Vitamins and dietary supplements have for a long time been sold in South Africa without any government intervention. However, since the end of 2013, amendments have been made to the legislation governing the sale of such products, which fall under Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs).
Vitamins has proven to be a resilient category in South Africa, registering strong double-digit growth despite the economic downturn. The fact that sales of such products are being driven primarily by high-income earners who tend to be less price-sensitive is contributing to the resilience of the category.
Multivitamins remains the dominant vitamins product in South Africa with consumers appreciating the all-in-one convenience of these products. Consumers, particularly women, place their trust in well-known brands of multivitamins such as Centrum and Pharmaton to help them stay healthy.
In 2018 Adcock Ingram launched its new GAP range of essential vitamins and minerals for those suffering from chronic diseases, or which are receiving intense medical treatments, such as chemotherapy. This innovative range includes products for bone health, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer and its treatment, depression, diabetes and epilepsy, among others.
Pfizer Laboratories continues to lead vitamins in 2018 thanks to its leading Centrum brand of multivitamins, which benefits from an extensive distribution network and the fact that it is heavily advertised throughout the year. The brand also benefits from a wide portfolio, with different products targeting consumers of different ages.
Private label players have been very active in terms of new product launches and marketing campaigns. Clicks, for example, has been focusing on bulk offers and bigger pack sizes so as to better cater for value-driven consumers.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.