Summary of our market study

French herbal medicine market valued at €780 million

The global herbal medicine market has experienced significant growth. The sector is set to continue expanding at an average annual growth rate of 10.9% between 2023 and 2030. The global market is expected to more than double from $160 billion to over $360 billion by the end of the decade.

Europe is the leading market for herbal medicines.

In France, the phytotherapy market (including phytotherapy proper, aromatherapy and gemmotherapy) is also on the rise.

The aromatherapy market is estimated at €248 million, the gemmotherapy market at €3.4 million, and the herbal medicines market at €224 million in 2021.

The French market is largely driven by pharmacies and parapharmacies, which account for 74% of sales of phytotherapy products,

Phytotherapy: an evolving market driven by natural health trends

The French herbal medicine market is enjoying remarkable growth, fuelled by ever-increasing consumer interest in natural health products and plant-based therapies.

In a country where almost two out of five people consider themselves ill-informed about natural treatments, and where one in three doubts their efficacy, the industry has managed to thrive, demonstrating the growing popularity of alternative medicine.

Phytotherapy, the practice of medicine using plants and plant extracts, has found itself at the forefront of this movement, responding to a public seeking less toxic, more organic health solutions.

The phytotherapy market in France is estimated at around 778 million euros in 2022, with growth of around 10% over the past five years. This market is expected to maintain strong growth momentum, with a projected annual growth rate of around 5% until 2025.

A significant percentage of healthcare professionals believe in the benefits of phytotherapy and recommend it to patients.

Despite its growth, herbal medicine faces a number of challenges, the most important of which is the need to better inform the public about its efficacy and safe use.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced consumers' search for chemical-free plant treatments to boost immunity.

Market players include both multinationals and numerous smaller players

  • Arkopharma is a specialist in dietary supplements
  • Nutergia is renowned for its expertise in dietary supplements. Their formulations are centered on the concept of nutritional therapy, aimed at providing supplements that support the body's biochemical balance.
  • EE Pharma is another major competitor, part of the Havea Group
  • Les 3 Chênes focuses on natural solutions
  • Perrigo is a healthcare group that extends its reach beyond phytotherapy.
  • Urgo stands out in the healthcare sector for its specialized products
  • Pierre Fabre integrates phytotherapy into a broader pharmaceutical context
  • Sanofi, already a giant in the pharmaceutical industry, has also entered the field of phytotherapy,
  • Bayer, another pharmaceutical heavyweight, has expressed interest in the phytotherapy market
  • Merck recognizes the complementary role of phytotherapy in general health and well-being.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Phytotherapy is medicine based on the use of plants or plant extracts and their natural properties, and comprises[FranceAgriMer] :

  • phytotherapy proper (infusions, decoctions, tinctures, medicinal plant extracts) ;
  • aromatherapy (essential oils) ;
  • gemmotherapy (extracts of buds, young shoots or other parts of medicinal plants).

Phytotherapy uses exclusively plant-based products obtained by extraction, generally diluted in alcohol or another solvent. Phytotherapy products may be available in various forms:

  • Whole or divided plants;
  • Various galenic forms (syrups, drops, tablets, capsules, sachets, ampoules).

Most phytotherapy products are marketed as dietary supplements or medicines . This study therefore focuses on medicinal plants, on which the entire industry is based, and on the various formats of phytotherapy products (mainly dietary supplements). This study excludes details on essential oils (aromatherapy), for which a dedicated study is available in our catalog.

Phytotherapy offers a number of major advantages: it is undoubtedly less toxic than drugs, and plant-based treatments accounted for less than 1% of reports of adverse reactions in 2015, all types of treatment combined.

As a result, the French herbal medicine market "proper" is booming: estimated at 778.4 million euros in 2022, it has grown by 10% since 2017, and should continue to grow at a CAGR of 5% until 2025[OpenHealth]. The aromatherapy and gemmotherapy markets are estimated at 248 million euros in 2022 and 3.4 million euros in 2021 respectively[FranceAgriMer].

Similarly, theglobal herbal medicine market is estimated at$160.2 billion in 2022 , and should continue to grow at aCAGR of 10.9% over the period 2023-2030, reaching $367.9 billion in 2030. europe largely dominates this market, with a high R&D budget particularly dedicated to it. [Market Research Future]

Indeed, in a global context of a return to natural, wellness, organic and healthier practices, phytotherapy is experiencing a certain craze. What's more, this growth has been driven by the advent of the Covid-19 epidemic, as people seek chemical-free plants to boost their immunity .

The challenge now is to better inform the public about natural treatments and their effectiveness, of which herbal medicine is one. Indeed, according to a study conducted by Ipsos in 2019, 38% of French people consider themselves ill-informed, and 32% doubt their effectiveness.

1.2 The French herbal medicine market is growing strongly

As we have already seen, the phytotherapy market comprises: phytotherapy proper (***),aromatherapy and gemmotherapy . The sales figures for these different segments are detailed below.

