The global astaxanthin market size is estimated to be valued at USD 647 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 965 million by 2026, recording a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period. The increase in awareness toward preventive healthcare nutraceuticals and the rising demand for cosmetic products have gained the attention of the key players in the astaxanthin market to develop new and effective products. Astaxanthin also has anti-inflammatory properties. Other health benefits associated with astaxanthin are cardiovascular disease prevention, boosting immunity and bioactivity against Helicobacter pylori, and cataract prevention.
Drivers: Rapid industrialization of the feed industry
Aquaculture and animal feed industries are highly dependent on feed additives for higher nutritive benefits for animals. Essentially, astaxanthin adds nutritional value and pigmentation to animal feed. Thus, the industrialization of poultry and aquaculture businesses has driven the market for astaxanthin since these end user industries value health of animals. The significant growth in fisheries and aquaculture production has resulted in the increased consumption of diversified nutritious food products. The global consumption of seafood has increased owing to the rising consumer awareness regarding the health benefits of consuming fish and other aquaculture species.
Restraints: High cost of production of natural astaxanthin
Astaxanthin can be synthesized naturally as well as synthetically. Synthetic astaxanthin is made of different chemical formulations from petroleum products and is available at comparatively cheaper rates in the market. On the other hand, natural astaxanthin is produced through the fermentation and extraction process involving various bacteria, fungi, yeast, marine animals, and algae. This natural astaxanthin is comparatively difficult to produce and is costlier than the synthetic version.
Opportunities: Growing demand for natural antioxidants
There is a growing demand for natural carotenoids in their pure form as compared to synthetic carotenoids, especially in the dietary supplements sector, due to their high effectiveness and quality. The current methods used for natural means of production of carotenoids are limited and subject to contamination. These methods are costly, and thus, the prices of natural carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene are almost three times higher than those of synthetic carotenoids.
Challenges: Stringent government regulations in developed countries
The regulatory standards for application areas of astaxanthin are observed to be different in all regions. In the US, the FDA regulates nutraceuticals under a different set of regulations. According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, 1994 (DSHEA), it is the manufacturer's obligation to ensure that a nutraceutical-based product or ingredient is safe before it is marketed. Moreover, the FDA is authorized to take action against any hazardous product only after it reaches the market. Therefore, manufacturers are required to ensure the product label and be transparent about information.
Key players in this market include Koninklijke DSM N.V. (the Netherlands), BASF SE (Germany), Cyanotech Corporation (US), Otsuka Holdings Co. Ltd. (Japan), Divi’s Laboratories Ltd. (India), Valensa International (US), Fuji Chemical Industries Co. Ltd. (Japan), Beijing Gingko Group (China), Cardax, Inc. (Denmark), Piveg, Inc. (US). Some of the other players are Fenchem Biotek Ltd. (China), Algatech Ltd. (Israel), Supreme Biotechnologies (New Zealand), Igene Biotechnology Inc. (US), Algamo (Czech Republic), Biogenic Co., Ltd. (Japan), Astamaz NZ Ltd. (New Zealand), Algalif (Iceland), Algae to Omega (US), and Algae Health Sciences, Inc. (US).