Health and Wellness in Norway
Health and wellness sales recover
The Norwegian health and wellness food and beverages market has recovered from the economic difficulties in the past two years. Better for you, food intolerance, fortified/functional and naturally healthy products recorded dynamic sales, while the performance of organic products managed to just record positive sales.
There is a continued strong trend towards healthy living in Norway, which directly has a strong impact on the sales of health and wellness food and beverages. Norwegians are increasingly concerned about their health and are willing to purchase healthy food and beverages as long as the quality and the health benefits appear to be evident.
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Stringent food regulations
The Norwegian Food Authority (Mattilsynet) operates strict criteria for manufacturers that wish to make a health claim. The Green Keyhole symbol has become almost synonymous with healthy articles in Norway and helps consumers to easily identify healthy food and beverage products. The symbol is growing in recognition and most Norwegians are aware of its meaning. From January 2010 Norway introduced new EU regulations that will allow manufacturers to make health claims that have been approved by the European Commission. It is expected that common and standardised criteria will aid manufacturers in making the right and more efficient health claims about their products.
Food intolerance finally accepted
There was quite a remarkable change in the perception of food intolerance products during 2010. Up until then health food stores had been mostly selling and distributing the products, while a clear shift was seen in 2010, with the grocery channel stocking a whole range of food intolerance products and setting up separate stands to single them out and show the wide range. The wider availability and greater recognition meant that prices were normalised because the potential benefits of high-value products are strong owing to the fact that there is estimated to be a consumer group of 200,000 Norwegians who are potentially in need of food intolerance products. In the next few years it is expected that several industry players will compete in making an impact in this up until now relatively small market area.
Local players dominate sales
The domestic players Tine, Bakers, Q-Meieriene, Mills DA, Ideal Wasa, and Ringnes dominated health and wellness food and beverage sales in Norway during 2010. These players have dominated this market throughout the review period and they have an advantage over international manufacturers as Norwegian consumers tend to prefer locally-produced and -cultivated products. This strong trend means that multinationals have difficulty in establishing themselves in Norway. During 2010, Tine invested heavily in a profile campaign that aims to raise awareness and recognition of the Tine products, showing that local players compete hard to keep their loyal consumers.
Dynamic sales expected in the forecast period
Health and wellness food and beverages is expected to perform dynamically over the forecast period. The challenge will be for the grocery channel and the industry players to remain innovative and launch the right and most suitable products in order to reduce the number of Norwegians who do cross-border shopping in Sweden, where the range of health and wellness products is much wider. The industry must capitalise further on the fact that Norwegians are willing to spend money on healthy and high-quality food and beverages, despite high unit prices. This must continue to be backed up by the right marketing and advertising strategies, similar to the Tine profile campaign.