The global market for consumer health products is set to finish 2019 with one of the weakest years in recent memory. Medium-term lack of innovations in the OTC space has collided with slowing demand for vitamins and dietary supplements stemming from the Chinese government’s crackdown on direct sellers at the beginning of 2019. As a result, the industry as a whole needs new product developments and new consumer engagement strategies to recapture energy in the near term.
Another year where herbal/traditional products paced the industry in many markets raises the question about whether we are witnessing an inexorable lifestyle change that will only deepen over time, as consumers’ commitment to sustainability and ethics will pervade across purchasing decisions.
The movement to digitise and track personal health has reached fever pitch through a variety of disconnected innovations. It remains to be seen how this trend can be commercialised by consumer health companies, but it is clear that the industry needs to build strategies to reflect this movement.
After years of growth, vitamins and dietary supplements are facing the need to regenerate consumer interest by going back to basics. Rather than focus on increasingly obscure ingredients, category upstarts are positioning around core consumer benefits, such as sleep, energy and beauty.
The distinction between consumer health and snacking or beauty has become increasingly malleable, particularly affecting the competitive space for prevention categories such as sports nutrition. In the case of snack bars, Euromonitor has merged categories to reflect blurring in this area.
China’s enforcement on direct sellers in the first half of 2019 slowed Chinese sales of vitamins and dietary supplements and weight management products. Though this particular action was unique to 2019, it suggests a risk of further regulatory scrutiny for direct sellers moving forward.
It is the aggregation of OTC, Vitamins and Dietary Supplements (VDS), Sports Nutrition, and Weight Management and Wellbeing
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