There were stronger sales increases seen almost across the board in vitamins and dietary supplements in 2020, including explosive growth for vitamin C, as consumers looked to boost their immune systems, given the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Vitamin D was another dynamic product perceived by some to offer protection against the virus. Growth will continue to be strong, with the pandemic possibly serving to help increase the prevention culture among the Latin American population.
Many consumers in the region, afraid of contracting COVID-19, and, despite there being no official recommendation to do so, are increasing their consumption of vitamins in order to improve their defences against the virus, in the same way they would try and protect themselves against a cold or the flu. Vitamin C sales in particular have benefited from this trend, with consumers believing this vitamin could help protect them from the virus. Single vitamins was therefore the most dynamic area of the market in 2020.
Consumers have been increasingly keen to maintain their health and wellbeing due to COVID-19, which has led to stronger growth in the overall category. While products linked with immunity are very much to the fore, general health products, such as multivitamins and combination dietary supplements, are also doing well against the backdrop of the pandemic.
Although e-commerce continues to grow, with extra impetus provided to this channel’s sales in 2020 due to people spending more time at home as a result of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, direct selling remains by far the biggest means of non-store distribution, holding the second largest share of retail sales. Only drugstores/parapharmacies accounts for more sales, with health and beauty specialist retailers as a whole making up almost two thirds of total retail value.
Although there is relative price inelasticity with regard to this industry’s products, many of the countries in the region are now experiencing economic difficulties due to the measures taken to contain the pandemic, which could have a negative effect on sales, or drive consumers towards cheaper or combination products.
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