Nutritional supplements & health foods

An Expert's View about Pharmaceuticals in Bulgaria

Last updated: 26 May 2011

Summary
As member of the European Union since 2007, the Bulgarian market for nutritional supplements is changing and the government has harmonized its regulations with the EU regulations for this specific market segment.

The Bulgarian nutritional supplements market offers significant potential for manufacturers as Bulgarians are becoming increasingly health conscious. Dietary concerns and the prevention of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, insomnia and digestive problems, have added to Bulgaria`s growing consumption of nutraceuticals and present a positive scenario for future sales.

This report provides an overview of market specifics, some statistical data and various pieces of legislative requirements influencing market entry strategies.

Introduction
In an effort to harmonize the internal EU market for food supplements and similar products the European Union adopted several pieces of legislation, which are described in detail in the report of the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Mission to the European Union which can be accessed by visiting its web site www.buyusa.gov/europeanunion.gov or via e-mail at Brussels.ec.office.box@trade.gov

The EU institutions and legislation relevant and applicable to the nutritional supplements legislative framework include:
• The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – www.efsa.europa.eu
• Food Supplements Directive (FSD) 2002/46/EC – http://eur-lex.europa.eu
• Which is amended by Regulation 1170/2009
• A Guidance document http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scf/out100_en.pdf could be referred to by companies wishing to market a substance not included in the permitted list of allowable vitamins and minerals need to submit an application to the European Commission
• Ref Nutrition and Health Claims - Regulation 1924/2006
• There are other directives related to foodstuffs playing the role of nutritional supplements for groups of people covering dietary foods for special medical purposes, diets for weight reduction, infant formula etc.

For more details and specific assistance companies should contact U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Mission to the European Union www.buyusa.gov/europeanunion.gov or via e-mail at Brussels.ec.office.box@trade.gov

The Bulgarian market for food supplements, nutritional products, vitamins and minerals
The Bulgarian market is strongly influenced by world nutritional supplement trends and products. Ginko Biloba and Ginseng, for example, had significant penetration in the market in the last few years.

The vitamins segment, particularly multivitamin complexes, pediatric vitamin complements and Vitamin C, present good prospects. The market is currently dominated by local players such as Actavis, Ecopharm, Borola and Adipharm and some international companies such Czech Walmark, Boiron and Naturpharma.

Natural fiber, used as a dietary complement to help with digestive problems, as well as proteins and amino acids, used for weight control, also represent potential market opportunities. Similarly, other supplements such as garlic for cholesterol control, calcium for osteoporosis prevention and herbal remedies for insomnia offer solid opportunities.

According IMS total market size in terms of value was expected to reach 132 mln leva in 2010, ($94 million), which represents 4% growth in both value and number of packages sold vs. 2009.

The leader on the market is Wallmark with 12 mln leva annual sales ($8.5 million) which represents a 9% market share and 6% growth in value and 12% growth in packages sold.

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Posted: 26 May 2011, last updated 26 May 2011