Global Collagen Product Trends

How and why collagen is set to be the next big thing in health and wellness

Although collagen enriched products and supplements have been around for years, consumers are now more clued up on the many health benefits collagen brings. This rise in awareness has resulted in many brands embracing collagen to meet demand.

In this deep-dive, we’re going to provide insights into the following areas:

  • An introduction to collagen

  • Benefits of collagen

  • Market size and trends

  • Types & forms of collagen

  • Collagen for allergies and dietary needs

  • Brand spotlights

What is collagen?

Found in a variety of animals, collagen is a fibrous element that can be extracted from bones, tendons and ligaments for use in the manufacture of medicines, supplements, cosmetics, and food and beverages.

Our bodies also create collagen in order to support the development and preservation of our skin, bones, teeth, muscles and many other parts of the body.

Unfortunately, the production of collagen starts to decline as we get older. It is this which causes our skin to lose elasticity, whilst the health of our teeth, hair and nails also starts to decline.

The production of collagen begins to decrease at a rate of 1% per year from the age of 25 onwards. So by the time that we reach 50 years of age, we will have lost around 50% of our naturally produced collagen.

For this reason, we need to look towards alternative sources of collagen to help boost our natural levels and provide a variety of additional health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them now.

Health benefits of collagen

Collagen is synonymous with youthful skin, strong nails and beautiful, healthy hair, but there are many other benefits that it brings. In fact, the entire human body relies on collagen for strength and functionality.

Collagen is a critical component in the development of strong bones and helps to improve Bone Mineral Density (BMD). BMD is a key indicator of the strength of your bones and can identify conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. Studies suggest that collagen may also help prevent bone loss altogether.

In addition to bone health, collagen also helps to restore cartilage loss caused by the general wear and tear of the natural ageing process and joint friction. Alongside this, collagen also helps repair damaged ligaments and tendons.

The good news is that lost or declining levels of collagen can easily be restored by taking an over-the-counter supplement to boost BMD, with cosmetic benefits to boot! So let’s find out about the overall size of the collagen market, and the trends we can expect to see more of in the coming months.

Collagen market size and trends

The global collagen market is expected to reach $5.77bn USD by 2028, with a CAGR of 5.5% between 2021 and 2028[1].

The table below summarises findings collated by Databridge[2] to provide an overview of the collagen market in 2021, and give insight into the current state of the market.

Collagen market graph

Top 3 collagen product segments in 2021

  • The gelatine segment is dominating globally due to its use as a moisturising ingredient in cosmetic products

  • Powdered collagen is also increasing in market share as more and more products become easily accessible to consumers

  • Collagen enriched food products are also growing in demand, particularly proteinous foodstuffs

Top type of collagen in 2021

  • Type I collagen currently dominates the global market, this is because it helps with the maintenance of strong and healthy teeth

Top source of collagen in 2021

  • Used in the manufacturing of wound coverings, bovine collagen is currently the number one source of collagen worldwide

Top 3 geographical markets for collagen in 2021

  • The largest global market for collagen products is Asia-Pacific. With China the number one country. Consumers in this region have a high demand for collagen supplements due to increased awareness of the health benefits this brings

  • The United States comes in second place for two very different reasons. First, collagen is used in a wide variety of applications within the medical sector. Second, collagen is increasingly being added to animal feed to boost protein levels in animals to be used for human consumption

  • In Europe, Germany dominates. Here consumers are increasingly using collagen enriched cosmetics and personal care products

Key drivers for this growth include the demand for collagen fortified beverages and collagen enriched cosmetics.

Whilst opportunities are presented as a result of lifestyle changes, new health habits, and increased demand for functional and fortified food products. Emerging markets that present great opportunities for collagen brands are South Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Eastern Europe[1].

Types and forms of collagen

Did you know that there are at least 16 different types of collagen in your body? But types I, II and III make up for around 85% of this. And, types I and III are the most abundant.

Let’s take a look at the difference between these three types of collagen, and what they actually do for us.

Type 1

Type I collagen gives us strong nails, healthy hair, and plump, hydrated skin. Boosting type I collagen through supplements and skincare can help minimise fine lines and wrinkles as we get older. If you’re looking to increase your levels of type I collagen, then look for marine sources which are the most abundant for this type of collagen.

Type 2

In comparison, type II collagen supports healthy joints. Type II is found in our cartilage, spine, and eyes. As we age, we experience general wear and tear in our joints so it’s highly recommended to find additional sources of type II collagen to help rebuild some of those connective tissues.

Type 3

Finally, type III collagen often comes hand-in-hand with type I collagen to result in healthy, youthful skin, as well as promoting gut health. Type III is in its greatest abundance within our digestive, muscle, and circulatory systems. Bovine collagen is a great source of type III collagen, so keep an eye out for this ingredient.

When it comes to boosting our natural collagen, there are two main forms of collagen: powder and liquid.

These forms are then used in a variety of different products such as cosmetics, gels, drinks, capsules, snack bars, broths, supplements, and much more!

Now, these forms and products are not suitable for all. We’ll take a look at this in the next section.

Plant-based collagen and other dietary requirements

So far we’ve seen that collagen can be harnessed through a variety of animal-derived products, however, these forms are not suitable for all consumers.

In today’s world, consumers are more conscious of what they are putting into their bodies than ever before. We’re also more aware of allergies, intolerances, and overall dietary requirements.

