Brazil and the Growth of the Health Supplement Industry


Less than two years have elapsed since the world came together in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This summer, all eyes will be on Brazil again as they prepare to host the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Although the assurance of economic benefits of these mega-events is far from guaranteed, there is little argument made regarding the realization of global prestige and exposure for the host nation. Similar to what the 2010 Beijing Summer Olympics did for China, Brazil will continue to show to the world that they are ready to take the next step in becoming an international economic powerhouse.

The Economic Effect on Health Trends

There is a strong correlation between the statuses of an economy to the relative strengths of the dietary health supplement market in that country. Brazil has the 9th largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP and 7th largest by purchase power parity (PPP). This is primarily being driven by the developing Brazilian middle-class who are now able to better prioritize on the wellbeing of their families. Hence, the number of high-income earners with large amount of disposable income has been steadily increasing. Perhaps this is a major contributing factor in the recent health and wellness boom that has been sweeping the nation. This trend is affecting all demographics as the consumer demand is spurring rapid shifts in the health industry.

Vitamins and Dietary Supplements Market

According to Euromonitor, the Brazilian vitamins and dietary supplements recorded a sales total of R$4.5 billion in 2015. This is a significant 11% increase from 2014 and the market shows no signs of slowing down. Many Brazilians are trying to improve their general well-being by allocating and spending more money on vitamins and dietary supplements, which has become an attractive choice for consumers to achieve their goals. The vitamins segment was the best performing category by reaching sales of R$2.1 billion, which covers almost half of the entire market. Furthermore, the best performing sub segment of vitamins was multivitamins. This popularity is supported by a majority of Brazilian consumers due to their perception that multivitamins are seen as an all-in-one solution. However, not all multivitamins are made equal. Since they are a combination of various functional ingredients, the formulation can change depending on the needs of the consumer. For example, the most popular types are called ‘prenatal multivitamins’, which are specifically tailored for pregnant women and their soon-to-be-born babies. They tend to contain more folic acid and iron compared to generic, adult multivitamins. For single vitamins, they are usually purchased for function-specific reasons. Within this sub segment, vitamin C remained the most popular type in 2015, contributing to a whopping 66% of the sub segment’s total sales. They are commonly consumed to combat or prevent cold symptoms.

Industry Players

International companies and their brands continue to dominate the Brazilian vitamins and dietary supplements market. According to Euromonitor, six out of seven of the leading industry players are currently foreign companies, holding a combined market value share of 45%. This list includes world-renowned pharmaceutical companies and their brands such as Bayer SA (Redoxon) and Pfizer Inc. (Centrum) as well as multinational marketing corporations such as Herbalife International. The only domestic player among the top 7 is EMS SA with their flagship brand, Gerovital.

2016 and Beyond

Worldwide growth of the vitamins and dietary supplement industry is expected to briskly continue despite the global economic downturn. Other countries in South America other than Brazil such as Colombia and Chile are showing similar growth in their markets but in terms of sheer size, they are still dwarfed in comparison. Although some consumers may reduce their purchases of vitamins and dietary supplements as a way to save money, the strong health and wellness trend will help counteract this behavior. With a growing middle-class who are becoming increasingly more health conscious, Brazil is poised to take the next step in becoming a global powerhouse with exciting potential.


Paul Kim is currently pursuing his MBA degree in Korea University, Seoul. A graduate of University of British Columbia in Canada with a degree in Biology, Paul has extensive experience in the vitamins and health supplement industries in North America and Asia.



Euromonitor. (2015).

Vitamins and Dietary Supplements in Brazil. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from Euromonitor Passport Database. Robinson, T. (2014).

The Growing Market of Nutritional Supplements in Brazil. Retrieved February 03, 2016, from Schultz, H. (2015).

Rising health trend in Brazil creates opportunity for supplements, healthy foods, analyst says. Retrieved January 22, 2016, from