A revolution in how ingredients are sourced is in progress. Driven by consumers’ preference for healthier earth friendly products, ingredients made via synthetic biology will increasingly make their way into our daily lives.
Chemical companies dealing with low oil prices and margins have every right to be skeptical of newer bio-based solutions. If we continue to think of the industry as selling more or less commodity products to packaged goods companies like Procter & Gamble and Unilever, then concerns over nickels and dimes and working to meet a current specification makes sense.
However, if we think strategically about our customers and the demands of the end consumer, the world of personal care products starts to look very different.
We are in the midst of a period of great social change. Both millennials and their parents have embraced the shared economy, social networking, continuous communication, asynchronous media, gaming, GPS, and soon artificial intelligence – essentially valuing “information” far greater than the built environment. Indeed, consumer markets have changed dramatically with two big exceptions: continued concerns over individual health and the impact of global warming. These are issues that do pose a significant threat to the chemical and allied industries. Despite the majority of consumers being still unaware of synthetic biology, the pace of commercialization in the field, encouraged by public and private investments, is advancing at an unprecedented speed.
Rare, expensive, labor-intensive, or politically sensitive ingredients previously made from petroleum or extracted at low concentrations from animal or plant sources can now be cultured like wine and cheese without incurring the wrath of PETA, humanitarian, or environmental groups.
Taking the end customer’s point of view…
She is demanding not only that her personal care products are sustainable and not just less toxic, but that they are biodegradable. What if products from Procter & Gamble or Unilever were not just less toxic, not just biodegradable, but edible?
Let’s take it a step further – what if you could manufacture packaging that was not just edible, but good for you?
What if this resulted in weight reduction, helped create healthy microbiomes, or resulted in happier, better lives?
Sounds like snake oil?
Take a look at WikiFoods from Quantum Designs, Inc. and look at the work of Intrexon, or Advonex, which produces precision emollients and waxes from bio sourced materials.
We may think we’re in the chemical industry, but in the future, we will be in the sustainable functionalized carbon industry. A biological revolution is underway. The revolution is driven by consumer preferences for more natural products, as well as a fundamental desire to preserve the planet we live on.
No doubt some of this is still years away, and many of these companies will fail, but you need to know now. We will tell you which is which and why in a series of multi-client reports analyzing the impact of synthetic biology on the chemical industries.
Kline and Promotum will address the impact of the biological sciences on the chemical industry. The first report will focus on personal care ingredients and describe the future of emollients, packaging, anti-microbials, and other segments. In addition, it will provide an analysis of companies like Intrexon, the Life Sciences group of REG, Ginkgo BioWorks, and Zymergen, and will also look at the future of production of higher alcohols, diols, esters, diacids, amides, amines, alpha olefins, alkanes/paraffin’s, olefins, aldehydes, ketones, acetates, and waxes.
Nikola Matik, Director at Kline, will be expanding on the above topic, speaking about skin trends and the booming skin care market at in-cosmetics Global. His talk will take place in the Marketing Trends Theatre from 16:15- 17:00 on Wednesday 05 April.
AUTHOR: Sam Nejame, Promotum and Nikola Matic, Kline