In ****, the phytotherapy market proper in pharmacies and parapharmacies (***) in France was estimated at *** million euros[***]. According to Arkopharma, pharmacies and parapharmacies accounted for **% of total sales ...

1.3 The global herbal medicine market

The global herbal medicine market was estimated at $***.* billion in **** , and is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of **.*% over the period ****-****, reaching $***.* billion in **** .

Global herbal medicine market size World, ****-****, in billions of dollars Source: ****

This growth is driven by the advent of the Covid-** epidemic . Indeed, ...

1.4 Foreign trade

Here, we look at imports and exports of dried aromatic and medicinal plants, followed by a breakdown of the main buyers and sellers, from and for France, of medicinal plants, aromatics, spices and aromatic seeds. Phytotherapy does not include spices and aromatic seeds, but these figures give us an idea of ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The perception of natural treatments and phytotherapy in France

The above data dates from **** and ****, but illustrates the trust the French have in phytotherapy, which is broadly the same in ****.

In ****, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos, **% of French people said they used natural treatments, of which **% used homeopathy, **% aromatherapy and **% phytotherapy as such. We can thus observe that ...

2.2 Consumer profile

In France, in ****, **% of consumers of natural treatments were women, and this proportion rose to **% when looking specifically at phytotherapy. Also, **% of natural treatment consumers had children. Finally, the consumer base was rather young, with **% aged under **.

However, this typical profile of natural treatment consumers has gradually become more masculine, and ...

2.3 The role of healthcare professionals

Present throughout the health pathway, and therefore in this case the purchasing pathway, healthcare professionals have a key role to play in the expansion of phytotherapy in France.

In ****, **% of healthcare professionals (***). Doctors were slightly less likely to believe in the virtues of alternative medicine, but **% were positive about the use ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Medicinal plant production in France

In the data compiled by France Agrimer, medicinal plants are included in a category of plants known as PPAM (***).

In ****, France will have **,*** hectares under PPAM cultivation, an increase of *% on ****, and **% on ****. The majority of this area will be occupied by perfume plants(***). France will have **,*** ha of medicinal plant ...

3.2 Distributing phytotherapy products

In France, the distribution of phytotherapy products is largely dominated by pharmacies and parapharmacies, which account for almost **% of market share, according to data supplied by Arkopharma (***). Supermarkets and hypermarkets account for *.*% of the market, online sales *.*% and organic and health food stores *.*%.

Distribution of phytotherapy products by channel France, ****, in Arkopharma ...

3.3 Arkopharma, market leader in phytotherapy, and acquisition by Dermapharm

Most of the major manufacturers of natural health products are present in pharmacies, but access remains difficult for many smaller players, not listed here, due to limited space in pharmacies. Laboratories such as Arkopharma, Sanofi, Bayer, Urgo, Mayoly Spindler and Biocodex, which are present in pharmacies, have crucial relationships with pharmacies ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Typology of phytotherapy products

Food supplements account for a large proportion of phytotherapy products sold in France. They can be marketed in a variety of galenic forms. The following data dates from ****, but gives a general idea of how herbal medicines are marketed.

In pharmacies, the vast majority (***).

Main formats of phytotherapy products (***) in pharmacies France, ...

4.2 Overview of market prices

The prices below are taken from an Arkopharma document detailing the selling prices of their products in pharmacies. They are therefore statements rather than averages. The focus here is on Arkogélules and Arkofluides, the two herbal products mainly presented in this document.

For Arkogélule products, the standard format is ...

4.3 Organic products on the rise

For phytotherapy products, organic sales remain relatively low in pharmacies, but are significantly higher in parapharmacy outlets, and especially in organic stores.

Over the last decade, the number of farms and areas devoted to organic PPAM has grown remarkably, with respective increases of +***% and +***% between **** and ****. In ****, the surface area devoted ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Medicinal plant sales in France

The sale of medicinal plants, and therefore the scope of practice of phytotherapy, is regulated by the Pharmacopoeia, which lists all recognized medicinal plants. Medicinal plants are considered to be substances with a therapeutic action, and as such, their sale is authorized only to pharmacists practicing in dispensaries. Private individuals may ...

5.2 Regulatory framework for plant-derived therapeutic products

A herbal medicine is a medicine whose active substance is exclusively one or more herbal substances or herbal preparations, or a combination of several herbal substances or herbal preparations. (***)[***]

Herbal medicinal products can be authorized in three ways:

Marketing authorization on the basis of a complete dossier (***); Marketing authorization on the ...

