In 2008 the dietary supplements market in Poland was worth over PLN 1.7bn (€484m)(1) , which means that it expanded by 24% relative to 2007. Between 2009 and 2011, because of the financial crisis and the anticipated consequences of upcoming regulatory changes, the market’s annualised sales growth could slow. Regardless, the market of dietary supplements is forecast to expand by 12–15% a year – much quicker than both the Rx and the OTC drug segments, according to a recently released report, “Dietary supplements market in Poland 2009”, from PMR, a research and consulting company.
Market growth: still over 10%
In 2006 and 2007 Poland noted impressive, more than 6%, GDP growth, thanks to which Poles could afford to purchase more luxury goods, including dietary supplements. This is also why the entire dietary supplements market in Poland expanded by over 30% year on year in 2007 and in 2008—by close to a quarter. Because of lower GDP growth forecasts for 2009 and 2010, PMR also expects lower growth in sales of dietary supplements. Between 2009 and 2011 annual market growth will oscillate in the neighbourhood of 12–15%. PMR forecasts are based on an assessment of the impact of the global financial crisis on the Polish market and of the consequences of the upcoming regulatory changes (relating to borderline products). “On the other hand, PMR has assumed that the trends apparent in previous years which powered sales in the segment will continue to hold: ageing of society, greater interest in self-medication, healthy lifestyle and healthy appearance, natural and herbal preparations, in addition to the trend of the registration as dietary supplements of vitamins and minerals as well as other similar products,” Monika Stefańczyk, Head Pharmaceutical Market Analyst at PMR and report co-author, explained.
The dietary supplements market in Poland is still not very saturated and PMR expects that it will develop in step with the trends observed in Western Europe and the United States. In other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, the value of sales of dietary supplements has been rising steadily as well. The Czech Republic is the most advanced in this area, with dietary supplements sales accounting for around 40% of the value of the country’s entire OTC market in 2007. “In 2008 the dietary supplements market in Poland accounted for around 21% of total pharmacy and non-pharmacy sales on the OTC market. This is approximately 5 p.p. more than in 2006; nevertheless the segment continues to have development potential,” Agnieszka Stawarska, Pharmaceutical Market Analyst at PMR and report co-author, explained.
Omega fatty acids: market engine
In our opinion, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid products represent the category of the dietary supplements market with the best development prospects, especially preparations for the heart and the cardiovascular system. In recent years, ever more manufacturers have chosen to enlarge their portfolios for the Polish market by products manufactured from omega fatty acids. However, the products of leading global manufacturers of this type of dietary supplements are still not available in Poland.
The market development of products containing omega fatty acids will be affected by epidemiological trends prevailing in Poland. Despite their gradual decrease, cardiovascular diseases are still the main cause of death in Poland. At the beginning of the 1990s, they caused over 52% of total deaths; in 2006 the figure had gone down to 46%.(2) In 2006 in Poland, the incidence of cardiovascular disease was as much as 80% higher among men and 54% among women than the averages recorded that year for the 27 countries of the European Union. Lipid dysfunctions, which are the most common factor contributing towards the risk of heart disease, according to research conducted by WOBASZ, were noted as being close to 70% among adult Poles. In addition, Poles are also reluctant to impose any true restrictions on what they eat. Often they prefer to use artificial supplements to satisfy any nutritional deficiencies.
Given these factors, we expect the market of omega-fatty-acid dietary supplements to develop very strongly, at a double-digit yearly rate.
1 Value of pharmacy, non-pharmacy and online sales.
2 The latest available data by the GUS.
PMR Publications (www.pmrpublications.com) is a division of PMR, a company providing market information, advice and services to international businesses interested in Central and Eastern European countries and other emerging markets. PMR key areas of operation include market research (through PMR Research), consultancy (through PMR Consulting) and business publications (through PMR Publications). With over 13 years of experience, highly skilled international staff and coverage of over 20 countries, PMR is one of the largest companies of its type in the region.