The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by environmental sustainability, convenience, and aesthetics, and the growing importance of personalized nutrition, food safety and transparency, and digital food management technologies. In the last three years alone, there have been over 662,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in consumer: natural complex preservatives. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

30+ innovations will shape the consumer industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 116,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, microencapsulated proteins, plant-based cheese substitutes, and texturized vegetable proteins are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Botulinum toxin, beverage pods, and filled confectionary manufacturing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anabolic muscle supplements and protein-fortified beverages, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Natural complex preservatives is a key innovation area in consumer

Natural complex preservatives are plant-derived compounds used to extend the shelf-life of food products by preventing bacterial, fungal, and oxidative spoilage. These preservatives are becoming increasingly popular as consumers demand natural, healthier, and more sustainable food options.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of natural complex preservatives.

Key players in natural complex preservatives – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to natural complex preservatives

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mizkan 37 Unlock Company Profile
Consumo Em Verde Biotecnologia Das Plantas 27 Unlock Company Profile
Jeneil Biosurfactant 20 Unlock Company Profile
Agri-Neo 20 Unlock Company Profile
Ecolab 19 Unlock Company Profile
Buckman Laboratories International 16 Unlock Company Profile
Buhler 14 Unlock Company Profile
Mars 12 Unlock Company Profile
CMS Technology 11 Unlock Company Profile
Anheuser-Busch InBev 9 Unlock Company Profile
Raps 8 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 8 Unlock Company Profile
Gruppo Mauro Saviola 8 Unlock Company Profile
Satake Engineering 7 Unlock Company Profile
Saraya 7 Unlock Company Profile
Chacha Food 7 Unlock Company Profile
Stalam 5 Unlock Company Profile
Uni-President Enterprises 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nagase 4 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hefei Zhuguang Grain & Oil Trade 3 Unlock Company Profile
Standard Foods 3 Unlock Company Profile
International Flavors & Fragrances 3 Unlock Company Profile
Satake 2 Unlock Company Profile
Wei Wei 2 Unlock Company Profile
Nexyst 360 2 Unlock Company Profile
BST 2 Unlock Company Profile
Vomm Impianti E Processi 2 Unlock Company Profile
ARCHANGEL 2 Unlock Company Profile
Zhengzhou Souqu Information Technology 2 Unlock Company Profile
Lotus Innovative Health 2 Unlock Company Profile
Uni-President China 1 Unlock Company Profile
Zhang Mei 1 Unlock Company Profile
Suzhou Kegu Rice 1 Unlock Company Profile
Guangxi Lipu Anjili Wood Industry 1 Unlock Company Profile
Shucheng Shenggui Food 1 Unlock Company Profile
Qingdao Donghao Software Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Hunan Nongyou Machinery Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Winner Medical Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Sanshan Branch of Wuhu Haoyikuai Food 1 Unlock Company Profile
Anhui Youyuan Food 1 Unlock Company Profile
Hefei Fulaiduo Food 1 Unlock Company Profile
Ambiente E Nutrizione 1 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 1 Unlock Company Profile
Three Squirrels 1 Unlock Company Profile
Ajinomoto 1 Unlock Company Profile
Anhui Yanzhifang Food 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Mizkan is one of the leading patent filers in natural complex preservatives. Some other key patent filers in the space include Consumo Em Verde Biotecnologia Das Plantas, Agri-Neo, and Jeneil Biosurfactant. Agri-Neo has formed a collaboration with Alpacasa, a prominent food processing firm in Paraguay. Alpacasa will leverage Agri-Neo's Neo-Pure pasteurization technology to deliver premium ingredients and solutions, enhancing value for both its domestic and global customers.

In terms of application diversity, Nexyst 360 leads the pack, with Jeneil Biosurfactant and BASF in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Consumo Em Verde Biotecnologia Das Plantas holds the top position, followed by Agri-Neo and Ecolab.

As consumer preferences shift towards more natural, healthier, and environmentally sustainable food choices, the food industry is expected to increasingly adopt natural complex preservatives.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.