Kappa Bioscience

Commercial Market Development

Vitamin K2 MK-7 – discovered, forgottem, coming to a store near you

Commercial Market Development – Commercial

See what CEO Egil Greve from Kappa Bioscience has to say about K2

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Why is vitamin K2 MK-7 not yet fully commercially developed?

Vitamin K2 MK-7 has long been the ‘the missing vitamin’. Vitamin K2 MK-7 has long been the ‘the missing vitamin’. Early studies of vitamin K focused mainly on the coagulation effect of vitamin K1, and it took sixty years to put the spotlight of scientific studies on vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is at least four decades behind the development curve of its fat-soluble peers. Thanks to a new look, vitamin K2 was revisited with new vigor.

In 1990, Motohara et al. studied the transfer of vitamin K2 between mothers and new-borns, and was followed by several Japanese studies which investigated K2’s effect on bone health. Between 1999 and 2016, several studies on K2 biomarkers demonstrated the role of vitamin K2 in activating proteins like osteocalcin and MGP. Studies demonstrating K2’s role in reducing cardiovascular risk was another milestone on the K2 road - map. These scientific developments paved the way for K2’s current commercial boom.

K2VITAL® vitamin K2 MK-7 has been launched in several mass-market arenas, including pharmacies across the EU. Global brands such as PG&T via its Swisse brand have launched broad-appeal vitamin K2 products. For example, Swisse launched a range of multivitamins under the Ultivite® product line aimed at multiple consumer segments, available in the Boots pharmacy chain in the UK and in pharmacies across Italy. The Ultivite® line is under roll-out across Europe. Significantly, Swisse chose to co-brand the K2VITAL® logo on the packaging, the only ingredient logo included. Other global brands have successfully launched K2 products in the US, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and South Africa, among others countries.

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The achievement of synthesis marked the commercial milestone where vitamin K2 could enter the mainstream

In 2012, Kappa Bioscience launched K2VITAL®, vitamin K2 as MK-7, in several product formats. K2VITAL® was the first vitamin K2 manufactured by an organic synthesis process, compared to the traditional natural-fermented process. The achievement of synthesis marked the commercial milestone where vitamin K2 could enter the mainstream. Most commercial obstacles that previously relegated K2 to niche-market status (price, stability, scalability, form and awareness) have been solved with the launch of K2VITAL®. The scalability of the synthesis process, leading to cost reductions and security of supply chain, has allowed global brands to benefit from the promise of vitamin K2 for the first time. The move of vitamin K2 MK-7 into mainstream markets is now underway. Vitamin K2 MK-7 is on the path for mass-market commercialization and broad consumer adoption.

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Promising prospect with Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 shares health benefits with four of the top five largest dietary supplement categories: calcium, omega-3, magnesium and A-to-Z multivitamins. Products containing any of these ingredients or those targeting health categories using these ingredients are good candidates for the inclusion of vitamin K2. New formulations including K2 can extend and refresh product lines while improving products and the health benefits provided to consumers. With great bone and heart health benefits, and so many market-entry possibilities, the prospects for vitamin K2 are promising - so promising that K2 may follow and exceed the growth trajectory of vitamin D3.

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Vitamin K2 MK-7 – The fastest growing ingredient worldwide

Estimates show that the K2 market has been doubling each year. With market figures difficult to come by, volume estimates of the five main K2 MK-7 manufacturers would place the 2015 retail market size at about USD 220m, though Nutrition Business Journal put the figure as high as USD 1.5bn. Vitamin K2 also shares health indicators with four of the top five largest dietary supplements categories: calcium, magnesium, omega-3 and multivitamins. Vitamin K2 provides an opportunity to improve existing products and extend product lines wherever these ingredients are present. Vitamin K2 has overcome several market challenges and is now poised on the tipping point of explosive growth.

  • Commercial
  • Quality & Safety
  • Product development
  • Science Papers
  • ExperienceCards

Scalable capacity for mass-market production demands: Kappa’s current production capacity already exceeds the total projected yearly global vitamin K2 demand through 2020.
Industry-leading pricing: Kappa continuously reinvests in R&D and manufacturing processes to drive ingredient price points to levels that support commercial adoption. In 2017, Kappa led the market with a 45% price reduction – marking a significant step on the path to mass-market commercialization of K2.

Purity: all-trans vitamin K2 MK-7 (USP).
Quality: GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000:2005 manufacturing and distribution standards.
Stability: Patent-pending microencapsulation technology ensures stability in challenging formulations.
Long shelf life in finished products: 36 months shelf life on all ingredients; supported by extensive stability data on ingredients and finished formulations.
Approvals: Novel Food (EU), TGA (AUS), GRAS (USA), drug registration in India (2017). Application processes are initiated in countries including China, Thailand and others. Kosher and Halal certifications.

Kappa developed the K2 Formulation LookBook, including more than 120 ready-to-use product formulations and dosage forms targeted towards all K2 health applications and a wide range of consumer groups.

Kappa’s on-going ExperienceCard Program develops innovative vitamin K2 formulations in collaboration with industry leaders. Each ExperienceCard concept represents a novel product formulation that is specifically designed to solve an existing market problem or to address a health segment or consumer group in a new way. K2VITAL® vitamin K2 MK-7 provides the central ingredient in each of the products. Partners provided synergistic co-ingredients, innovative dosage or manufacturing technology, or other elements that make these forward-looking products possible.

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