The market is in its early stages of development, which is characterized by the majority of products being based on herbal commodities or low-quality carotenoid sources, with no direct scientific proof of efficacy. Growing awareness and an aging population present a clear market opportunity for preventive products but they need to have all the scientific support. Because products do not have an immediate effect, consumers must have only scientific data to rely on.
There are too few products dedicated to children, especially under the age of 12. Neglecting eye health during early childhood and adolescent years can have consequences later in life as it can increase the risk of eye-related health problems. Early intervention may be the best way to help improve natural macular protection and prevent or delay age-related eye disorders.
Another challenge and also an opportunity is product stability. Development of eye health products is a particularly difficult process, requiring expertise in carotenoids’ stability in user-friendly product forms. PharmaLinea’s R&D has found carotenoids to be highly unstable, especially in liquid form. Product stability throughout the whole shelf-life presents an opportunity for challenger companies and a must for established brands aiming for the support of ophthalmologists.