|Title:||United Kingdom vitamin and dietary supplements retail sales and share of sales by category in pounds sterling and percentages for the year ended March 20, 2011|
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Vitamins & supplements: XXw/e XX March 2011
[pounds sterling] m share %
Adult multivitamins XX.X XX.X
Other supplements XX.X XX.X
Cod liver oil XX.X XX.X
Glucosamine XX.X X.X
Herbal supplements XX.X X.X
Other fish oils XX.X X.X
Children multivitamins XX.X X.X
Vitamin C XX.X X.X
Minerals XX.X X.X
CLAs XX.X X.X
Vitamin B XX.X X.X
Others XX.X ! X.X
TOTAL XXX.X XXX.X
Everyone knows we're living longer, but few probably appreciate how fast the demographics are changing. By 2013, the number of UK consumers aged between XX and XX will be X.X% higher than it was in 2008 - a near XX% rise in just five years, according to Mintel. Although the number of XX to XX-year-olds is likely to have dipped very slightly, by X.X%, there's a major opportunity for companies to cash in on the 'grey pound'. And one category hoping for strong growth off the back of the rapidly growing older population is vitamins and supplements.
Worth [pounds sterling] XXXm today [Kantar Worldpanel XX w/e XX March], the UK vitamins and supplements market returned to growth this year after a sluggish 2009-2010, during which sales were hit by ongoing consumer caution over discretionary spend. Now it is hoping to step up the pace growth-wise on the back of mounting interest from older consumers in products aimed specifically at them.
Peter Aldis, chief executive of Holland & Barrett's parent company NBTY Europe, says it is already seeing strong sales of glucosamine products, which help prevent cartilage degeneration and treat arthritis. Tesco, the biggest supermarket retailer of vitamins, has also been quick to cash in on the growing strength of the grey pound. With glucosamine sulphate already on its shelves in XXXmg and X,XXXmg formats, the chain launched an extra-strength X,XXXmg version in March.
The big manufacturers have also been raising their games. In April, Seven Seas re-branded its Jointcare-branded glucosamine range to make it easier for shoppers to identify the products best suited to their needs. Jointcare now comes in three strengths - 'be', 'PRO' and 'XCEL'. "The range has been rejuvenated to make it more relevant to current as well as future customers, and will allow new users to enter the category with complete confidence," says Aldona Szczerba, Seven Seas Jointcare marketing manager.
It is not just supplements that are enjoying strong growth in the adult market. Multivitamins have also performed well (albeit thanks also to price rises) as adults young as well as old buy products to optimise their everyday health.
Tesco says that shoppers are increasingly opting for effervescent vitamins and that Berocca is one of its bestsellers. The brand has clearly enjoyed success elsewhere too. Sales have leapt XX.X% over the past year, making it the fastest-growing of the XX bestsellers [SymphonyIRI]. Although rival Centrum saw sales fall X.X% [SymphonyIRI], Multibionta is also selling well, claims brand owner Seven Seas.
Another area of the adult vitamin market going from strength to strength is pregnancy care, one of the fastest-growing sub-categories at the moment. Market leader Pregnacare's sales have risen XX.X% over the past year [SymphonyIRI] - more than enough to cover the cost of an ad in The Times urging the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to 'Go Folic!' when the time comes to start a family. Not to be left out, Tesco extended its own maternity range this year to include Pregnancy Plus products - in line, it says, with increasing demand for pregnancy vitamins.
Looking ahead, Aldis predicts a significant rise in sales of beauty supplements, already big in the US.
Parents are also buying more multivitamins for their kids. And fish oil products are thriving too, says Aldis, as more people buy into the claim that as well as reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks in adults, omega-X acids also help combat hyperactivity in children.
Developing products that meet the specific demands of different life stages remains a key focus for manufacturers and vitamins specifically designed for children seem to be a particular area of interest when it comes to NPD. Seven Seas is launching two new chewable products this year (see right).
While there has been significant innovation across the sector, promotions remain something of a bete noire, with Aldis estimating that as much as XX% of the market is permanently on offer. "The only way to prevent this would be for everybody to stop running promotions," he says, while defending his own chain's use of deals. Unlike the mults, Holland & Barrett needs to get customers into stores expressly to shop for vitamins, and promos are a key way of luring them in, Aldis maintains.
Tesco's entire vitamin range, both own-label and branded, is on a long-term three-for-two offer. According to Assosia, the supermarket ran XX more promotions in this category in the year to XX April 2011. Waitrose was the only other multiple to increase promotions. Among the brands, there was considerable variance in promotional tactics, with Centrum increasing activity by XX% - driving volume at the expense of its value sales - whilst Berocca cut promos by X.X%.
Promotions are not the only challenge the market faces. Already severely restricted in how products can be described, suppliers and retailers have to contend with new legislation governing changes in the labelling of recommended daily allowances (RDA). Nutrition-labelling legislation was updated by the EU in 2008 and suppliers and retailers need to make the necessary changes by XX October 2012.
A number of RDAs have changed, others have stayed the same, and some new RDAs have been added. Boots says all its vitamins already comply with the new labelling legislation - and Tesco and Holland & Barrett are also confident that they will meet the looming deadline. However, Aldis predicts the legislation will cause difficulties for smaller suppliers, not least because of its cost implications.
At the moment, though, the variety of vitamin and supplement products available has never been greater and the UK is responsible for the highest proportion of new launches in Europe [Mintel].
With the grey pound getting ever stronger, a few labelling changes aren't likely to bother the growth of the vitamins and supplements market too much.
* Assisted by the 'grey pound', the market is showing a very slight return to growth following a subdued 2010.
* General sub-category sales trends are down, but adult multivitamins have performed well, due in part to a XX% y-o-y price increase. Children's multivitamin sales are also rising.
* In other areas, fluctuations emerge as buyers seek to meet seasonal needs. Sales of vitamin C and zinc products, for example, rise during the times of year when consumers feel they are more likely to catch a cold.
* Own-label sales, which account for just over half of the market, have dropped slightly.
* Sainsbury's is growing faster than any other mult, driven largely by X-for-X activity - which is becoming more prevalent in the wider market, too. Boots is also experiencing growth, boosted by the re-launch of its own-label range under the Boots Pharmaceuticals portfolio.
* The coming months will provide a good steer towards future sales, particularly with the impending October deadline for labelling changes relating to Recommended Daily Allowances.
Vitamins: XXw/e XX March 2011
SALES [pounds sterling] m CHANGE y-o-y%
Own-label XXX.X X.X
Seven Seas XX.X -X.X
Berocca XX.X XX.X
Pregnacare XX.X XX.X
Bassetts Soft & Chewy X.X X.X
Haliborange X.X -X.X
Centrum X.X -X.X ...