In the analysis of the overall consumer health category in 2012, Euromonitor found the industry was valued at approximately $197 billion dollars, with OTC drugs accounting for $94 billion, vitamins and dietary supplements worth $82 billion, weight management products worth $13 billion and sports nutrition at $8 billion. These four main categories helped propel the consumer health category’s growth as a whole by an impressive 11% from 2007-2012, with OTC growing 6%, vitamins and supplements at 17%, weight management at 5% and sports nutrition growing a remarkable 41%.
“We’re finding more ways for people to self-treat at home, and not go into a hospital or doctor’s office for simpler conditions,” said Stephanie Prymas, consumer health industry analyst for Euromonitor. She speculated that the consumer health category would continue to grow by consumers “getting wider access to products, and by encouraging consumers to feel more comfortable using them.”
Vitamins & Dietary Supplements
Head of consumer health, Monica Feldman, outlined several key issues that contribute to non-communicable chronic conditions, such as low physical activity, unhealthy diet, environment, substance abuse, aging, autoimmune disease and genetics. Ms. Feldman stressed that the majority of these issues, barring aging, disease and genetics, can be controlled or prevented by certain health conscious behaviors or choices.
While OTC remedies for cough, cold and allergy symptoms; analgesics; digestive remedies; dermatological remedies; and eye care saw significant performance growth between 2007-2012, Euromonitor also reported that vitamin and dietary supplements offered numerous options for those looking to preserve their health. Ms. Feldman commented, “Not surprisingly, vitamins, including multi-vitamins and minerals, are the most demanded by consumers as they seek to complement their diets or make their bones stronger.” She added, “Combination dietary supplements continue to introduce novel formulations. For example, each year we see more combinations of multi-vitamins with probiotics or omega fatty acids in the marketplace.”
From 2007-2012, the vitamins and dietary supplements category grew significantly. In 2007, the overall subcategory was close to a $50 billion market, and grew to nearly $60 billion by 2012. The supplements that saw the most growth were probiotics, growing at a 6% CAGR, fish oils/omega 3s growing at 8% and protein supplements increasing by 9%. (See figure 1 below.)
Commenting on protein’s dominance in the vitamins and supplements category, Ms. Feldmen asserted that the protein craze is “the fastest growing category due to the expected health benefits of protein in muscle mass recovery in the elderly population, the promotion of satiety in people seeking to lose weight and the new trends of vegetarianism and veganism.”
Seizing the Opportunity
Looking ahead to 2017, Chris Schmidt, consumer health analyst for Euromonitor, predicted global vitamin and dietary supplement sales are expected to grow by $14 billion, representing nearly $4.5 billion more than the OTC category as a whole.
“Vitamins and dietary supplements are attracting a lot of attention from major producers of consumer health products. The category itself is benefiting strongly from better consumer education, which is being driven in large part by the industry, but also a larger pension to use VDS [vitamins and dietary supplement] products as a preventative measure,” said Mr. Schmidt. He added, “Given the category’s relative growth prospects in both mature and developing markets, it’s no wonder that supplement producers are some of the most sought after acquisition prospects in all of consumer health.”
Herbal and traditional medicine is also gaining attention in the consumer health space, accounting for almost one fifth of all consumer health sales. India, China, South Korea and South East Asia are the primary markets for these products, with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, natural product lines and other indigenous health system products serving as popular consumer health options. Mr. Schmidt pointed to the consumer trend of “all-natural” leading the way for growth and acceptance of these products in the global marketplace.
When looking to prevent chronic disease, consumers are looking increasingly to dietary supplements, in addition to weight management and sports nutrition products, which can potentially help stave off a crisis in health. Mr. Schmidt noted that “while health claims have remained a thorny issue,” supplements have benefited from endorsements by the medical community, media and by the growing breadth of peer-reviewed research within the industry. “Categories like fish oil, vitamin D, protein supplements and eye health supplements enjoy strong scientific backing, and strongly outpaced the overall VDS market in the review period,” said Mr. Schmidt.
Manufacturers are moving away from general health claims, and are focusing on targeted, specific messages to consumers. At the global level, the five leading specific positionings for dietary supplements are bone health, immune support, beauty, digestive health and heart health. Mr. Schmidt attributed the popularity of products targeted toward these specific health concerns to the growing active aging population globally.
According to Euromonitor, adults aged 20-64 were reported as the largest purchasing block of consumer health products, with adults aged 35-64 to be the demographic most likely to purchase consumer health products in order to stave off the negative effects of old age. With the rapid expansion of the aging population and those 65+ living longer lives due to medical advances, experts anticipate that the opportunities for OTC consumer health products will multiply. The aging population is looking to stay healthy into their “golden years,” and present a huge opportunity for consumer health products aiding these efforts. Products supporting digestive health, women’s health/menopause, and bone and eye health have seen increased popularity, indicating that more companies are targeting common medical conditions that affect this powerful purchasing block.
For more information on consumer health, or to view Euromonitor’s webinar on the subject, visit: http://go.euromonitor.com/CHPreventionSolution.html