Worldwide growth in demand for personal care applications of fatty esters is estimated to reach a CAGR of 3.89 per cent over the period 2000 - 2010, according to a market report from Global Industry Analysis. The market research specialist estimates that the worldwide market for the ingredients will reach a total of $1.8bn (€1.20bn) by 2010 allowing for CAGR of 3.2 per cent during the same ten year period. Personal care is a big customer Although the main market for fatty esters is still the food industry, estimated to account for 37.48 per cent of the total in 2007, the personal care industry is one of the biggest customers, followed by the agriculture, pharmaeceutical, metal treatment and lubricants industries. However, the authors of the report believe that because of the ingredient's biodegradeability and all-round positive eco profile, demand is likely to soar from all industries as manufacturers race to comply with stricter environmental codes. This particular trend is likely to be most marked in the more developed Western European and US markets, where government initiatives to tackle environmental issues and greater consumer awareness are driving the biggest changes. Functionality also helping to drive sales But as well as flying the eco flag, fatty esters are also helping to stretch the boundaries of a range of consumer products and industrial applications, the report highlights. Currently the refinement of fatty esters for personal care applications is helping to stretch its functionality to applications as far-reaching as thickening agents, anti-irritant, pigment wetting and water solubility. Likewise, there has been a marked downward pricing for the ingredient, bucking the trend for many commodity and ingredient price increases of late. The report highlights how cheaper Asian supplies are also helping to stir up greater interest in the ingredient worldwide and for a range of applications, which is expected to continue to grow in coming years.