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1.1 Definition and presentation

Food supplement’s main purpose is to supplement the normal human diet. In particular, this is done through the concentration of nutrients in various forms; capsules, pills, sachets of powder, and liquids among others are used. Nutrients include vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, and other ingredients. The goal with food supplements includes reducing stress and tiredness, enhancing digestion, losing weight, and increasing sports performance.

Food supplement pertains to both the food and medical industry. Although there is no therapeutic intervention, the use of food supplements is still recommended by health experts. The food supplement industry is under constant scrutiny, with continuous detections of potentially harmful substances. Often, such detections are in the spotlight, and the actual necessity of certain supplements is disregarded as a result.

According to Businesswire, the U.K. nutritional supplement market is divided into two components : type of end user and type of ingredients. The former is further divided into infants and adults, and the latter is sub-classified into vitamins, proteins, amino acids, enzymes and botanical supplements.

Moreover, the Food Supplement market in the United Kingdom is highly fragmented. Players continuously seek to diversify the product offering to differentiate and boost sales. U.K. and Germany are the key drivers of the expected growth of Food Supplements in Europe in the coming years. Today, 25 million people in the U.K. use supplements every week, where 60% of them on a daily basis. [HFMA]

Indeed, the market has grown rapidly in recent years, and is on track to continue doing so.

This study aims to analyze the entire scope of food supplements. More specific studies, for example on sport nutrition, is available on request.

1.2 A Positive Outlook for the Global Market

In ****, the global food supplement market was valued at $US*** bn. It is set to grow at a year-on-year average basis of *.*% between **** to **** to reach $US*** bn in ****. The key drivers of growth are attributable to larger disposable income for several nations, but also to a more generic consensus on ...

1.3 Signals for a Strong European Market

The European Food Supplement Industry is projected to grow at CAGR *.**% between **** to **** to reach $**.** bn. As the graph below depicts, all markets but one will be larger in **** compared to ****. Amongst value drivers are primarily the growing popularity of sports nutritional supplement, an ageing population, and accessibility through online shopping. ...

1.4 National Market Displays Robust Growth

Source: ****
The U.K. food supplement market has demonstrated strong growth; CAGR is *.*% and the total growth of the market between ****-**** was **.*%.
This growth can be explained by factors such as the wider attention given to the health benefits of food supplements. Again, the development of customized products within niched ...

1.5 International Trade

In this section, we consider the customs code which most closely reflects the food supplement industry as a whole. The code is ******, labelled “Food preparations; n.e.s. in item no ****.**”. An important note is that although this trade code is similar to the food supplement industry, it is not strictly ...

1.6 Summary of market determinants


2.1 Profile Analysis: The British Consumer

This section’s focus is to highlight and understand the consumer behavior patterns in the U.K. Moreover, it breaks down which products are the most sought after. Finally, it looks at trends which have, and will, shape the U.K. market for Food Supplements.
Weak Per Capita Expenditures in a ...

2.2 Rising demand for new products: veganism and CBD

An increasingly old population could drive demand for supplements

Source: ****
Obesity will Increase Demand for Health-related Supplements
Since ****, the fraction of the population in the U.K. who are overweight or obese has increased from **% to **% [***]. NHS projected that this figure will increase and could reach **% by ****. Consequently, the demand for ...


3.1 Value chain of the market

Source: ****

3.2 Overview of main competitors and brands

Source: ****
In the category Vitamins and Dietary Supplements, Viabotics holds the largest company market share (***). The market is dominated by large conglomerates, such as Procter & Gamble and Bayer who operate in several markets and industries.
The top four largest companies make up **% of the market, consequently showing that although the market ...

3.3 Strongly Regulated Production Processes

The development of food supplements is closely controlled by quality and safety requirements, which ensure products are of high quality and durability. In particular, Regulation ***/****/EC, specifies the general hygiene provisions for food business operators.  The following diagram illustrates the entire manufacturing process of food supplements.
The Food Supplement Regulatory Process ...

3.4 Distribution: Store-based retailing vs non-store-based retailing

Store-Based Retailing

Source: ****
Food supplements are to a smaller degree sold in stores. As the graph above depicts, for all three retail segments, sales through physical stores decreased. Health and Beauty Specialist Retailers, which include chemist/pharmacies, drugstores, optical goods stores etc., saw a marginal decline from **.*% to **.*%.
Meanwhile, Traditional Grocery ...


4.1 Products on the market

Products on the market include are categorized based on sales, content, and end goal. Consequently, there are five larger segments:

The Guardian reports of a survey concluding that “memberships, vitamins and supplements, prescriptions, exercise classes and healthy food will cost the average Briton £**,*** over a lifetime”. Moreover, respondents in the survey ...

4.2 Selling prices: General supplements & Vitamin supplements

Source: ****

Vitamin supplements
Source: ****

4.3 Supply trend: botanical supplements

Botanical trend
In ****, Europe’s highest share of sales belonged to Botanical Supplements. [***] The leading categories consisted of vitamins, proteins, amino acids, enzymes and botanical supplements. Moreover, the same source reports that new product launches were correlated to trends; Nootropics, Collagen, Mushrooms, Zinc, and Hemp were included in this scope of ...


5.1 Current regulation

United Kingdom’s legislation on food supplements is covered by the Food Safety Act ****, the European Commission’s Food Supplements Directive, Food Information for Consumers Regulation, and finally Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. [***]. Below follows a breakdown of each legislation.
The Food Safety Act **** is the national legislation regarding food. The ...

5.2 Future regulation: the slight distinction between food and medicine

The distinction between whether to label food supplements as food or medicine remains unclear from a regulatory perspective. For example, a product categorized as food in the U.K. could be labelled differently in the U.S. Sales remain dependent on the ability of firms to navigate through these regulatory ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Vitabiotics
  • Nature’s Bounty Co
  • Procter & Gamble Co Ltd
  • Holland & Barrett Retail Ltd
  • Boots
  • Healthspan
  • Solgar

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