Post-pandemic, the world has been upended by war, a cost-of-living crisis, and the looming threat of recession. Such uncertainty inevitably impacts consumer behaviour, resulting in market volatility. How can businesses make strategic decisions in such a context?
“I want to give people as much certainty as I can in understanding the relative position of markets in the global dietary supplement environment,” explains Pierce, whose presentation at Vitafoods Europe will provide an update of the current supplement market with a deeper dive into the US market.
“This is the largest dietary supplement market globally, and what we are seeing in the US market will likely reflect some of the challenges being faced elsewhere. I’ll also take a closer look at growth in terms of dollar sales of dietary supplements across 16 countries and regions, with the aim of providing a perspective of where these markets are at.”
Growth in an uncertain world
This is only half the story, however. Pierce’s key focus at Vitafoods Europe will be to look at how businesses can more effectively use these growth and dollar sales numbers to really identify where growth opportunities exist. To do this, Pierce intends to introduce a more nuanced way of working with data.
“Looking at growth and dollar sales tells you a lot about a market’s potential , but it shouldn’t be the primary way you make a final decision,” he says. “For example, businesses should take into consideration how population size influences dollar sales. China might seem like a super-attractive dietary supplements market, but if you take into account dollar sales per capita, it might appear to be a relatively inefficient market to enter.”
Alternatively, countries like Japan - smaller markets with a denser concentration of consumers – might be better choice. To make this judgement though, a more holistic approach to data is needed. “I’m interested, really, in changing the way we look at growth,” says Pierce. “If we take into account metrics like population, GDP and health spending alongside dollar sales, what does this tell us? This is about taking a new approach to identifying where growth lies.”
New ways of using market data
Data for this presentation will be sourced primarily from two key reports – the Nutrition Business Journal’s Global Supplement Business Report, published in October 2022, and a Special Report providing a Supplement Market Economy Update, published in January 2023. The Global Supplement Report analyses sales and growth across 22 countries and regions, while the Special Report provides a mid-year update on the sector.
“The Nutrition Business Journal publishes a monthly journal, designed to help senior leaders in the dietary supplement industry keep an eye on where the industry is going,” says Pierce. “We also publish upwards of 12 reports a year with a deep focus on the US market, and a global report published annually.”
At Vitafoods, Pierce intends to move beyond presenting facts and figures, by introducing new approaches to using this data. By doing so, he hopes to provide business professionals with the tools they need to really move their businesses forward, in an increasingly uncertain world.
“This presentation is really about a new way of thinking, and giving businesses a more nuanced way of thinking about pursuing growth,” he says.
At Vitafoods 2023, Eric will be delivering a presentation entitled ‘State of the global supplement market: Seeking growth in an uncertain marketplace.’ Eric Pierce is VP of Business Insights for Informa Markets and manages the Nutrition Business Journal. Eric and his teams provide decision makers in the natural products and nutrition industry with marketplace insights necessary to lead, develop strategy, identify opportunities, and manage business risk.