eye health
in focus.

As quarantines have moved more of our life to digital channels and exposure to screens has increased, we see the opportunity for eye health supplements to be very timely. For example, Euromonitor data shows that eye health is one of the 5 categories that had higher y-o-y growth in 2020 than the entire category of food supplements on average.

who can eye health supplements target?

Modern lifestyle, poor nutrition, and staying indoors may all contribute to eye health issues, which often start early in childhood and accompany individuals throughout life. At present at least 2,2 billion people around the world have a vision impairment such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, refractive errors, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, corneal opacity, and trachoma. At least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed. This is the target group that eye health supplements can aim to help.

recent events have increased the opportunity.

The future of nutritional industry addressing eye health is very bright. FMCG Gurus consumer insights show that 51% of global consumers are currently not satisfied with their eye health, whilst 37% of these consumers believe their eyesight has gotten worse over the last 2 years. Especially recently, as quarantines have moved more of our life to digital channels and exposure to screens has increased, we see the opportunity to be very timely.

Euromonitor’s data is an indicator of this, as it shows that eye health is one of the 5 categories that had higher year-over-year growth in 2020 than the entire category of food supplements on average. Also, as the number of awareness campaigns of the harmful effects of exposure to screens grows, so will the demand for effective, clinically substantiated, and convenient solutions.

The highest growth for the next 5 years is expected for Thailand and Vietnam, while the more mature market of South Korea is projected to exhibit less growth. However, the latter is already nearly 4 times the size of the UK market.


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the supplement market is still flawed.

The market is in its early stages of development, which is characterized by the majority of products being based on herbal commodities or low-quality carotenoid sources, with no direct scientific proof of efficacy. Growing awareness and an aging population present a clear market opportunity for preventive products but they need to have all the scientific support. Because products do not have an immediate effect, consumers must have only scientific data to rely on.

Despite the widely present phenomenon of pill-fatigue, capsules remain the highly prevalent form of eye health products. Difficulties that the elderly experience with swallowing along with generally more demanding consumers both call for innovation in terms of user-friendly, convenient product forms.

There are too few products dedicated to children, especially under the age of 12. Neglecting eye health during early childhood and adolescent years can have consequences later in life as it can increase the risk of eye-related health problems. Early intervention may be the best way to help improve natural macular protection and prevent or delay age-related eye disorders.

Another challenge and also an opportunity is product stability. Development of eye health products is a particularly difficult process, requiring expertise in carotenoids’ stability in user-friendly product forms. PharmaLinea’s R&D has found carotenoids to be highly unstable, especially in liquid form. Product stability throughout the whole shelf-life presents an opportunity for challenger companies and a must for established brands aiming for the support of ophthalmologists.

taste is key for preventive products.

As is the case with all preventive products, where there is no acute problem motivating the user, compliance is one of the main challenges with eye health supplements and this is easiest overcome with user experience. Especially to motivate children, we knew we had to make the products delicious, so we are very pleased we managed to develop a syrup for children that was awarded for taste by industry professionals at Vitafoods.

the future of eye health supplements.

Effects on vision, felt by older adults, have been motivating private label supplement manufacturers into developing eye health supplements for some time now, but the vast majority is still based on basic multivitamins, herbal commodities, or low-quality carotenoid sources with no direct data on efficacy or bioavailability.

However, we do see that promotion done by the best ingredient suppliers is paying off and that branded and studied ingredients are appearing more and more on finished products’ ingredient lists. The entire food supplement space is slowly starting to address consumer demand for higher quality and tangible data on efficacy and eye health is following suit.

We also see that our partners, when promoting our private label eye health supplements in their markets, are very successful in developing and utilizing communication of clinical data both to doctors and consumers. In the future, we thus expect to see more clinical studies on finished products, more user-friendly forms, and also line extensions to other areas of ocular health.

In our view, the only way to get lasting consumer trust is to provide supplements with benefits one can feel and prove.

reach out.

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