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Chinese tariffs affect maternal nutrition market

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Trade tensions between the United States and China are making the maternal product market more volatile.

Pregnant women, new mothers and infants often have specific dietary needs that can be difficult to fulfill on a standard diet alone. While a specialty diet may be the ideal way to address these needs, it comes with many hurdles, the most significant being cost. As such, dietary supplements catered to these specific and unique needs continue to emerge as a growing market.

This unique subpopulation requires not only food sources rich in vitamins and minerals such as omega-3 and vitamin B12, but also sources free of the chemicals that can often contaminate plant- and animal-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy. This is where the supplement market comes in.

This growing market, however, is already seeing the effects of a tumultuous trade war between the United States and China, a major manufacturing hub for the supplements in question. As the cost of exporting these supplements, and the raw materials needed to manufacture them, rises with new tariffs and general uncertainty surrounding the global trade market, Chinese manufacturers may have little choice but to move their operations abroad. This in turn will not only disrupt existing supply chains, but likely force new ones to be created. As such, bigger pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies would be wise to take advantage of the ever-changing market before it’s too late.

For more information on marketing opportunities for maternal nutrition products, check out INSIDER’s Maternal Nutrition Digital Magazine. 

Sudhir Ahluwalia is a business consultant. He has been management consulting head of Tata Consultancy Services, an IT outsourcing company in Asia, business advisor to multiple companies and columnist. He authored the book "Holy Herbs." Ahluwalia was also a member of the Indian Forest Service.

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