According to a recent report by FMI, aloe vera extract is becoming an essential ingredient in food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, with global volume in 2016 set to surpass 60,720.4 tonnes, representing revenues worth US$ 1.6 billion. And the trend is predicted to continue for some time, with global revenues tipped to surpass US$ 3.3 billion by 2026. 
Cosmetics, the largest sector when it comes to aloe vera extracts, will account for over 45 percent of global demand in 2016, seeing a 6 percent increase from 2015, the report predicts.
Natural and organic trend
Why is aloe vera so popular? The trend reflects a wider adoption of natural and organic beauty products and techniques. The growth of the ’Slow Cosmetic’ movement in Europe, which focuses on products made from 100 percent natural ingredients and formulas, and, more generally, the strong growth of the natural and organic cosmetic segment, and good illustration of the trend. Furthermore, most fashion and beauty brands are turning to more sustainable attitudes and eco-friendly methods.
Demand is also driven by the geographical diversification of consumption. Today, Germany is the largest consumer of aloe vera extract (more than 3,139 tonnes in 2015). The country should further its lead as the largest market in 2016, witnessing a year-to-year volume increase of 5.3%. However, demand is growing at healthy rate in the Asia Pacific region where rising incomes of the middle class allow it to turn to natural and organic cosmetics.
A super botanical ingredient
Aloe vera is one of the most studied plants worldwide. There is hardly any plant that can display such a great variety of scientifically-proven active ingredients. Actually, it is one of the highest-performing natural beauty ingredients. Its natural clear gel has long been used medicinally as a skin cure for wounds and infections, but it is increasingly being incorporated into cosmetic treatments for conditions such as eczema, dandruff and psoriasis. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it a useful ingredient for fighting acne and other skin imbalances.
The plant provides anti-oxidants, and vitamin C and E, said to firm and hydrate the skin, improving its elasticity with regular application. As a natural moisturizer, it brings oxygen to the skin, strengthening it from within. As if that wasn’t enough, aloe vera is also thought to soothe arthritis, rheumatism and digestion - and we all know that beauty starts from within.
A highly fragmented market
As far as suppliers are concerned, the global aloe vera extracts market is highly fragmented, with the top eight players (including Lily of the Desert Organic Aloeceuticals, Aloe Farms Inc., Terry Laboratories Inc., Foodchem International Corporation, Natural Aloe Costa Rica S.A., Pharmachem Laboratories Inc., Aloecorp Inc., and Aloe Laboratories Inc.) accounting for around 6-7% revenue share of the global market in 2015. According to FMI, leading companies are looking to expand their production capacity and launch new product offerings in a bid to increase market share, expand customer base and achieve a competitive edge.