Which trends offer opportunities on the European market for natural ingredients for health products?
A changing perception of health, the ageing population and the threat of antimicrobial resistance drive European demand for natural ingredients for health products. Updated legislation offers opportunities for product development in food supplements. Shortages of raw materials are expected in Europe, which is partly driving an increasing focus on sustainability.
Contents of this page
- Changing perception of health
- Growing demand for sports supplements
- Growing demand for organic ingredients
- Consumer interest in people-helping-people
- Marketing products to an ageing population
- Rising stress levels
- Growing popularity of herbal teas for health
- Concern over antimicrobial resistance
- Growing popularity of aromatherapy
- Interest in herbal veterinary medicine
- Increased world demand for European herbal medicinal products
- Global API industry is shifting to Asia
- Reduced access to ingredients in Europe
- Demand for sustainable sourcing and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Stricter legislation clarifying ‘borderline’ definitions
- New opportunities through legislative developments
- Opportunities for product development and innovation in food supplements
European consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of healthy lifestyles. They take more responsibility for their personal health, integrating mental and physical wellbeing.
The understanding of what it means to be healthy is changing amongst European consumers. Instead of focusing on the absence of illness, consumers perceive health increasingly in terms of preventing illness, feeling good and looking radiant. This drives demand for food supplements:
- Euromonitor expects the European food supplements market to grow by 28% from 2013 to 2018. Demand for food supplements is strongest in Western Europe: Germany, France, Italy and the UK.
- The strongest growth stems from Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Romania and Slovakia. In 2018, the region is expected to reach a market size of €3.2 billion. Russia makes up around two thirds of that.
The healthy living trend also reinforces the popular view that natural health products are safer than synthetic alternatives. Trending natural ingredients include marine ingredients and those containing Omega-3. See our study on superfoods for more information.
This generated a renewed interest in natural remedies for healthier lives, such as herbal medicinal products:
- There is a strong market for herbal medicinal products in Europe. Germany and France are the region’s market leaders. In 2015, German consumers spent €1.15 billion (retail prices) on self-medication herbal medicinal products. in 2008, France held a share of 24% of the European market for herbal medicinal products. The total market size of France has fallen since then, but the country is still the number-two market in Europe.
- The market for herbal products in the United Kingdom was estimated at £485 million (€668) in 2012. This figure also includes food supplements. Spain has a relatively small and declining market of €213 million.
- In Eastern Europe, Poland is the main and growing market. A rough estimate of the Polish market is €600 million.
- Demand for herbal medicinal products is growing in East European markets, such as Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania. Outside of the European Union, Russia is the main (growth) market.
- For food supplements, only make claims that relate to function (e.g. relating to growth, development and functions of the body, psychological and behavioural functions) and risk reduction. For example, you are not allowed to claim that your ingredient prevents health issues, but you may stress that a certain species can help support health.
- For examples of claims of food supplements in Europe, see our studies on specific products, such as frankincense, mulberries, capsicum, aloe, curcuma or moringa.
- Ensure that you have the research results or literature to back up your claim with any potential buyer.
- If you are targeting producers of herbal medicinal products, use the claims that are mentioned in the European Pharmacopoeia, monographs or list entries.
- See trade press and news sites such as Nutra Ingredients and Nutraceuticals World for more information on trends and developments.
Globally, the market for sports supplements is expected to grow by 9.1% annually from 2014 to 2020. This growing demand is another result of the changing perception of health. Consumers are increasingly aware that physical health and fitness help to be healthy.
Traditionally, these supplements were mainly consumed by athletes and bodybuilders. Now, more and more other consumers take supplements for health and fitness, as lifestyle users. Also, such supplements are used not only during or shortly after training, but also to recover from sports.
There is a wide range of sport supplements. Examples of supplements and ingredients include:
- Protein powders: expected to hold the largest market share in 2020
- Vitamins and minerals
- Omega-fatty acids
- Amino Acids
The bulk of sports supplements are based on non-natural ingredients. Herbal ingredients currently on the market include ginseng, capsicum, various fruits and berries (such as raspberry and açai), green tea, yerba mate and Omega-3 fatty acids from vegetable sources (such as flaxseed oil).
- Find out if your ingredient has a potential in sports supplements. Does it contain components commonly used in these supplements? Is it a vegetable source for protein or omega-fatty acids? Is it high in specific vitamins and minerals? Is it used for related indications such as anti-obesity?
