The Health Supplements and Nutraceuticals Digital Trade Week had several successful transactions, RFQs and networking opportunities between buyers and suppliers of this sector. During the webinar at the week’s beginning, experts came together to discuss current trends and the future of the industry.
The global market value for this sector is projected to be 270M USD in 2027
“In terms of the global landscape for vitamins and supplements, the market value is projected to be 270M USD in 2027. Reasons include people being more health-conscious, favoring preventive healthcare measures, looking out for gut health, and more. When you eliminate food from your diet, you lose out nutrients. This is where vitamins and supplements come in to bridge the gap,” started Veenisha Fatnani, nutritionist at New Country Healthcare, UAE, a leading distributor of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and personal care products.
Meanwhile, Imran Masud, operations manager of Thumbay Group, UAE, a diversified international business conglomerate with medical universities, hospitals, and pharmacies under its portfolio, spoke about the Middle East.
“The Middle East is categorized in consumer categories, such as infants, kids, and adults. 47% of adults are concerned about nutrition products. In just 2-3 years, there will be a 5% growth in this segment and around 8-10% growth in the next 5 years. People are moving on from medicinal pharmaceuticals to organic.”
Dr. Hani Kamal, commercial manager at Al Ain Pharmacy, with over 400 pharmacists and 40+ branches in the UAE, opined, “The health supplements, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements market is majorly dependent upon imports and dominated by foreign players in the UAE, where standard vitamins and supplements take the major share and herbal vitamins and supplements capture the remaining smaller share.”
Dr. Kamal also touched upon why the market is growing.
“The market is growing owing to increased consumer awareness, rising trend of gyms and wellness centers, increasing demands in probiotic supplements, growing older population, access to digital technology, and health-conscious celebrities who help popularize dietary supplements. Consumers have now shifted to buying organic supplements for prevention rather than treatment.”
Massive rise in eCommerce for health supplements
“In the last few months, there was a 200% growth in online sales for supplements and vitamins in the UAE. People don’t want to waste time any longer, and can now compare products online, get better prices, and more. Even though insurance doesn’t cover supplements, they still prefer going for the best products for their health,” Masud shared.
The UAE is in the center of the world, and in terms of sourcing, the world is like a canvas
We spoke about the demand for specific products in the region, and for this, Masud said, “In the UAE, there is a big demand related to products for allergy, pediatric health, weight management, pregnancy nutrition, wellbeing, sports nutrition for the youngsters, and more. Now if you look at the COVID-19 situation, people are looking for immune boosters. Basic items such as omega-3, gummies vitamins, and nutraceutical products have truly grown.”
“People are looking for immune boosters such as vitamin C. There has also been an increase in vitamin D, zinc, echinacea, elderberry, and selenium, as these react with vitamins well to boost immunity. The UAE is in the center of the world, and in terms of sourcing, the world is like a canvas. We reach out to anywhere and tap into it,” Fatnani opined.
The topic of mental health during the pandemic was also touched upon by Masud, “Many people have had stress and anxiety during these times. Mental health and calming supplements such as ashwagandha were in demand.”
Dr. Kamal divulged on the purchasing trends he witnessed at Al Ain Pharmacy, “Consumers are using more magnesium (helps with blood pressure reduction, and has benefits against type 2 diabetes), and other single minerals, hinting at trends moving more towards natural and organic supplements.”
In 2021, the market for organic and natural is going to skyrocket
“In 2021, the market for organic and natural is going to skyrocket. What’s going to grow is veganism, probiotic supplements, gut health, immunity boosters, and natural supplements for mental health,” Fatnani predicted for 2021.
Masud stated, “In 2021, the beauty supplements industry will witness a growth apart from everything else I have mentioned. Antioxidants, hair supplements, and more have a very high demand.”
Finally, Dr. Kamal shared, “Growth for 2021 is expected with rising government focus towards spreading health awareness. Expo 2020 in 2021 will increase visitors to the country further increasing demand. Post vaccine discovery for the pandemic, with more active lifestyles, will encourage single vitamin & herbal food supplements to dominate new categories. Al Ain Pharmacy category experts are expecting the market to introduce new products with more natural content such as natural sweeteners, fruit mixtures, and more.”