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Supplement brands clamour to meet demand for health and convenience in Australia, NZ with NPD boom

By Cheryl Marie Tay+

17-May-2017

Manufacturers are scrambling to meet the growing demand for supplements innovation in Australia and New Zealand. ©iStock
Manufacturers are scrambling to meet the growing demand for supplements innovation in Australia and New Zealand. ©iStock

Innovation is booming in Australia and New Zealand’s vitamins and dietary supplements sector with companies rolling out scores of new products over the past five years, according to new research.

Market intelligence agency Mintel found, through its Global New Products Database (GNPD), that the category experienced a 57% increase in product launches between March 2012 and February 2017. In New Zealand alone, launches of such products rose by 167% over the same period.

This increase was fuelled largely by antioxidant, digestive and immunity claims, and most of the products released were in capsule and tablet form. Launches of supplements in powder form followed, seeing a modest 19% rise from March 2012 to February 2017, thanks mainly to Australian growth.

But beyond capsules, tablets and powders, further innovation could see vitamin and supplement manufacturers making use of food and drink visuals to achieve a more natural, less medicinal image for their products. Additionally, powdered supplements could be mixed into food and drink for optimal convenience, said Mintel.

This is in line with growing consumer demand for healthy, natural and functional dietary solutions. Ingredients such as ginseng, chia seeds, turmeric and probiotics are also finding their way into powdered supplements in Australia and New Zealand.

Interestingly, children represent a considerable portion of the vitamin and dietary supplement market. Between March 2012 and February 2017, most of the supplements launched were for children, with the immunity claim lending the most credence to said products.

Vast potential

When it comes to adults, the vitamins and dietary supplements launched are usually single or multivitamin products.

Michelle Teodoro, Food Science and Nutrition analyst at Mintel, said, “There is potential for vitamin and mineral supplement products to flourish in the New Zealand and Australian markets, as long as brands innovate with consumers in mind by focusing on current and relevant health issues, functionality, convenience or ease of use.”

She added that brands would need to consider “natural attributes that consumers are looking for today”, as “a natural approach taken towards formulation and fortification is preferred by consumers”.

In terms of demand drivers, immunity for children and the elderly is a major concern in New Zealand. In Australia, autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases are some of the country’s most pervasive chronic conditions.

However, brands have found it difficult to provide convincing proof of their products’ purported health benefits. In light of this, New Zealand’s impending Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill will seek to properly validate such claims as safe and accurate, Mintel added.

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