Walking the Tight-Rope: The Return of Value-Based Lab Supply Purchasing

It’s an understatement that the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging for labs, with raw material shortages, labor shortages, transit issues, and snarled supply chains. The pressure for lightning-fast scientific discovery and unforeseen demand led to a flush of investment and spending in the lab supply market. However, post-pandemic, rising interest rates, increased inflation, and decreased funding have led to the return of value-based lab supply purchasing, as illustrated by market share trends. This shift requires agile tight-rope walking skills, as biotech and pharma seek to optimize lab supply budgets without sacrificing innovation.

Note on this article’s data source: As the leading lab supply marketplace, ZAGENO serves as the Amazon of the life sciences industry, covering 5,300+ brands and 40 million+ different product SKUs. The breadth and depth of products offered provides ZAGENO with unique insights into best practices and changing market conditions, which can empower R&D to make informed lab supply purchases that enable both resource optimization and scientific choice.

Lab supplier market share trends, 2022 Q2 – 2023 Q1

1. Spend control: CAPEX spend is decreasing rapidly

To meet the huge increases in demand wrought by the pandemic, companies spent heavily on capital expenditures (CAPEX) such as massive machines and equipment. In the past year, CAPEX spending fell by 43% as the industry runs current experiments, continues previous investments, and postpones new, larger purchases due to high interest rates and other more recent macro conditions.


YoY change in percent of order count for $10K+ orders 2022-2023

2. Categories: Non-CAPEX category share remains steady

To ensure the lab has access to everything it could possibly need to run experiments, the ZAGENO platform categorizes data according to many dimensions, including non-CAPEX product categories. Per ZAGENO’s data, non-CAPEX category share has remained relatively steady over the past year.

Non-CAPEX category share, 2022 Q2 - 2023 Q1



3. Brand and product trends: Purchasers are looking for value and major players are among the top brands losing market share

Top risers
Biotech and pharma are transitioning from a time of massive demand and spending to one more focused on value and resource optimization. ZAGENO’s data showcasing the top ten brands with the highest market share growth over the past year shows a correlating purchasing habit shift. The scientific community is increasingly focused on value, willing to try new brands, and also willing to try suppliers who are newer to the market.

Chart showing Top 10 brands with highest market share growth 2022-2023


Top fallers
Industry lab supply ordering trends show procurement strategies that seek to extend the life of capital and stretch budgets during times of uncertain demand and funding. As such, the top ten fallers in terms of ZAGENO marketplace market share include some of the largest players, with pricing and service that may not fit current conditions.

Chart depicting top 10 brands with declining market share 2022-2023


How to walk the tight rope of value-based purchasing with a lab supply marketplace

Budget optimization that supports scientific discovery requires a purchasing strategy that helps scientists deliver more with less. Since the scientific community is increasingly willing to try different brands and newer suppliers, they need an outlet that makes it easy to shop, order, and track purchases from a variety of qualified, easy-to-find vendors. ZAGENO provides scientists with the choice of millions of products from thousands of vetted suppliers who compete according to price and quality.

Operating a lab supply marketplace enables ZAGENO to produce this first-of-its-kind analysis for the life sciences industry with insightful trend data, such as supplier performance and supplier pricing trends.

Did you know that it’s possible to walk the tight-rope of value-based lab supply purchasing, without sacrifice? Contact us to see ZAGENO in action, visit us at

All your lab needs in one place

Access 40,000,000 products in one shop!

Trusted by thousands of scientists, lab managers, procurement and finance teams, ZAGENO's marketplace will help you search and order quickly in one go. Reach out for a demo today!