China Market Potential
Sports nutrition has experienced a boom and data from Mintel indicates its next target market is China. The survey revealed 76 percent of urban Chinese consumers are now ‘regularly taking part in sports and fitness activities’ and where there’s exercise, there’s demand for healthier dietary options. Running was ‘overwhelmingly the most popular fitness activity’ at 39 percent of those surveyed while strength programmes in gyms were only favoured by 3 percent, suggesting products targeting endurance and stamina would be most successful. Also, 39 percent said reducing stress was their ‘primary reason for exercising’ meaning a product blurring the lines between sports nutrition and cognitive health could hit the sweet spot among consumers.
Latin American Opportunities
Economic conditions in Argentina are improving, with the government aiming to reduce inflation to 16 percent in 2018, compared to the 47 percent it suffered in 2016. The country’s economy may have shrunk by 2.2 percent in 2016, but GDP grew by 2.75 percent in the first half of this year and is predicted to grow 3.5 percent in 2018. Economic growth spells opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers—particularly as health and wellness foods flouted the economic downturn and are now expected to flourish. Euromonitor reported consumers are ‘progressively seeking healthier beverages’ as public health campaigns driven by the Ministerio de Salud (Health Ministry) have ‘alerted consumers to the high levels of sugar in many beverages’. The usual targets for health and wellness products—millennials—are also the target group in Argentina, as they account for 33 percent of the total population. As obesity and diabetes become more prevalent—62 percent of the population is overweight and 10 percent has diabetes—there is plenty of opportunity for the global industry to knock on Argentina’s door.
High obesity and diabetes rates are also offering opportunity in Mexico as consumers turn to better-for-you products in a public attempt to combat the second highest rate in the world—11.5 million are registered diabetics with another 15 percent showing a prevalence. Likewise, one third of the population is obese while 64 percent is overweight and rising obesity rates coupled with a genetic predisposition for diabetes has seen a steady rise in the condition.
Obesity is ever-increasingly a global issue and as Brazil is potentially set to become the most obese nation in the world by 2030, Latin America is a prime market for health and wellness and weight management products. Brazil offers interesting potential as specialised health stores pop up and Euromonitor note consumers are willing to purchase much more expensive ‘healthy’ products ‘even though this requires cutting expenses for other items’. Consumers are well aware of the need for healthier options and demand is increasing for healthier snacking products with ‘more authentic ingredients and a better nutritional profile’. For plant-based products, Brazil is ripe for innovation as it saw its lowest meat consumption level in the past 14 years in 2016. Brazilian millennials are leading the drive for healthy plant-based food products and data shows the country’s natural products market grew 98 percent over the last five years.