The global vitamin K2 market was valued at USD 54.90 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.5% over the forecast period. The letter “K” in the term Vitamin K represents the Danish word ‘koagulation’, which means the ability to prevent clot blood. Found mainly in dairy products, it is also technically classified as ‘menaquinones’, a group of compounds. The product is presently being tested worldwide in government laboratories as well as private R&D units for its scope in cancer treatment, cognition, vascular calcification, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
The global market is characterized by a wide array of supply channels established by the existing market participants, where every company uses slightly or entirely different supply protocol. Most of the prevailing major market players have signed long-term contracts with giant regional as well as local sales agents, who ensure consistent and widespread source of the products, thus strengthening the companies’ positions in the international market. However, as against this trend, the Chinese and Indian manufacturers invest more efforts and money in direct selling.
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Vitamin K is widely used for various end-uses, but mainly in inflammation reduction; hence the market is anticipated to be driven mainly because of vitamin deficiency disorders occurring in humans. The other factors propelling the market growth over the forecast period include rising cases of osteoporosis, rise in esthetic standards, surge in consumer demand for nutritional supplements, and overall rising health consciousness among humans. Unfavorable and strict government regulations on supplement endorsement and testing, however, are likely to pose a challenge for manufacturers.
Growing health consciousness among people has in turn increased the demand for functional foods and diet supplements. According to some studies, the intake of Vitamin K2 MK-4 is deemed safe if consumed in appropriate limits, and does not lead to hyper-coagulation. Also, in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, Vitamin K2 intake lowers CRP levels. Vitamin K2 MK-7 is commonly used as a supplement additive. It can also be found in a traditional Japanese food “Natto”. Natto is a foodstuff which is produced from fermented soybeans with the help of different types of bacteria, including propionic acid bacteria and lactic acid bacteria.
The market is primarily segmented on the basis of Source, Product, Application, Form, and geographic region.
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As of 2019, nearly 68% of K2 MK-7 ingredient manufacturing is based on fermentation process, whereas the rest is done through a synthesis process. However, this percentage is susceptible to measurable changes in the mentioned forecast period. Fermentation process has comparatively lesser benefits than synthesis production. As much as 90% vitamins seen on store shelves are manufactured using a synthesis process. This is an important point to note, as mass-market commercialization can be enabled through technological innovation, such as synthesis of a vitamin.
As per clinical studies, the products derived by fermentation process of Vitamin K2 are best suited for the improvement of bone mineral density in healthy postmenopausal women, as well as for the reversing and preventing arterial calcification. Most of the existing market participants presently produce synthetic vitamin K2 nearly twice as higher compared to natural vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 comprises of various subtypes, most commonly identified as menaquinone-n (MK-n), where ‘N’ represents the number of isoprenyl groups. When compared with MK-7, Vitamin K2 MK-4 exhibits lower bioactivity and bioavailability. In most of the cases, synthetic Vitamin K2 MK-4 is used for pharmacological purposes.
Most of the companies in China and India do not have an international brand influence and hence are not yet recognized. However, they exercise a price advantage over other brand and rely on B2C sales instead of B2B sales to strengthen personal consumer connect.
As against Vitamin K1, several prevailing sources of vitamin K2, which include animal liver and fermented foods, fail to adequately meet the required routine dietary need of vitamin K2. However, compared to vitamin K1, vitamin K2 has a lucrative scope owing to its proven applicability in treating coronary heart disease.
A major chunk of the global demand for them is anticipated to be triggered on account of the increasing prevalence of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis affects umpteen people across the planet leaving them in a huge financial burden and shortened life span, basically occurring in humans as a result of lack of vitamin K deficiency. It has also proven to ease the pain of bone fractures in women experiencing menopause.
It is mainly consumed in two forms, powders and oils. Depending on the orientation of end-use, they can be consumed in food products, health and dietary supplements, functional foods, injections, tablets, and syrups. The ever-increasing research around the ingredient is expected to surge the demand for vitamin K2 in untapped markets as well.
North America market emerged as the largest one in 2019, in terms of market share, and is anticipated to maintain its rank over the forecast period. Owing to the widespread presence of health-conscious citizens in developed countries such as Canada and the U.S., the regional demand is majorly expected to trigger in the dietary and food supplements application segment.
Significant steps adhered by manufacturers in Germany and UK pertaining to the research & development around the ingredient have enabled Europe to hold the second largest market share in the global market. The rising numbers of clinical trials and health conscious people in Asia Pacific are likely to set a boosted growth for APAC over the next five years. From a holistic viewpoint, the increase in prevalence of osteoporosis is anticipated to further trigger the primary demand for Vitamin K2 globally.
The notable players in the global Vitamin K2 market include Kappa Bioscience, Danisco A/S (DuPont Nutrition and Health), BASF, DSM, NattoPharma, Pfizer, DSM, and Kikkoman Corporation. Mergers & acquisitions (M&A), collaborations, partnerships, and new product developments are the key growth strategies implemented by these market players which maintain their lead in the economy.
In May 2018, Kappa Bioscience in association with other partner companies launched a product line of seven new “K2VITAL” white-label vitamin K2 products. These were primarily introduced with an intention of addressing peculiar consumer problems in a novel way. Kappa Bioscience’s product K2Vital Delta is produced using BASF’s beadlet technology. Also, in November 2017, NattoPharma undertook a strategic initiative to increase their presence in China by launching a Vitamin K2 product MenaQ7 in a regional conference of product distributors. The product was eyed by nearly 170 Chinese distributors, and has reached most of the Chinese territories as of 2019.