Health and Wellness in Emerging vs Developed Markets: It’s all about Strategy and Exploiting Synergies

The global health and wellness (HW) market was worth some US$774 billion in 2014 and continues to outperform the wider food and drink industries. Emerging markets stand out as highly dynamic, piquing the interest of international players, in particular. But what strategies to employ to stand any chance of success in little-known terrain? Are consumers in emerging markets ready for HW offerings? How do local players fit into the picture? Which companies and brands are doing well and why? Euromonitor International tackles these questions – and a lot more besides – in its just published report Corporate Strategies in Health and Wellness: Part 2 – Focus – Emerging Markets.


Emerging markets drive global HW growth

Although developed markets generated nearly 60% of total global HW value sales in 2014, in terms of growth, there is a pronounced shift towards emerging markets. By 2019, emerging markets are projected to account for 49% of global health and wellness product sales, up from just 28% in 2002.


Companies wishing to operate successfully in emerging markets need to adopt a clear strategy. Those lacking an emphasis on health are likely to be left behind in these high growth markets, where the population of overweight, obese and diabetic consumers is increasing by the day. An in-depth knowledge of local ingredients, consumer tastes, wellness goals and health beliefs, as well as a familiarity with markets’ distribution networks, is of primary importance.


Are developed markets still worth investing in?

Seeing that HW growth in highly developed countries is levelling off, many players may be asking themselves whether it is worth continuing to invest in these markets. Our report Corporate Strategies in Health and Wellness Part 1 – Focus – Developed Markets deals with this very question.

Consumers in developed markets are becoming ever more demanding and expect products to be tailor-made to fit in with their health concerns, lifestyles and world views. High per capita spends continue to justify companies’ investment in research and development.


One of the salient points to take away is that the relationship between developed and emerging markets in the HW realm is essentially a synergistic one – a fact that is particularly relevant to global players.

Developed markets often serve as a test bed for sophisticated HW products that will soon be in demand in emerging economies, if they aren’t already. Emerging markets, in their turn, are rich picking grounds for new superfoods, for which consumers in developed markets are prepared to pay a premium.