5.3 Regulatory framework for dietary supplements

In ****, European Directive ****/**/EC established a specific regulatory framework for food supplements. This framework provides a strict definition (***) and distinguishes between two groups: nutrients and other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect. It also sets out the procedures for labeling and marketing European supplements in Europe. Decree no. ****-*** transposes ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Arkopharma
  • Bayer
  • Ipsen
  • Santé Verte
  • Merck KGaA
  • Nutreov Physcience
  • PiLeJe
  • Fenioux Groupe
  • NaturHouse
  • Puressentiel France
  • Pranarôm (Inula Groupe)
  • Naturactive (Pierre Fabre)
  • Olisma
  • Densmore (Havea Groupe)
  • Herbalife
  • Institut Endobiogénie
  • Atlantic Nature
  • Olisma

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Recommendations for alternative and complementary medicine by healthcare professionals
  • Vectors for the purchase of natural health products and dietary supplements
  • "For each of the following medicines, do you believe in its health benefits?"
  • Sales of phytotherapy in pharmacies and parapharmacies
  • Size of the aromatherapy market in pharmacies, parapharmacies and organic stores
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Latest news

Ipsen's commitment to the area of rare diseases - 29/02/2024

Performance and strategies of the biopharmaceutical company Ipsen in 2023: 1. **Increase in sales:** In 2023, Ipsen recorded an increase in global sales of 3.4% over the previous year. 2. **Operating margin:** The company recorded an operating margin of 26.1%, which shows an increase of 2% compared to 2022. 3. **Growth factors:** Growth was supported by the company's historical assets, new drugs, pipeline expansion, and accelerated investment in research and development, particularly benefited by recent acquisitions focused on the area of rare diseases. 4. **Entry into the rare disease area:** In 2023, Ipsen acquired Albireo, a leading developer of bile acid modulators for the treatment of pediatric and adult cholestatic liver disease, bringing odevixibat, the first approved treatment against progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (Pfic), to the market. 5. **Future Plans:** By 2024, Ipsen plans to launch four innovative therapies worldwide and expand its pipeline, supported by an external innovation strategy in its three core therapeutic areas. 6. **Rare disease commitment:** With new developments such as odevixibat and an evolving pipeline, Ipsen marks its official entry into the rare disease field, aiming to bring therapeutic innovations that can change the course of disease, with a focus on drugs with novel mechanisms of action.

Chemicals in the midst of a recovery, Bayer considers spin-offs - 09/11/2023
  • Bayer sales: Close to 50 billion euros.
  • Date on which Bayer will make a decision on the demerger of its entities: March 2024.
  • Loss of value of the Bayer Group in five years: 40%.
  • Bayer weighed down by falling glyphosate sales
Rugby World Cup: Puressentiel plays in the shadow of major sponsors - 24/10/2023
  • After soccer, rugby is the second most popular sport in France.
  • 15.4 million French viewers watched the opening match between the XV de France and the All Blacks.
  • For the quarter-final between Ireland and New Zealand, there were 9.4 million viewers.
  • Becoming a partner, sponsor, supplier or official supporter of a global event like the Rugby World Cup can cost up to 20 million euros.
  • The cost of a 30-second commercial on TF1 during the final can exceed 155,000 euros.
  • Puressentiel, official supplier to the XV de France, was associated with the Federation instead of the event itself three years ago.
  • Puressentiel created a limited edition of its product featuring Antoine Dupont, the brand's ambassador and France's third favorite sportsman according to an Odoxa poll.
  • Puressentiel organized prediction contests in 6,000 pharmacies.
Botox: botulinum toxin boosts pharma's bottom line - 02/08/2023
  • The United States accounts for half of the global botulinum toxin market.
  • Last year, Botox accounted for $5.2 billion in worldwide sales for AbbVie, with equal shares between aesthetics (+21% excluding currency effect) and therapeutics (+13%).
  • In the United States, Dysport (Ipsen) has only 5% of the therapeutic market, compared with 30% in France.
  • In aesthetics in the US, Ipsen has an estimated share of between 20% and 25%.
  • Of the French laboratory Ipsen's half-year sales of 1.5 billion euros (+7%), 319 million (+32%) come from botulinum toxin sold in therapeutics and, in some countries, in aesthetics.
  • Botox holds 40% to 50% of the therapeutic market in France, compared with 30% for Ipsen.
Bayer's glyphosate sales plummet - 25/07/2023
  • Full-year sales for the current financial year are forecast at between 48.5 and 49.5 billion euros.
  • Bayer acquired the US group Monsanto in 2018 for over 63 billion euros.
  • Bayer shares have lost half their value since 2018.
Pranarôm: Experts in essential oils for 30 years - 15/03/2023
  • Pranarôm records +14% growth in 2022
  • Pranarôm founded 30 years ago
  • Part of the Inula Group, which includes Pranarôm, HerbalGem and Biofloral
  • More than 250 essential oil references offered by Pranarôm.
  • Three types of complementary therapies: aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and Bach flowers.
  • 90% of the Pranarôm range is made from pure, organic, virgin plant oils.
  • Pranarôm works closely with selected suppliers of raw materials from all over the world.
  • The company provides some 8,000 hours of free training for pharmacists every year.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Santé Verte
Merck KGaA
Nutreov Physcience
Fenioux Groupe
Puressentiel France
Pranarôm (Inula Groupe)
Naturactive (Pierre Fabre)

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