Shipments of nutraceutical ingredients originating from Central and South America will increase 7.5 percent a year to $509 million in 2015, according to a new market report by The Freedonia Group of Ohio. Argentina and Brazil are the leading producers in the region, both specializing in protein and fiber additives. Chile is evolving into a major regional manufacturer of omega-3s from fish oils.
Ingredient demand within the region is also on an upswing, said Bill Martineau, analyst for the report, titled “World Nutraceutical Ingredients.” Total demand will increase 7.9 percent annually to $830 million in 2015. Brazil accounts for nearly 45 percent of this demand, and is the largest producer of nutraceutical products. It also consumes the most, though many products remain out of reach for average citizens.
“Despite an extensive retail distribution network, from hypermarkets to supermarkets, to drug stores and specialty shops in all major cities, more than one-fourth of the Brazilian population lives below the poverty line,” Martineau said.
Argentina is the second-largest consumer of nutraceutical ingredients. Like Brazil, it has a large contingent of multinational and local producers. “Argentina also incorporates a well-established retail distribution system that extends into all major cities,” Martineau said. “Products are becoming more popular due to a growing awareness of health and wellness consciousness in the older, aging population.” But, like Brazil, these products miss about 30 percent of the population living in poverty.
Brazil and Argentina are the largest markets, but on a per capita basis, the top nutraceutical-consuming country is Chile; it also produces most of its products internally. But Chile’s small population holds down the production level of end-use products, as well as the level of demand for related ingredients. As a result, Chile is only the fifth-largest market in the region.
Other leading markets for nutraceutical ingredients include Venezuela, Colombia and Peru. Their food and beverage industries tend to focus on low-cost products due to residents’ income levels. The more active producers of nutraceutical end products are Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama and Uruguay.