Food Supplements Consulting

Food supplements (dietary supplements) are a lucrative and rapidly growing market segment that will continue to grow and spread to various geographic markets around the world as consumer behaviours continue to shift towards personal health. Currently, North America accounts for the largest total market share in terms of revenue due to the rising demand for sports nutrition and the increasing focus on a healthy, active lifestyle, but other emerging markets are not far behind and this industry is growing rapidly in emerging markets.

Growth Rates in Food Supplements Market Worldwide
Source: Chameleon Pharma Consulting

Selected Food Supplement Consulting projects we at Chameleon Pharma have worked on:

  1. We have supported 4-5 leading European food supplements companies on completing a country analysis of several key LATAM markets to identify the best potential country to expand to, including a competitive analysis and to identify the differentiation KPIs for market entry strategy.
  2. We have supported a number of international investors in Vitamins, Minerals and supplements (VMS) to create an international strategy to expand to other countries and to identify trending ingredients and future market outlook.
  3. We have consulted a number of US and Asian food supplement manufacturers on the regulatory requirements and licences necessary and to adjust the products claims towards local laws and successful market entry in Europe.
  4. We have worked with borderline products such as D-Mannose, melatonin, Vitamin D etc. Mostly regarding the allowed claims, concentrations, packaging, galenic forms, and registration status vs. Medical device and drugs etc.
  5. Using our Systematic International Partner Company Identification process, we successfully identified the top 3 best fitting marketing and distribution partners for 2-3 European food supplements companies to launch in Russia/CIS as well as in 3-4 Latin American markets.
  6. We have consulted a mid-sized EU food supplements company on the identification of key product and company acquisition targets in Russia/CIS and conducted the associated due diligence to prevent competition from other investors.
  7. Analysed the food supplement sector in multiple countries such as Asia to develop a unique international market entry strategy to ensure differentiation from other players for a European OTC & Food supplement group.
  8. The European claim directive and labelling is a complex topic. We have supported many Rx. and OTC companies to evaluate their Food Supplement products and claims in order to comply with the EU laws.
  9. It is not always easy to evaluate new Food supplement products, concepts and new trend ingredients on an international level. We have supported OTC & Pharma groups to design market entry strategies on the Food supplement segment and to identify new trend ingredients.

Increased Awareness for Personal Healthcare

In recent years, consumers around the world are becoming more aware of personal healthcare, as seen by the increasing awareness of healthy eating, fitness, and personal care. However, due to changing dietary habits including easier access to junk foods, many consumers have been turning to food supplements as a method to increase their intake of healthy vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS). The increasingly positive outlook of the sports nutrition market is also a large driving factor for the overall growth of the food supplement market as well.

Aside from being a relatively inexpensive method to boost consumers’ existing dietary habits, due to the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as lactose intolerance and fructose intolerance, many consumers turn to specialized food supplements to manage their symptoms without having to use more expensive medications that may not be subsidized by health insurance providers. Dietary preferences such as veganism and vegetarianism are also contributing to the growth of the food supplements market, as consumers use food supplements to ensure the maintenance of a balanced diet.

Shift Towards Natural Products

Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker – Plate of Fresh Vegetables

Along with the increasing awareness towards personal healthcare, the food supplement market has also been affected by the overall shift in preference towards natural products. This is especially visible in the Asia-Pacific region, where rising sales of natural food supplements (natural remedies) such as royal jelly and chlorella has contributed to making this market the second largest food supplement market globally. Currently, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for almost a third of total global food supplement market revenue share.

Distribution Channels for Food Supplements

Currently, on account of the large proportion of food supplement sales, the majority of product sales are concentrated on supermarkets, drugstores, and retail pharmacies. However, due to relatively relaxed regulations concerning the sales of food supplements compared to OTC drugs or other pharma products, the rise of e-commerce portals such large online marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba will likely continue to disrupt traditional distribution channels. Also, multi-level concepts play a big role in the VMS market.

Registration of Food Supplements in the EU

In the EU, food supplements are regulated as foods, and as such, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, importer, supplier and distributor to ensure that a food supplement on the market is safe. For vitamins and minerals that are listed in Annex I of the EU directive 2002/46/EC, there are no maximum and minimum levels for the ingredients of food supplements defined in the European Union. The levels follow complicated laws, procedures, and limitations on a local country level.
For other ingredients such as botanical and natural ingredients, there is also specific legislation that details their authorization depending on the nature of the substance. Despite the fact that there are no maximum or minimum levels for the ingredients in food supplements in the EU, strict labeling and claiming rules still apply set by the responsible EFSA institution.