woman taking supplements

Latin America Sees Rising Supplement Use

As in other regions, consumers value clean labeling, sourcing and transparency

The global desire to eat healthier, and to have that healthy diet play a key role in a wellness-oriented lifestyle, has never been stronger. And it has made the Latin America, or LATAM, region a dynamic market for supplements.

Population centers, younger consumers drive growth

The uptick in vitamins, minerals and supplement interest is notable across the region, where Brazil and Mexico are the dominant markets:

  • In Ecuador, the use of probiotic supplements is expected to grow by double digits in the coming years
  • Mexico’s supplement awareness and acceptance comes in large part through the active presence of multi-level marketing companies Herbalife & Omnilife
  • A compelling 58% of Brazilian consumers surveyed by Euromonitor say they would use vitamin and mineral supplements if they featured natural ingredients
  • And 48% of Brazilians age 16-20 tell Mintel that their generation is more focused than previous generations on health and fitness

Shifting claims create more opportunities

According to Mintel, consumers listed energy and beauty benefits as key reasons to take supplements. Those categories remain strong and have been joined by the benefit of immune health. This opens an entirely new opportunity for messaging in advertising and promotion in the wellness segment.

The beauty supplement market remains particularly robust:

  • In 2018, 34% of Brazilian users reported using supplements to improve hair, nails or skin, a rise of 10 percentage points over a four-year period
  • Some 68% of Argentinian consumers say they are interested in skin health products
  • And 9% of supplement product launches in LATAM featured a hair, skin and nails claim, the third-largest functional claim category after immunity and energy

Anti-aging desire also increases spend

LATAM consumers want to overcome oily skin and hair, as well as eliminate wrinkles, improve appearance and decrease signs of aging1. How are they doing it?

  • Capsules and tablets
  • Ingredients such as collagen, hyaluronic acid, folic acid, antioxidants and vitamin E

Mental health: the next frontier?

There is a high interest in cognitive health among many LATAM consumers 

Eighty-five percent of Argentinians are interested in cognitive health products; 54% in Brazil are as well. Why do they want them? The most common answers are: 

  • 27% indicate difficulty sleeping
  • 29% of Brazilians indicate stress is a problem most or some of the time 
  • 36% indicate they have feelings of fatigue or tiredness most or all of the time 
  • 40% of Argentinians indicate they suffer from periods of memory loss most or some of the time

Cost, unrealistic claims could present barriers

One warning sign: cost is a deterring factor for more than half of consumers in Brazil and Argentina, and likely other LATAM countries as well. This, coupled with other issues such as disbelief in effectiveness and lack of information, is a barrier to consumers who want nutritional supplements to boost their cognitive or mental health.

Ways to combat those potential roadblocks include:

  • Research into what price points would be considered affordable
  • More market-focused information on benefits of non-prescriptive supplements
  • Professional recommendations from doctors and pharmacists

LATAM consumers are already interested in supplements, but brands can help to influence purchase by optimizing cost and efficacy through the help of product formulation. When positioned as meaningful and effective aids for quality of life, cognitive decline, sleep issues and even eye health, this market holds great growth potential in the coming years and even decades.

From our bioactives to our premix solutions, Glanbia Nutritionals has the expertise and experience to help you develop your next supplement product that will resonate with these consumer needs. For more information please get in touch.


1. FMCG Gurus, Skin Health Survey – Argentina Q3 2019 & Brazil, Q4 2018. Base: 1000 adults per country

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