Latin Americans taking to nutraceuticals, AC Neilsen

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Latin america, Dietary supplement

The Latin American market is carrying the largest growth rate in
certain nutraceutical categories, according to a new AC Neilsen
report.

The market analyst yesterday released its 2006 edition of What's Hot Around the World – Insights on Growth in Food & Beverage Products​, comparing food and beverage categories across geographical regions from mid-year 2005 to mid-year 2006. While Latin America accounts for a relatively small share of the overall value of the global food & beverage markets, it may very well be a hot zone for future growth in healthy categories. The AC Neilsen report specifically highlights the vitamin supplement category as having felt significant growth - welcome information for the dietary supplement industry, whose mainstay multivitamin trail blazed the United States market before any other nutraceutical. "The vitamin supplements category saw its largest growth occur in Latin America, fueled by double-digit growth in Nicaragua, Panama and Mexico,"​ says the report. "Latin America also contributed the largest category value growth, with Mexico and Colombia occupying two of the top three spots." This is a significant development for a region that has traditionally not seen large supplement sales. And the benefits to not appear to have trickled down to more specialized products yet. "Dietary supplements are not popular in South America,"​ Inter Farma CEO Diego Vincenti recently told NutraIngredients-USA. Inter Farma is an Argentine company specializing in chondroitin sulfate. While perceived healthy items (including yoghurt, dairy, sports drinks, fish and salads) played a significant role in AC Neilsen's top ten categories across all continents, emerging markets such as that of Latin America have witnessed significant growth from albeit smaller bases. NutraIngredients-USA yesterday reported findings in the AC Neilsen study that reveal the drinkable yoghurt category, at an 18 percent growth rate, has experienced the largest increase of any category. However, regular or spoonable yoghurt has seen a particularly high growth rate in Latin America and regional markets in Asia. "Latin America (+13 percent) and the Emerging Markets (+12 percent) showed the highest regional growth rate for Spoonable Yogurt, on a smaller value base,"​ said the report. "Two of the fastest growing markets for Spoonable Yogurt came from the Asia Pacific region, however: China (+77 percent) and Taiwan (+40 percent)." ​With a 12 percent growth over the year, non-alcoholic beverages - of which healthy drinks played a substantial role - grew in market importance in Latin America as well. According to AC Neilsen, this development was driven by water and sports/energy drinks (especially in Chile), as well as diary substitute drinks such as rice and soy (mainly in Brazil).

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