The personal touch will drive supplement growth

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Weight loss Nutrition

Manufacturers need to get a grip on understanding their consumers
in order to improve growth in the supplement market, according to a
report.

Consumers are looking for a personal approach from supplement companies as opposed to mass market tactics, the Business Insights​ report has said. But while industry is beginning to move into a more personalised approach - offering supplements aimed at different groups of people for example - more can still be done. Tallan said: "The over riding issue is a need for better understanding of the consumer and the need to enhance the value experience from the initial brand exposure to product purchase." DietarySupplementsMarket Outlook:The impact of changes in regulation, demographics and consumer trends​ lists a number of areas which are likely to boost growth of the market - globally worth $60bn - over the next five years. Author Mark Tallon said: "Consumers are becoming more selective in their product and lifestyle choices … consumers are looking for products and marketing that recognizes each individual has specific needs. "The missing piece of the personalization puzzle is to provide a unique value proposition and buying experience to each and every consumer." ​ According to the 198-page report, the European supplements market was worth $14.0bn (€9.6bn) in 2006, and the largest single market is the herbal and botanicals, worth over $5.7bn (€3.9bn) in 2006. The key consumer trends which are driving growth in the supplement industry are listed as weight loss, age, and infant health and products aimed at young men. Personalisation ​ He also notes that there has been a shift in the industry from a mass market approach to dietary supplements to a personalised approach. "Consumers are looking for products and marketing that recognizes each individual has specific needs​," said Tallon. "As companies drive home the message that supplement dose should be related to bodyweight, personalized nutritional products will emerge…. the one size fits all approach to supplementation is dying out,​" he added. Indeed, the pinnacle of personalised nutrition can be achieved through nutrigenomics. This is the science of studying how nutrients and genes interact. This science is in its infancy and according to the European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO) it could be up to 20 years before nutrigenomics will be able to underpin public health care advice. Weight loss​ A 2007 survey by the International Food Information Council said more than 70 per cent of Americans were concerned about their weight. "Based on these figures there is a significant need for weight loss products where the right marketing angle is applied,"​ Tallon said. Indeed, a UK commissioned report by Foresight says half the population of Britain will be obese by 2050. Male marketing ​According to the report, men aged between 25 and 34 years of age have the greatest acceptance of personal care products as a result of "increasingly greater exposure to the category." ​ Tallon said: "Men traditionally like to make purchasing decisions alone, as such product details about ingredients etc. will have to fit this need."Mothers ​More mothers are choosing to return to work these days then they were 30 years ago, Tallon said, and there have been links between mums going back to work and a rise in childhood obesity and behavioural disorders. Tallon says this has driven women to "re-evaluate what, where and how their children eat."​ Tallon says this will cause a rise in the use of dietary supplements for children. Age ​ Ageing populations will result in a "fundamental shift"​ in the global demographics. He says 40 per cent of all 65 year olds will reach 90 by 2050. This global trend will reveal great potential in the wellness category, he said. Consumers in this category tend to have more money, he added.

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