European vitamins market put under microscope

A report from research analyst Frost & Sullivan has highlighted some of the problems and opportunities confronting the European vitamins A, C and E ingredients markets, including dealing with increased competition from rising Asian economies such as China and India.

?High production cost is a major restraint for European participants as manufacturers from China and India are increasingly able to produce high-quality products at cheaper costs,? the report stated. ?The total European vitamin industry is therefore fiercely competitive and manufacturers from different regions are continuing to invest in their vitamin businesses.?

It continued: ?To keep up with this competition, major manufacturers in Europe have had to adopt their own cost-reduction strategies. European companies are actively increasing both their production capacities in order to reduce costs and strengthen their geographical presence. Cost cutting is occurring at every stage of the supply chain.?

Other major challenges that the $394 million industry — 40 per cent of which is used in foods and supplements — had to confront included:

  • controversial scientific evidence curtailing vitamin market growth,
  • lack of uniform regulations restricting market development,
  • diversity of food consumption trends across Europe, and the European Dietary Supplement Directive.

Frost & Sullivan forecasted that the market, with more than 50 players, would grow at 4.3 per cent annually until 2011 and is being driven by such factors as growing consumer interest in ?natural? products; a heightened profile of vitamins in the media; and an increase in preventive health.

In particular it noted, ?The marketing efforts of the supplements industry will become an increasingly strong driver behind the growth of the vitamins A, C and E market."

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