized across Europe, regional certifications find better acceptance. This poses a challenge for producers that must comply with various certification rules for marketing products in different countries.
To overcome cost restraints, employing lean manufacturing and price optimisation will be vital," said Shomik Majumdar , Frost & Sullivan Chemicals' materials and food research vice president Shomik Majumdar. As a multitude of suppliers scramble to expand their share in the market, strategic partnerships and backward integration of specialty chemical companies with plant-based extract manufacturers will also simplify supply chain difficulties and enhance product lines."