And this is one area that can be difficult for producers of collagen products. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

Followers of religions that forbid the consumption of animal products are restricted in the types of collagen products they can consume. Collagen is often derived from the bones, hooves, and skins of animals, meaning many consumers are looking for alternatives.

Muslim communities around the world strictly steer clear of pork products and therefore prefer to consume collagen that comes from halal-certified bovine sources or marine collagen. This is important information for brands looking to expand their collagen products overseas, as pork-based collagen will not be accepted in Muslim countries, including the Middle East.

Similar considerations should be made for the Jewish and Hindu communities where marine, poultry, or plant-based collagens may prove more widely accepted.

Then there are the vegetarian and vegan communities. Now, you might be surprised to hear that there is such a thing as vegan-friendly collagen, however, it’s not as easy to get hold of due to the process needed to create it.

In fact, vegan collagen has to be made in a lab, taking human genes and adding them to the genetic structure of yeast or bacteria. The process takes time and therefore hasn’t reached mainstream use in the health or cosmetic industries.

For this reason, the vegan-friendly supplements you’ll see on shelves are actually collagen-promoting in nature, meaning they help to stimulate the natural production of collagen by providing the nutrients your body needs.

This natural process can also be supported by eating tempeh, tofu, beans, seeds and nuts, which are high in amino acids, all of which are typical elements of a vegan diet.

We predict that there will be an increased demand for plant-based collagen in the coming years as more consumers shift to this lifestyle. This provides a huge opportunity for brands to enter this space in the market through innovative new processes and ingredients.

Collagen brand spotlights

Since we’ve now learnt all about collagen, where it comes from, and what health benefits it brings, let’s take a look at some brands that each bring a unique value proposition to the global market.

Brand: MojoMe

Location: South Africa

Unique Product: Collagen bone broths

Hailing from one of the collagen markets to watch in the coming years, MojoMe, brings a unique quality to the global collagen market in the form of its collagen bone broths

MojoMe’s bone broths are available in two flavours, savoury beef and jalapeno chicken. These instant broths are ready in minutes and help consumers to build a strong immune system to fight against possible infections.

In 2020, MojoMe won a World Food Innovation Award for its bone broth, which delivers a huge amount of protein, whilst being low in fat. In every 12 gram serving, MojoMe’s bone broth delivers 10 grams of collagen peptides.

MojoMe carries a wide range of collagen products in addition to the bone broths. You can even buy collagen products specially formulated for cats and dogs!

View MojoMe’s full range of products here.

Brand: Vital Proteins

Location: United States

Unique Product: Collagen Creamers

Established in 2013, Vital Proteins has become one of the most recognisable brands in the collagen space, now shipping globally.

Vital Proteins focus on using collagen to promote natural beauty and support the effects of ageing, in an easy and convenient way that fits into our daily lives.

Offering an incredibly diverse range of products, Vital Proteins utilizes bovine collagen peptides and marine collagen across the range. What’s special about Vital Proteins is the format in which it delivers collagen boosters. You can find powders, capsules, beauty products, lattes, and creamers.

The collagen creamers are available in three flavours – vanilla, coconut and mocha – and allow consumers to replace their usual creamer with a collagen enriched equivalent that delivers great results and tastes great!

Vital Proteins’ innovative approach has resulted in a global cult following, including celebrities and influencers. Vital Proteins has been using this to its advantage in the form of celebrity endorsements and collaborations. For example, producing a limited run of collagen teas and lattes with Kourtney Kardashian’s brand Poosh.

Explore Vital Proteins’ extensive range of collagen-enriched products here.

Brand: Starpowa

Location: United Kingdom

Unique Product: Vegan Collagen Gummies

UK supplement brand Starpowa’s mission is to “create innovative products that help people love themselves, the planet and each other.”

And the team is able to deliver this through their range of gummies. These gummies do not contain artificial flavours, gelatin or added sugar.

What’s unique about Starpowa is the way they have been able to produce ‘clean’ gummies and incorporate vegan collagen into two of their best-selling products.

Starpowa’s products are made in the UK and are available globally through their website as well as other stockists and health food stores.

Check out Starpowa’s full range of vegan gummies here.

Brand: Planet Paleo

Location: United Kingdom

Unique Product: Therapeutic Collagen

Planet Paleo has a unique and diverse certified organic collagen offering. Designed for busy lifestyles, their  Collagen Hottie range with a 5g dose of therapeutic collagen per serving alongside high quality organic herbs and functional ingredients, it is the perfect way to get a daily hit of collagen that supports overall health and well-being.

The brand also has developed Europe’s first organically certified collagen bone broth protein powder. These have been created in its purest form or with turmeric and other herbs in such a way they can be added to savoury recipes or consumed on its own.

Distinctively too, the range has two organic bone broth sports protein powders in sweet flavours but without sugar, fillers, artificial flavours or preservatives.

The future of Collagen

From the few brands we’ve presented here, we have seen how diverse and innovative the collagen market is. And this is very exciting for the future.

And, this is where Bolst Global can help. Whether you’re a manufacturer of collagen products or a distributor or retailer looking to bring new products to your home market we may be your perfect partner.

Our team specialises in the Health and Wellness space and we have supported many brand owners and suppliers to understand and navigate new export markets via our expert knowledge. We are already working in the vibrant collagen space so get in touch today to find out how we can help you!

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