Ever since the second half of the 20th century, wax industry has been going through a plethora of highs and lows, pertaining to the uncertain availability of the raw materials and a rapidly changing regulatory scenario. As of now however, though the availability of diverse raw materials has increased substantially, end-users and regulatory bodies have been adopting a transformed approach towards sustainable and cost-effective alternatives, setting a benchmark for the giants in wax market. Indeed, one of the principal factors responsible for the growth of this vertical is the widespread application of the product across several end-use sectors such as packaging, rubber, cosmetics, and adhesives.
It is being speculated that in the coming years, natural wax will gain enormous precedence over other product alternatives such as synthetic and mineral wax, owing to its advantageous physical as well as chemical properties. In addition, most of the geographies – especially the European and North American economies, have taken initiatives to enhance the usage of natural wax such as beeswax and vegetable wax for appropriate applications. In this regard, most of the countries have implemented a supportive regulatory framework on the basis of which many participants in wax industry have changed their focus toward the development of natural wax.
A succinct gist of wax market trends from the sales and popularity of beeswax:
Dating back to the ancient era, honey and beeswax have held profound importance, on account of their usage in a range of spheres, from personal care to industrial and pharmaceuticals to confectionary. Medicinal studies claim that honey is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, laxative, antioxidant, antipyretic, sedative, blood purifying, moisturizing, and antiallergic in nature, pertaining to which many pharma companies and personal care product manufacturers have been conducting extensive research to add beeswax in most of the medicinal derivatives. In fact, beeswax is already being massively deployed as a prominent ingredient in many of the skin treatment solutions, liver treatment medicines, consumable bakery foods, and baby care products. In addition to medicinal applications, it also preferred for candle manufacturing, furniture polish, coatings, processed foods, specialty chemicals, lubricants, and the textile industry.
Traditionally, in some of the countries based in the continents of Africa and Asia, beeswax has been used since quite a period to manufacture fabrics and small cast metal objects. In addition, beeswax is also preferred as a waterproofing agent for leather & wood and a thread strengthening agent, owing to its pronounced plasticity and high binding strength. As of now most of the industries including cosmetics, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, electronics component manufacturers, and candle producers have established a deployment spectrum for beeswax across numerous applications. Indeed, the growing demand for beeswax has been encouraging giants in wax market to increase its production by manifolds. In this regard, most of the regional governments and renowned wax industry contributors are predominantly encouraging honeybee farming to obtain a substantial number of raw products. As per a study, with the help of movable-comb hives it is possible to produce beeswax at a ratio of 10:1 – more precisely, to manufacture one unit of beeswax, 10 units of honey are required.
A research carried out by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) around a decade back claims that European countries import approximately 6,000 tons of beeswax annually, 50% of which arrives from the developing countries. UK, Germany, and France are counted amongst the top European countries importing this product, owing to the highest consumption of beeswax across the medical and pharmaceutical industries in the region. In addition, myriad industries from other developed geographies have also been observed to import beeswax on large scale, mainly from the tropical countries. The succeeding paragraphs elaborate the massive application scope of beeswax influencing worldwide wax industry share.
An analysis of wax market in terms of beeswax usage in the cosmetic industry:
The notion of beeswax applications sends forth a thought of the product being used to manufacture candles, however, since the last few decades, the growing awareness about the effective health benefits of non-toxic and natural products is remarkably fueling the demand for beeswax in cosmetic applications. Indeed, beeswax is a notable ingredient in many cosmetic products such as lipsticks, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and many more. Pertaining to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, beeswax is also used in acne treatment remedies.
At present, many players in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries have successfully improvised product formulations with the help of advanced research programs. Myriad U.S. and UK based companies have been investing heavily in research and development activities as well, to develop diverse products from the original formula and consolidate the competitive scenario of wax market across most of the geographies.
A slew of research programs have unveiled that beeswax based medicines are rather effective for treating liver and cancer diseases – this is indeed turning out to be one of the most lucrative opportunities for the giants in beeswax industry. Collectively, the burgeoning demand for beeswax for cosmetics as well as pharmaceutical applications is certain to augment worldwide wax industry size over the years ahead.
