Increased Public Awareness of Health and Dietary Issues Raises Profile of Dietary Supplements

An Ageing European Population Emerges a Key Market for Dietary Supplements

London, UK – 13th September, 2005 - The highly fragmented European dietary supplements markets witnessed explosive growth in the early 1990s. With very little regulatory control over market participants, products were promoted with deceptive advertising and unsubstantiated claims hence eroding consumer confidence. In a bid to regulate the market, the European Commission (EC) is introducing legislation on food and nutritive labelling to monitor health claims. While these controls help check misleading products, they also limit the supplement manufacturer’s ability to communicate the product benefits to end-users.

In an era where consumers are faced with a barrage of information about health issues, the media plays a critical role in the consumers buying decisions. While massive media coverage serves to increase health awareness, consumers can be left confused due to the often contradictory information available through various sources. Since such a situation has a serious bearing on the reputation of the dietary supplements, manufacturers must reformulate their strategies to ensure that the customers receive the right information.

“The transfer of information to the consumer is a key driver for growth in the European dietary supplement markets,” notes Mr. V. Meenakshi Sundaram, Research Analyst with Frost & Sullivan ( ”Manufacturers need to take a proactive approach in dealing with issues related to negative press coverage and enhance customer awareness by promoting credible scientific research on the benefits of dietary supplements.”

Public health care expenses are rising and European governments have embarked on a phase of medical deregulation. Many vitamins and minerals that were previously available only on prescriptions are now available over-the-counter (OTC). To tap the growing trend towards self-medication and preventive health care, manufacturers must focus on supplying their products through mass marketing channels such as supermarkets. This ensures that the products are easily available to consumers.

In addition, arresting the declining levels of consumer confidence can ensure expansion of the dietary supplements market. Some sectors of the public expect clinical trials to be conducted on all dietary products before they are released into the market since they trust products supported by the scientific and medical community. As governments increasingly set safety and efficacy benchmarks, manufacturers of dietary supplements have to undertake exhaustive tests on their products to gain trust and be adopted by the consumers.

Stabilisation of the per capita spending in Europe and the European Union (EU) market is likely to have an adverse effect on the money spent on dietary supplements in the expanding market. The resultant impact might be greater in major markets such as Germany where dietary supplements – including vitamins and minerals – are still considered unnecessary except for correcting certain deficiencies. To counter these trends, manufacturers need to identify new marketing strategies and position themselves attractively in high-potential segments such as the ageing population. The critical factors for success are branding, marketing communications and consumer understanding – all of which require large marketing investments.

As low cost Asian manufacturers continue to enter the market, European manufacturers are establishing facilities in the Far East to capitalise on the cheaper labour and input costs. “Mergers and acquisitions among existing market participants will increase the bargaining power of manufacturers, enabling them to take advantage of the economies of scale,” says Mr. Sundaram. “Overall, the dietary supplements market is yet to achieve saturation and offers immense scope for growth and development.”

If you are interested in a research overview, which provides manufacturers, end-users and other industry participants with a synopsis of the latest analysis of the Strategic Analysis of European Dietary Supplement Markets (B402) – then send an e-mail to Katja Feick – Corporate Communications at [email protected] with the following information: your full name, company name, title, telephone number, e-mail address, city, state and country. We will send you the information via e-mail upon receipt of the above information.

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community, by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics.

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