Polish €583m VMS market gunning for specific claims

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Polish €583m VMS market gunning for specific claims
Poland’s €583m vitamins and minerals food supplements market is evolving toward ever-more sophisticated and specific claims according to a market analyst.

Euromonitor International says the sector – which accounts for 42% of Poland’s overall consumer healthcare market including OTC products – was becoming less generalist in claims and formulations.

“…the ‘general health’ claim has been losing ground in dietary supplements, as consumers flock to products with specific health targets, like heart, eye and digestive health,”​ wrote Euromonitor consumer health company analyst, Chris Schmidt, in a blog​.

“For instance, the strong growth of probiotic supplements can be attributed in part to both domestic and foreign producers focusing on the specific, rather than general, health benefits.”

“Though the European Food Safety Authority’s crackdown on health claims hit probiotic marketers particularly hard, the category ($78m/€61m in 2012) is still expected to a 4% CAGR through 2017.”

“The category could also benefit from a seemingly eminent change in the regulatory landscape, stemming from the European Commission’s February 2013 demand that Poland alter its laws for registration of imported supplements from other European Union member states.”

“The Commission contends that Poland’s current system is overly ‘burdensome’ to legal imports other member states. Decreasing barriers of entry should contribute positively to future growth.”


Poland’s consumer health care market was half that of Russia but equaled the next four markets combined – ​the Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

Category growth came in at 2% between 2007 and 2012.

“A number of factors contributed to that, he said, “including the country’s bureaucratic national health system (the National Health Fund NFZ’s quota system creates long waits for doctor visits, which has contributed to a greater willingness to self-treat minor ailments), the industry’s investments in product advertising and consumer education and the growing confidence of Poles to properly choose and utilise self-care options, are helping to drive sales.”

Eastern big six

Another analyst, PMR, said recently that Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia had pushed through the €1bn mark for the first time in food supplements.

PMR noted the overall growth across the six countries had slowed slightly to 7%, but it would pick up to 7.6% between 2012 and 2014.

Bulgaria grew 11.9%, Slovakia 10.9%, Poland 6.2% and Hungary 4.1%.

While Romania was the fastest growing market it had the lowest per capita spend on food supplements, while the slowest growing market (3.5%), the Czech Republic, had the highest per capita spend. 

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