“It has always been a large category both in Asia and in Europe and the US had less than 3% of the market. The problem in the US market has been that the consumer has wanted two things: Fast results and hard science. And until just recently, the science wasn’t there,” Whittel said. Whittel talked with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Expo East trade show in Baltimore, MD.
Whittel credited German collagen supplier Gelita with expanding the research base for collagen as an ingredient. Collagen makes up a large proportion of the body’s protein content, and forms a key building block of the support structure for the skin and for other organs. But while the idea that ‘the body is made of collagen, therefore supplementing with collagen is a good thing to do’ might make sense, there wasn’t a lot of research in the past to support it, Whittel said. Work done at the Collagen Research Institute in Kiel, Germany has been instrumental in putting the category on a firmer evidence footing, she said.
“Finally in this category we getting some hard science,” she said. Whittel said research into the collagen used in Reserveage’s products that over the course of 8 weeks in can reduce the depth wrinkles by up to 20%.
Over the past eight years she has been in the business Whittel said she has seen the trust with the consumer erode. Whittel said transparency has always been a hallmark of her brand and is the only way to regain that trust.
“I started in this business literally meeting with the vintners and sourcing directly some of the ingredients I was going to use,” Whittel said.
Reserveage has been in the news recently because of its high profile acquisition by Twinlab Holding Corporation. Whittel said she had had discussions with Twinlab CEO Tom Tolworthy for a number of years about joining forces, but couldn’t speak in more depth about the deal as it is in the final stages of consummation.