Food is an immense source of nutrients that nourish our bodies. Interestingly, the food isn’t the only thing! It is a well-known fact that nutritional needs change with age, pregnancy and lactation, acute and chronic illnesses and other medical conditions. In such cases, foods are essentially supplemented with products that address specific nutritional needs. These products are called dietary supplements.
The twentieth century saw unprecedented advances in understanding the biochemical structures and physiological roles of vitamins and other nutrients. Many nutrients can now be produced plentifully and cheaply. Today’s dynamics and lifestyles require added value at the nutritional level. Dietary supplements are therefore an important part of the preventive approach to meet the health and well-being trend.
Food supplements are defined as foods intended to supplement the normal diet and which are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional effect, alone or in combination, in the form of solids (capsules, lozenges, tablets, pills and similar forms), liquids (ampoules, dropper bottles and similar forms) and powder sachets intended for ingestion in measured amounts, where nutrients may be vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts and other ingredients.
Dietary supplements are products that are taken orally and contain one or more of the following ingredients: vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, fatty acids, and/or other related metabolites.
A food or dietary supplement differs from a drug, drug, or food additive as a drug used to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease, while a dietary supplement is intended to supplement the diet by increasing the overall dietary intake of a nutrient . A food additive can be both direct and indirect. A direct additive is the intentional addition of a substance to food to improve its shelf life, texture, nutritional value or other quality aspect. An indirect additive is an additive that unintentionally contaminates food, including packaging materials or machine residues. Dietary supplements in dietary supplements are exempt from the food additive regulations applicable to conventional foods.
What is the market sentiment towards this nutrition booster category?
A report by a market research firm estimates that the global dietary supplement market was valued at US$115 billion in 2016 and is expected to register a CAGR of 8.6% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP has increased dramatically, with middle- and low-income economies recording huge out-of-pocket spending on healthcare. This spending reflects the increasing burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases in these regions. On the other hand, the developed countries have also increased their healthcare spending due to mandatory health targets, the increased incidence of lifestyle diseases, and the increase in the geriatric population.
Globally, the burden of non-communicable diseases is increasing at an alarming rate, with chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes accounting for approximately 85% of total healthcare spending. This increased spending has prompted consumers to take preventive measures. This trend is a major driver of the global dietary supplement market.
The World Demographics Profile highlights another key driver of this market: The 25-54 age group accounts for almost 42% of the world’s population and this end-user segment is the largest consumer of dietary supplements. The popularity of dietary supplements among adults is in line with the overall health and wellness trend. Vitamins, minerals and protein supplements are mainly consumed by this segment. The growing popularity of probiotics to improve immune health in general and gut health in particular is also a major contributor to the increasing demand for dietary supplements.
Geographically, Asia Pacific and North America represent two main segments for dietary supplements due to lifestyle changes and lack of balanced diet. Additionally, the Asia Pacific region is poised to see the highest growth rate due to the rapidly aging demographic profiles in countries like Japan, Australia and China. Due to the plentiful availability of raw materials in India and other Southeast Asian countries, the region is also expected to attract significant investment in dietary supplements, particularly herbal products and products based on Ayurvedic extracts.
The main barriers for the market –
A strict regulatory environment, especially in developed economies like the United States, where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers to adhere strictly to testing, quality control, distribution practices, label claims, etc. is a constraint on the growth of Market. In the European Union, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has defined a specific set of health claims that may only be made in relation to food supplements. Companies must also prove their claims, otherwise they are left with a product recall. Such regulatory burdens tighten the requirements for manufacturing, product safety and labeling requirements and thereby dampen the demand for dietary supplements.
The low efficacy of dietary supplements compared to pharmaceuticals is also one of the hurdles for the global dietary supplements market as these dietary supplements take longer to produce results than pharmaceuticals.
The way ahead –
Dietary supplements are expected to witness healthy growth over the forecast period as over-the-counter medicines are currently the only substitutes available in the market. However, with increasing concerns about antibiotic resistance, the indiscriminate use of OTC drugs will fall sharply over the forecast period, the gap of which will be adequately filled by dietary supplements.
Thanks to Rohith Sampathi