Poland embraces pre- and probiotic supplements

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Obesity

Gut health, along with weight management, are driving the Polish food supplements market, with pre- and probiotic supplements experiencing strong growth, according to market researcher, PMR.

PMR highlighted the strong performance of digestive health supplements as a strong segment in a market growing at 12-15 per cent per annum and valued at €484m in 2008 and set to grow to €620m in 2011.

PMR said digestive health supplements had recorded growth of more than 35 per cent in recent years as a population that routinely suffers from poor dietary habits and obesity, turns increasingly to food supplements.

Probiotics and fibre-based products belong to one of the most rapidly developing categories of the gastric supplements segment,”​ PMR said.

“In the group of preparations affecting liver functions available outside of pharmacies, the key products are Verdin (US Pharmacia) and Sylimaron (Olimp Laboratories). Dr Zgaga (Polski Lek) is the most popular dietary supplement for heartburn and hyperacidity.”

Other companies working in the area include Pharma Nord of Denmark.

PMR said Pliva-Barr Pharmaceuticals-Teva’s OTC gastro supplement, Hepatil, is one of the best ten performing supplements in the country of 38 million people which joined the European Union in 2004.

Weight loss

L-Carnitine, ​chromium, fibre, pineapple extracts featured in weight loss supplements targeting the estimated 46 per cent of Poles who are overweight or obese with typically calorie-burning or satiety-promoting supplements.

“According to our estimates, the weight loss dietary supplements category will see clear growth in the next few years as only a half of Poland’s population is of proper body weight,”​ PMR said, noting the figure had risen dramatically in recent years.

“This situation is likely to deepen owing to a lack of physical activity and bad eating habits.”

Labelling

Poland’s Food and Nutrition Safety Act was modified in late 2006 to make it mandatory for products to carry the term ‘dietary supplement’ adjacent to any mention of the trademarked name on product packaging.

PMR said this amendment may yet encounter implementation difficulties as European Union labelling regulations impose no such requirement.

Another requirement under the Food and Nutrition Safety Act that requires pre-registration of products is being challenged on the grounds that it violates EU principles of free movement of goods and is inconsistent with European Court of Justice rulings.

Moreover, the bill imposes a duty of electronic notification of a dietary supplement’s first release on the market,”​ PMR said.

“The changes originally meant to simplify the notification procedure actually impose an additional obligation since the requirement of written notification is still valid.”

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