As American consumers increasingly demand natural alternatives to address the most common conditions of today—fatigue, stress and anxiety, brain fog and the list goes on—they’re presenting unique opportunities for ancient, indigenous botanicals to make inroads in the modern U.S. health and nutrition market. Moringa is one such energizing ingredient that has cropped up in everything from teas and bars to supplements thanks to its complete protein profile and range of nutrients, including calcium, iron, vitamin C and antioxidants.
The ingredient, sourced from West Africa, South Asia and South America, is now the fastest-growing supplement in the green supplements category, outselling matcha and catching up to spirulina and wheatgrass. According to NEXT Trend data—the database that reports insights on innovation activity occurring at Natural Products Expos East and West—moringa demonstrates emerging growth of 18% indicating that more products are formulating with this botanical energizing superfood. Moringa is still new and nascent growing to 78 products at Expo West 2019 from 59 products at Expo West 2017, but new applications are popping up.
Face creams and lotions, smoothie additives, oils and serums, tea bags and protein mixes and powders are just some of the categories innovating with moringa. Brand pioneer Kuli Kuli dominates more than half of the U.S. moringa retail sales market, according to Nielsen data, and built its foundation on a strong mission and sustainable global supply chain partnerships. The company has worked hard to educate the U.S. marketplace on this emerging superfood and encourage adoption. Now, various CPGs are quickly getting on board and proving that new (old) ingredients can provide benefits to both consumers of the products and the communities from which the ingredient is sourced.
Here’s a peek at some of the companies bringing this ingredient to the marketplace in innovative ways that include promoting collaborative relationships that work to address and mitigate negative impacts on producer communities often associated with developing new supply chains for market opportunities.