Speaking about the geographical trends influenced by the escalating use of beeswax in pharmaceutical applications, it would be imperative to mention that in the last few years, Australia witnessed a huge price hike in beeswax. Reportedly, the demand for beeswax across Australia has increased by six times in the last half a decade, owing to its prominent use in candles, lip balms, and male grooming products. Consequently, the rise in the requirement of raw material across Australia has created long-term business opportunities for the players in wax market.
Sustainable packaging trends to indirectly influence wax industry share:
In the last few years, the waste produced from packaging solutions has been growing tremendously, leading to a rise in plastic landfills. Considering the hazardous impact of plastic waste on biodiversity, most of the countries have decided to shift their focus toward the adoption of sustainable and flexible packaging solutions. In this regard, several giants in packaging material industry have been looking forward to increase the sustainability of packaging material with constant research and development activities. In fact, some of the companies have even come up with the next-generation waste-free food packaging options, including an alternative in the form of wax.
Eyeing the upcoming opportunities in sustainable packaging industry, many entrepreneurs have been unearthing sophisticated ways to use naturally available raw materials for developing edible food packaging. For instance, a few years before, one of the Germany-based supermarkets, Original Unverpackt started producing containers from pasta, rice, and other dry goods, which could be used to pack food. In addition to this, some of the outlets based in Austria and Italy have also started producing packaging solutions from naturally obtained raw materials such as vegetables and beeswax. The trend of using food for food packaging is thus gaining remarkable popularity across the globe. Lately in fact, in order to pack dry foods such as rice, beeswax packaging labeled with soy ink is being extensively used. The shifting trends toward the adoption of beeswax to increase the recyclability of packaging options are poised to stimulate wax industry outlook over the years ahead.
The evolving usage of vegetable wax and its impact on wax industry outlook:
Speaking about the sustainability, recyclability, and affordability of wax materials, it is noteworthy to mention the usage of vegetable wax as well. As of now, vegetable wax is prominently used to manufacture candles on a large scale pertaining to the deployment of a stringent regulatory framework related to the usage of synthetic wax for manufacturing candles. In this regard, many global candle manufacturers have changed their perspectives toward the usage of waxes for candles. In fact, most of the wax manufacturers have also started developing novel vegetable wax material for fulfilling the ever-changing requirements of their customers. Validating the aforementioned fact, the leading natural wax manufacturer, Cargill Inc., has recently added a new range of vegetable wax for candles in order to meet the changing requirements of European candle makers. The shifting focus of wax manufacturers toward enhancing their vegetable wax product portfolios for expanding their business across several geographies would have a noteworthy influence on wax industry trends over the years ahead.
Apart from the changing business perspective of the giants in wax market, the regulatory norms mandated by regional governments to promote the sustainability of food and drug packaging is also likely to generate lucrative opportunities for the biggies partaking in this vertical. While the adoption rate of green packaging solutions is witnessing a steady growth owing to the product’s effectiveness, the continuous involvement of companies in bringing about innovations and advancements in existing product ranges would also suitably augment wax industry outlook. The estimated growth in the acceptance rate of biodegradable and eco-friendly products across numerous industries is thus likely to boost natural wax market share.
It is rather overt from the aforementioned trends that the increasing penetration of natural wax including beeswax and vegetable wax in myriad applications such as candles, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics will encourage most investors to pour in capital in wax industry. The ongoing scientific research across the numerous application sectors related to advanced manufacturing processes, effective healthcare remedies, and sustainable product developments will further have a remarkable influence on wax market size. Reportedly, as per Global Market Insights, Inc., by the end of 2024, wax industry will generate a revenue of more than USD 10 billion.
Global Market Insights, Inc. has a report titled, “Wax Market Size By Product (Petroleum And Mineral [Paraffin, Microcrystalline], Synthetic [GTL Waxes, Polymer Waxes], Natural [Bees Wax, Vegetable Wax]), By Application (Candles, Packaging, Wood & Fire-logs, Rubber, Adhesive, Cosmetics) Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, India, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, GCC), Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2017 – 2024”, available at