April 17, 2008

5 Min Read
Global Market Growth for Dietary Supplements

Global demand for dietary and nutritional supplements continues to escalate—steadily in mature major markets and exponentially in smaller emerging markets. Worldwide, sales are expected to hit approximately $53.4 billion in 2007, a modest 4.7 percent growth compared to $51 billion in 2006, according to recent market estimates. An 11-year comparison is more compelling: sales are up 38.7 percent from the $38.5 billion in 1997.

Often, the more interesting market questions relate to identification of specific dietary supplement product categories as well as regional “hot spots” that can help provide insights into possible future expansions. Organizations such as Euromonitor, Datamonitor, Mintel and NBJ provided interesting data from 2006 that can help pinpoint such growth opportunities.

First up is the Asia Pacific region, the global sales leader with $22.6 billion, or 44.2 percent market share; China is unquestionably the major player in this region. Calcium is a billion dollar product in China (as well as the top seller globally), closely followed by protein powder ($746 million). In China, where diets are low in protein, protein powder is often given as a gift, elaborately presented in a beautiful gift box.

There is also a wide breadth of supplements sold in China, as evidenced by the large size ($1.6 billion) of the “other” category in most market data reports. These “other” products include combination formulas, using TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) ingredients like E-Jiao (donkey hide glue that reportedly helps with diarrhea and low blood pressure) and Lingzhi (type of mushroom). Of significance, Japan also prefers combination formulas, followed by probiotics and prune extracts to aid in digestion.Next in size is the North American market, which accounts for 32.2 percent of global market share, with close to $16.4 billion in sales. Supplements on the rise include fish oil, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), probiotics, glucosamine, lutein, zeaxanthin, SAM-e, phytosterol esters and resveratrol. Noni, a supplement from the “superfruit” family, has burst onto the scene with heavy marketing from direct-selling companies, bringing in more than $260 million in sales. Supplements on the decline are vitamin E, Ginkgo biloba, Echinacea, garlic, evening primrose oil and ginseng, primarily due to “negative” media reports, which many believe were based on flawed meta-analyses.In the United States, specific supplements that claim to support eye, joint and heart health for aging baby boomers account for almost half of the market. These categories will likely continue to show growth with the rise of disposable income of baby boomers who want to continue their quality of life. Multivitamins (58 percent of vitamin consumption) will remain in big demand; growth is predicted at 7.5 percent annually. It has been reported that up to 68 percent of Americans regularly take a multivitamin as insurance to offset poor diets. Blends of vitamins and supplements are expected to perform strongly through 2009 as alternative treatments for health conditions outweigh traditional drug therapy. Sports nutrition supplements grew 23 percent in 2006, and are expected to top $12.7 billion by 2011. Innovative products for weight and glucose management are becoming increasingly popular.

In Western Europe, sales hit $7.4 billion, accounting for 14.4 percent global market share. Significant growth has been registered in Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Greece, Turkey and Portugal. In the larger European countries, niche products are expected to perform well. In Germany, minerals, tonics and Echinacea head the pack. In Italy, the standout categories are minerals and nutricosmetics. Probiotics are also showing growth in Italy, in no small part to its connection with the management of Crohn’s disease, which has been related to high pasta consumption.France’s leading “other” category is dominated by nutricosmetics, driven by major efforts by companies like Inneov and Oenebiol. In the United Kingdom, fish oils reign as the market leader, true to long-time traditional use, but the “other” category comprised of energy, starflower oil and artichoke supplements is catching up.Sales reached $1.6 billion in Latin America, for 3.1 percent of the global market. For the region, multivitamins lead with $900 million in sales; no. 2 is vitamin C at $200 million. These same product categories dominate the top market, Brazil; multivitamins are first at $250 million, followed by vitamin C at $120 million.Right behind Latin America is Eastern Europe, where sales totaled $1.4 billion (2.7 percent of global market). Since 1997, this represents a 313 percent increase from $339 million. This catapult has been aided by a 50 percent increase in per capita expenditure in the last four years. Major category trends continue to be the tried-and-true products like minerals, fish oils, CoQ10, and glucosamine. The leading market in Eastern Europe is Russia, with close to $600 million in sales; of note, dietary supplements overtook vitamins in 2003. Poland is the second largest market in Eastern Europe, followed by Ukraine, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Romania, one of the fastest growing markets, is now sixth.Finally, the regions of Africa, the Middle East and Australasia are beginning to make a dent in the global market, with a combined 3 percent market share for $1.58 billion in sales. In Africa and the Middle East, in particular, multivitamins are highest in demand, with vitamin B and vitamin C following right behindPeter Zambetti is the global business development manager for Dietary Supplements at Capsugel (Capsugel.com), Peapack, N.J.Editor's Note: Looking to learn more about the global dietary supplement market. Peter Zambetti will discuss "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" of international dietary supplement regulations on Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at 9 a.m. at SupplySide East. To learn more or to register, visit SupplySideShow.com.

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