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A close up of a woman applying hand cream for an ingredient article about collagen infused food, beverage and beauty products

Collagen is said to be the most abundant protein in our bodies and is a main component in our skin, bones and connective tissues, which helps give skin its strength and elasticity. Collagen production declines with age. There are many different sources of collagen. It can be derived from land animals such as cows and chickens or marine animals such as fish. Now, even plant-based vegan collagen is appearing. Regardless of how collagen is derived or how consumers consume it, collagen is a hot ingredient emerging in food, beverage and beauty products. According to a March 26, 2018, article, collagen products targeting protein users grew by 751% year-over year. SPINS estimates that the collagen supplements market was worth $53.1 million in the US in 2017. Additionally, the US ranks seventh globally in sales for the beauty-from-within supplements category. Beauty bars, beverages and skincare are the latest collagen infused products.

Bars To Bite On: Beauty bars are gaining popularity for collagen infused foods to support healthy skin, hair and nails. Kalumi Beauty Bars by models Chrissy Blair and Jayla Harnwell, are formulated with marine collagen peptides and organic Yacon syrup. The bars are free of dairy, gluten, GMO and soy. They are available in three flavors: Cocoa Kiss, Lemon Love and Sweetie Pie (sweet potato). Primal Kitchen has added four new grass-fed Collagen Protein Bars to its line up, which are free of dairy, gluten, grain, soy and whey. Chocolate Hazelnut, Coconut Cashew, Dark Chocolate Almond and Macadamia Sea Salt are the four flavors. Coconut Chocolate Crunch and Peanut Butter Crunch grass-fed collagen Cookie Bars are the newest products to join NeoCell’s portfolio. Sold in the refrigerated section of grocers, Bold BiteZ Bars from NuttZo combine grass-fed collagen and pea protein, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs and rice crisps.

Beverage Boost: Ingestible protein powders and supplements have been the most common collagen applications. For example, Bobbi Brown, the renowned makeup artist, partnered with wellness expert Dr. Amy Shah to develop Evolution_18, a four SKU dietary supplement wellness line. Overnight Vanilla is formulated with Tahitian vanilla with collagen, hyaluronic acid, coconut oil and magnesium. The product is described as an “alternative to dessert” and an “ultimate bedtime ritual.” However, beverages are the newest collagen delivery systems. Vital Proteins introduced a line of shelf-stable Collagen Creamers made with organic coconut milk and 10 grams of collagen protein offered in three flavors: Coconut, Gingerbread and Vanilla. Eviva Collagen Elixirs are also shelf-stable collagen beverages, which contain two forms of high-quality absorbable collagen protein – Naticol fish collagen peptides and KollaGen II-xs. The elixirs are available in three flavors: Cucumber Mint, Lavender Lemon and Lemongrass Ginger. Last year, Jamba Juice debuted a Poolside Fit with Collagen Boost drink that featured a watermelon juice blend with cucumber, lemon, strawberry, peach and collagen. Project Juice is a new subscription-based service that delivers an at-home smoothie program. The organic superfood smoothies arrive frozen and ready-to-blend. Coffee Collagen, which features cold-brew coffee blended with banana, gluten-free oats, collagen peptides, dates, cacao nibs, MCT oil and cinnamon, is one of the six varieties available. For those who prefer an alcoholic beverage, CollaGin is a UK based brand touted as the “world’s first gin distilled with pure collagen.” The gin is distilled with 11 botanicals including pink grapefruit and orris.

Skin Deep: There are a plethora of skin care products that contain collagen or promote increasing collagen production. For example, Te Mana Skincare is a New Zealand brand that incorporates finely-milled New Zealand merino wool and collagen derived from the wool into its Ultra Soft Polishing Balm and Overnight Rehab Mask. Although not collagen based, keratin is another main protein found in skin. Similarly, researchers at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research in Durban, South Africa, are working on engineering chicken feathers into a keratin-rich shampoo for human hair. XYZ Smart Collagen Luxe Cream was initially launched as a post tattoo cream and its active ingredient is the leaf sap of the South African plant, Bulbine Frutescens. According to the company, the cream reduces wrinkles, smooths and tightens skin and improves the appearance of stretch marks. Genius Liquid Collagen by Algenist is dubbed “the first ever plant-based, vegan collagen serum” and features 13,000 beads of microalgae oil.

All forms of collagen and a variety of interesting applications are driving innovation in food, beverages, beauty and skincare. Expect to see more collagen infused consumer packaged goods.

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