Food supplements drive sluggish Polish OTC growth

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Food supplements remain popular in Poland
Food supplements remain popular in Poland

Related tags Food supplements Food and drug administration

The Polish over-the-counter (OTC) market may be slowing due to lower sickness numbers, but food supplements continue to perform strongly, according to a new report from PMR Publications.

The market analyst said the market for OTC medicines, food supplements and nutricosmetic products would decline from 11 per cent growth in 2009, to only three per cent in 2010.

But it expected a return to double digit growth in the €2bn market that would be grow to €2.7bn in 2012.

Monika Stefanczyk, PMR head pharmaceutical market analyst, observed that disease rates had helped the market achieve 11 per cent growth in 2009, even as the economic recession took hold.

“In 2009 the high flu incidence contributed to large market growth, especially in case of OTC medicines,” ​she said.

“In all, the number of flu cases in 2009 reached almost 1.1 million, the highest figure since 2003, when there were approximately 1.2 million reported.”

Primary drivers

With lower sickness rates the market shrank in 2010, with the wellness promise of food supplements rising to the fore.

Dietary supplements will be the primary driver of the market growth in the coming years,”​ the report states. “Although the growth rate for the dietary supplements market will be lower than in the preceding years, it should be noted that it will still be exceptionally high – for instance, it will be higher than the growth pace of the OTC medicines market. We assume that the trends which prevailed in the previous year, and positively stimulated sales, will continue.”

“These trends include the aging population, growing interest in self-treatment, healthy lifestyle and healthy appearance, natural and herbal products.”

The report found 87 per cent of OTC sales in Poland occurred in pharmacies, and only 13 per cent outside it in vendors such as grocery stores and service stations.

Poland has a positive list containing 52 active constituents that can be sold in non-pharmacy outlets, although these don’t apply to food supplements which can be sold outside of pharmacies without any restrictions.

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