Supplement growth spotlight turns to Turkey

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Dietary supplement Eastern europe

Regulatory changes are allowing emerging markets in Eastern Europe
to significantly expand, a trade group has said.

The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) says changes such as lowering restrictions and increasing working relationships between governments has helped markets in countries such as Romania and Turkey boom over the last decade. Dietary supplements were given a shot in arm after the passing of the country's Food Law. This helped foster an interest in nutritional based healthcare and officially recognized the term in law. It was followed by the setting up of the food supplement association known as BesDesDer. Some 97 per cent of supplement companies trading in Turkey are members of BesDesDer. IADSA made the announcement at a conference in the country's capital. Since these changes emerging markets such as Turkey are ripe for expansion as domestic regulation is changed to meet EU law, opening up the supplement market for further growth. Turkey offers a host of potential, both with the country's growing population and in its position, which has been cited as a gateway to the Middle East. The supplement market in the country is estimated to be worth nearly $200m (€139m). IADSA global market analyst Peter Zambetti said the emerging eastern European market sees around 17 per cent annual growth and outstrips development in established EU and US markets, which have growth of around four to six per cent a year. Zambetti said: "The global supplement market is currently valued at $5 bn (US), and in general emerging markets are growing much faster than developed markets. "In 1997 Turkey's dietary supplement market was only $8.1m (€5.5m), whereas in 2006 it was valued at $195m (€133m) - an average annual growth of 23 per cent over the last 10 years.Romania too, for example, has seen 20 per cent growth in the last three years." ​However, while the market has seen massive growth and major legislative changes, there is still room for improvement. Muge Cakir, executive director of BesDesDer, added: "Turkey's food supplement market is booming - in the last two years the sector has doubled. There are still discrepancies that exist with some products which we believe should be regulated as foods but are still classed as drugs, but we are constantly working to address these issues and increase the credibility of the sector." ​ In December, US firm BI Nutraceuticals made a range of its herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals and specialty ingredients available to finished goods manufacturers in the country through Turkish distribution firm Safir Group. The company also identified regulatory changes in the country as an attraction.

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