Resveratrol on the rise in foods, beverages

December 14, 2012

According to Innova Market Insights, awareness of resveratrol and its potential health benefits is relatively long-established, but with increasing consumer interest in health and the growing body of research being carried out into its role and efficacy, its use is starting to move out of the specialist dietetic market and more into the mainstream. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that is claimed to help prevent the free radical damage that can lead to the premature aging of cells and has been linked with an anti-cancer effect, cardiovascular health, and healthy inflammatory processes. It is found naturally in peanuts, mulberries, grapes, Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), and red wine (from grape skins).

Innova has recorded global launches of food and drinks products containing resveratrol for several years. Launches rose consistently between 2000 and 2010, with particularly strong activity in 2009 and 2010 as products other than supplements started to appear in greater numbers. This was particularly so in the United States, where interest was boosted by introduction of a number of branded resveratrol ingredient blends. While the actual number of launches featuring resveratrol recorded globally fell back in 2011 and appeared relatively static in 2012 to date, the share taken by supplements has also fallen, from about 90% in 2009 to 80% in 2012.

Supplement launches with resveratrol have continued and become more widespread and sophisticated, often including other ingredients and targeted at different consumer groups and health requirements. Activity in non-supplement lines tended, at least initially, to focus on beverages, confectionery, and snacks, using the natural presence of resveratrol in key ingredients such as grape skins, cocoa powder, and peanuts, respectively. As a result, early launches included wine and chocolate, both marketed on their high resveratrol contents.

The U.S. beverages market has probably seen the most activity in terms of food and beverage introductions highlighting resveratrol content. The Genesis Today Pomegranate Berry Boost line was replaced with Pomegranate & Berries with Resveratrol in 2012, with other recent launch activity recorded by Innova Market Insights including Genso Heart Juice with cardio-protective ingredients, including resveratrol. An interesting hot beverage launch was Republic of Tea’s Get Young No. 19, an herb tea for longevity featuring ingredients such as organic rooibos and maqui berries, as well as resveratrol. The U.S. also saw its first resveratrol-fortified chewing gum in 2012, with Cheiron’s Heart Strong Gum, claiming to have 40 times more resveratrol than a glass of red wine.

Press release (pdf)