Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body. It’s everywhere.
But as the science behind collagen consumption continues to gain traction, and consumer interest spikes, the need for quality assurance and transparency in the category has never been more important.
Everyone is talking about collagen. But many remain confused at what it is and what it does. And even those who seem to be ‘in the know’ get confused by the different forms and sources.
The collagen market has witnessed strong growth in recent years as the latest trend for nutricosmetics takes hold, and other applications in sports and healthy aging gain more data and become more important.
According to Nutrition Business Journal, in 2020 consumers in the United States are expected to spend $293 million on collagen supplements, up from just $50 million in 2014. That’s 486% growth!
Globally, as collagen makes its way into more foods and beverages, topicals, and even the operating room, the market is projected to reach $6.5 billion by 2025.
However, with great growth comes great responsibility, and as with any area that sees rapid growth, there is potential for exploitation and for new players with inferior quality to exploit and undermine the category before it is established.
Sustainable and responsible growth
While collagen has been around as an ingredient for a very long time, its rapid growth and evolving status as a major category within the industry means that there is potential for it to become a bit of a Wild West. I’m sure we can all think of examples of where that has happened in a category.
The mission of the Collagen Stewardship Alliance, led by Trust Transparency Center, is to work with multiple stakeholders across the collagen market to promote collagen worldwide and steward responsible, sustainable growth of the category.
Our goal is to bring together responsible stakeholders who want to help drive the agenda and build a sustainable and quality-led category.
We plan to do this by:
- Creating a central point of contact and ‘community hub’ for everything collagen
- Engage and educate consumers, media, and other stakeholders on collagen – providing a unified front and megaphone for good science and the best ingredients and products
- Encourage responsible and sustainable growth, ensuring responsible companies are celebrated and those who seek to exploit are not rewarded
What’s the point?
Think about some of the biggest ingredient categories in recent years – the ones that have really seen massive growth, that have captured the attention of the consumer and the B2B press. Maybe you’re thinking about omega-3? Perhaps probiotics? Maybe even prebiotics in recent years?
What do these sorts of categories have in common? They all pull together under the banner of the category, the players within the space are organized, and stewarded by an association or other group.
This makes sense, because by coming together, companies can build something greater than any individual could. Instead of fighting for market share of a relatively small pie, these players decided to work together to grow the overall pie – knowing that this would have an even bigger impact on their business objectives.
Groups like GOED, IPA and GPA have shown what great work can be done in a single ingredient category. They demonstrate how unified approaches and centralized media strategies and outreach campaigns have a wider reach (and are more trusted by media and consumers) than multiple campaigns by any single company. They also show how it is possible to get rival companies to sit down together and discuss important issues relating to product quality standards and the attribution of science.
These things can be done. We know they help.
We know they can help amplify the growth of a category. We also know they can help ensure that growth is sustainable and responsible.
Right now, collagen is seeing huge growth. The potential for further growth is massive. But that growth needs to be done responsibly and together. That is what the Collagen Stewardship Alliance is for.
To find out more about joining our quest, please get in touch.