By Charles Henderson of Climate Futures
Moringa Oleifera is a highly nutritious plant, which grows throughout the tropical zones. Its seed oil is also used in cosmetics, and was favoured by the ancient Egyptians, including (it is alleged) Cleopatra herself.
Moringa Miracles Ltd. is developing commercial production in Malawi, for export to Europe, the US and South Africa. With BIF's support, Climate Futures undertook a market study into the size of the health supplements, animal food and cosmetic industries in target countries, and identified over 50 ‘high priority’ buyers for the leaf powder and oil. We found that interest is growing and high street names are already stocking and considering moringa.
The moringa leaf is rich in protein, essential amino acids, potassium, calcium and vitamins A, B and C – very unusual in one plant. Originating in the Himalayan foothills, moringa is particularly popular in central and southern India, where it is revered as a health giver and is grown in many gardens. Its use is also widespread in the Philippines, and, increasingly China. The fresh leaf tastes somewhere between spinach and kale, and is very good in salads and used as a relish. Moringa powder is also packaged into capsules for urban dwellers, and exported.
‘Western’ buyers are interested in reliable sources of high quality moringa, and have requested samples for the Moringa Miracles product. The health supplement and multivitamin market was worth an estimated $68 billion in 2010. Moringa may be classified as a ‘natural multivitamin product’, and is also marketed as a superfood ingredient in the Zija and Maximol branded energy drinks. Bulk prices are quoted upwards of $10 / kg on Alibaba.com for moringa powder. Final retail prices are one or two orders of magnitude higher, as highly branded products are the norm for Western consumers.
Moringa oil is used in the products of popular European natural cosmetic store, the Body Shop. The natural cosmetic and toiletry markets are already worth an estimated $23bn worldwide in 2010, and are well-established or growing in target countries. Online bulk oil prices range from $600 per tonne to $28 per kg.
Health supplements are notoriously fashion driven and faddish but moringa may deserve the hype due to its proven nutritional value. If so, the future could be looking very healthy for Moringa Miracles.
About the author: Charles Henderson manages market research for consultancy, Climate Futures. He is also developing smallholder moringa enterprises through Malawian programme, JANEEMO.
For more blogs and resources on the Hub about Moringa, click here.
Add a Comment