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Emerging markets drive global health & wellness growth (but one size does not fit all)

By Shane Starling+

Last updated on 04-Jun-2015 at 12:28 GMT2015-06-04T12:28:16Z

Source: Euromonitor International
Source: Euromonitor International

38 ‘developed’ nations delivered 54% of functional food and supplement and other health & wellness (HW) product sales in 2014, but these same nations will account for only 14% of growth between now and 2019.

Health conditions like ‘general wellbeing’, ‘weight management’ and ‘digestive health’ were leading emerging market growth. The report estimated the global HW market at about €1 trillion in 2014.

In a report, Euromonitor International global head of health & wellness research Ewa Hudson noted ageing populations were changing market dynamics in favour of the healthy end of the food industry spectrum.

“As 2014 sees HW outperforming the wider food and drink industries, it becomes evident that standard HW products struggle in developed countries at a time of strong HW innovation,” Hudson noted.

But successful healthy food products in developed markets would not necessarily translate to developing markets. Even many ‘standard’ HW products are struggling across the board.


Ageing global populations were prioritising health” while “millennials desire nutritional content and energy” but increasingly consumers wanted personalised solutions.

“Beverages and healthy snacks are the way to obtain the extra nutritional content,” Hudson said.

“Both [the ageing and millennials] are moving away from sugar, and rediscovering good carbs and supergrains. The move from one-fits-all to personalised products continues to grow and acquisitions form a major strategy for bringing in innovation, entering new markets and new categories.”

The report noted emerging markets will account for most growth as populations move away from sugar and embrace the idea to “go healthy to become wealthy” often backed by government and NGO pressure to improve nutrition and reduce healthcare costs.

The cost of obesity and type 2 diabetes chronic disease in the UK alone is estimated at €40bn a year. Countries like India and China, Mexico and Brazil have seen ballooning obesity and diabetes rates in recent years as diets have followed highly processed Western-style dietary patterns.

See more on the subject from Euromonitor here .

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