Consumers in Pakistan are familiar with the use of herbal medicines, based on long-standing traditional practices, such as Ayurveda and Unani medicine. Within these traditions, herbal remedies have long been used to treat a wide range of conditions and this has generated considerable levels of trust amongst potential consumers.
While traditional medicine provides a strong foundation for category development, the increasing interest in herbal/traditional consumer health products has also been motivated by growing concerns about the potential side effects and long-term impact of consuming conventional, Western-style drugs, such as standard OTC products. This trend forms part of the wider growth in interest in holistic, natural approaches to health and wellbeing and is, therefore, likely to exert an increasing influence on consumer demand over the forecast period.
With herbal/traditional products becoming increasingly popular, brands that have already established a natural image are likely to focus on strengthening their positioning through an emphasis on their herbal ingredients during the forecast period. Meanwhile, rival consumer health players that have not yet developed a presence in herbal/traditional products are expected to seek to enter the category through innovation or reposition their products in relation to the shift in consumer demand.
Herbal/traditional products continued to be dominated by local players at the end of the review period, with Marriana International holding a clear lead, followed by Qarshi Industries. Local companies have an advantage in herbal/traditional products because of their knowledge of the traditions and practices underpinning demand in the market, which cannot be matched by international players.
Long-established traditions of consumption and the related strength of small, local players have led to the development of a highly fragmented herbal/traditional products category. Small domestic players often have a niche presence in specific regions of the country, where they are able to command strong consumer loyalty for their products due to the relationships that they and their distributors have developed with local consumers over long periods of time.
While foreign players continue to struggle to compete in herbal/traditional products, the strong growth of the category is expected to encourage them to make more focused efforts to adapt their product offers to the shifting character of demand. During the forecast period, international companies and brands are likely to require significant investment in efforts to raise brand awareness, while also innovating to ensure that they capitalise on their main strategic advantage, which is their superior resources.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.