Using dietary supplements: not an ‘elite hobby’ any more

By: trademagazin Date: 2016. 06. 30. 10:22

In the last few years the market of dietary supplements and vitamins was booming. Both the number of buyers and products available keep expanding year after year. Unfortunately, the vitamin content of fruits and vegetables isn’t as high as it was 10-20 years ago. This is one of the reasons why many people start using dietary supplements, especially vitamins. Bálint Lévai, managing director of BioTechUSA told our magazine that it is very important to purchase well-known, reliable brands. Máté Szász, sales director of Scitec Hungary added that these days people try to buy food which contains no preservatives and look for additive-free products in general.

Petra Borsodi, product manager of Ed.Haas Hungaria Kft. revealed that the most important products are those which help to preserve one’s health and make them feel better. For instance multivitamin and vitamin C sales are going strong all the time. In most categories well-established brands now have to compete with cheaper competitors, whose main focus is on price communication. Ádám Földvári, marketing manager of Walmark Kft. informed that not only small Hungarian manufacturers are present in the latter segment, but also major pharmacy and drugstore chains, with their private label products.

Valéria Révészné Demkó, controlling and marketing director of, a Naturprodukt Kft. told Trade magazine that the majority of shoppers buy and use dietary supplements seasonally, especially in the autumn and spring periods. They are price-sensitive in this category too. Mr Lévai added that every month BioTechUSA offers premium products at reduced prices. Mr Szász opines that a significant part of consumers are willing to pay more for cleaner, more organic products. Ms Révészné Demkó reckons that in product packaging simplicity and practicality are the main directions. She told that family-size products aren’t widely available in Hungary yet.

Mr Lévai spoke about how the premium character of their products is reflected in the packaging. Products are available in various sizes, e.g. the Iso Whey Zero protein powder is available in 4 sizes. They offer both economy sizes and single-portion products. He sees growing demand for powder- and liquid-format products. About 65-70 percent of dietary supplements are sold in pharmacies. Ms Borsodi told our magazine that consumers are turning towards non-prescription (OTC) products. Many hyper- and supermarkets are now selling various dietary supplements and vitamins, and shoppers like to get these while doing their daily shopping. BioTechUSA products are sold in the units of the company’s 94-shop chain and online.

Scitec’s experience is that shoppers prefer specialist stores and specialist online shops. Naturprodukt Kft.’s products are mostly available in pharmacies and herbal remedy shops. BioTechUSA products are manufactured at the company’s own production and logistic facility, in a regulated environment, using safe and carefully selected doping-free ingredients. All of them meet the regulations of the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) and comply with relevant laws. Olympic and other athletes have been using these products for years.

At the moment BioTechUSA is present in almost 70 countries. From their products various proteins are the most popular but vitamins and Omega3 are also selling well. They offer more than 600 product variations and there are also gluten- and lactose-free products in their portfolio, plus they also have products that vegans can use. BioTechUSA’s new Protein Gusto functional food product range (oat products, soups, omelettes, pancakes) appeared in shops in April. The company has recently updated the popular Iso Whey Zero protein product and the Nitro Pure Whey product. Two new powder products, Hydro Whey Zero and Protein Fusion 85 were also launched.

Scitec Hungary’s products sport a unique, modern look that isn’t really characteristic of other organic products. Recently they have launched the Green Line product range – these dietary supplements contain really pure and concentrated plant-origin ingredients. Scitec Nutrition products rely on efficiency and this is what is communicated in marketing messages. Naturprodukt Kft. is present in the FMCG market with 7 products: 6 Dr. Theiss products and the African Dawn Rooibos tea. The company’s message to retailers and consumers is ‘Quality, reliability, safety.’

Ed.Haas Hungaria Kft. is the Hungarian market leader in the effervescent tablet market. The company is the biggest manufacturer of private label effervescent tablets and they informed our magazine that this year many retail chains have created their own assortment in this segment. In 2016 the company plans to launch new vitamin and isotonic effervescent tablets. Their marketing message is ‘Vitamins that can be enjoyed.’ Walmark Kft. was focusing on Marslakócskák children’s vitamins in 2015. The company concentrates on consumer communication: a lot of work needs to be done in educating them, so that they know that dietary supplements are safe and they can contribute to consumers’ health.

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