- For more examples of herbs used in sports supplements and nutrition, see BodyBuilding.com.
Consumers are increasingly interested in organic certified health products. This drives demand for organic ingredients, which offers opportunities for certified producers.
Most demand for organic ingredients comes from food supplements manufacturers. Medicinal products cannot be labelled as organic. However, some European herbal medicinal products companies do use organic ingredients to adhere to their company philosophy or they use organic as a quality control system.
More and more European buyers of conventional ingredient are also starting to expect ingredients that meet standards for organic, for example for pesticide residues. This trend is strongest in Germany and becoming important in other countries. For example, France has developed the Ecophyto plan 2018 to reduce pesticides by 50% from 2008 to 2018.
- Before you obtain organic certification, determine if you can find enough interested buyers and if you can find buyers who agree with revised prices. If you can’t sell your ingredient as organic certified, you will not receive a premium for it. Likewise, if your organic ingredient complies with requirements for herbal medicinal products, but is not used in such products, you may also receive a lower price, for example if they are used in food products.
Demand for fair trade ingredients in food supplements is growing. This trend is especially strong in the United Kingdom. Consumers are interested in ‘people helping people’. They want to hear stories about the people who harvest and produce the ingredients used in their health products. This offers opportunities for you to add value by marketing certified ingredients.
In addition to social sustainability, certifying your wild-collected ingredients as FairWild also demonstrates environmental sustainability.
You can also document socially sustainable production methods to support and substantiate your marketing story.
You can demonstrate ethical business principles by:
- Portraying an authentic story of your company / product to demonstrate traditional use, local product practices and the benefits to producers, such as in this example of Baobab.
- Ensuring and documenting fair labour conditions using a code of conduct.
- Demonstrating ethical initiatives in your company and product information and promotional materials.
By 2050, around 30% of the European population is estimated to be 65 and older. This is opposed to 17% in 2013. The elderly are an important market for natural healthcare manufacturers. They use more self-care products than younger people and are increasingly interested in natural healthcare options.
European manufacturers are specifically targeting the ageing European population. They also differentiate their marketing to specific age groups or segments within the older population, for example menopausal women and people over 70.
An ageing population also has specific health needs. Most importantly, an older population has much higher risks of joint health issues, especially since the European population is increasingly overweight and inactive. Around 22% of Europe’s population is reported to be under long-term treatment for troubles with muscles, bones and joints, such as rheumatoid and arthritis.
Demand for joint health products increases, especially for natural products. Consumers are looking for products they can use regularly on a long-term basis and perceive fewer side-effects of natural products compared to conventional medicines. Ingredients include frankincense, turmeric and capsicum.
- Find out if you can produce an ingredient that meets the specific health needs of an age group. Is it traditionally used for example for joint health issues, cognition issues or energy?
- For more information on the European market for joint health products, see our studies on natural ingredients used for joint health: frankincense, turmeric and capsicum.
- Communicate the benefits of your product for Europe’s senior population (such as 50 to 70 years old or over 70).
Nearly four out of fifteen people in Europe are affected by anxiety and depression every year, if all forms are included. A major source of stress is work-related, leading to lost working days. Work-related stress is most often reported by workers between 40-54 years old. Moreover, 31% of the Western European population have reported difficulty sleeping.
Other sources of rising stress levels include:
- Sensory overload
- Vast quantities of information
There is an increasing need for health products to relieve symptoms related to stress. In Europe, the market share of ‘mood/relaxing’ food supplements is highest in France and Belgium. In France, this takes up 10% of the total market (€611 million) and in Belgium 10% of a €188-million market. Herbal food supplements that help reduce stress are expected to benefit from the trend towards preventive health care.
- Look for references on the use of natural ingredients in health products for stress and anxiety conditions. Use these references in your product documentation and marketing materials.
- For more information, see our study on frankincense which is used to relieve stress.
The health trend is a strong driver in the tea sector. Demand for green tea and herbal infusions is growing. For example, from 2010 to 2014, European imports of green tea increased by 3% annually. Imports of black tea decreased by 6% annually. Consumers see these teas as most healthy.
In Europe, Tea & Herbal Infusions Europe was founded in 2015 to represent both teas and herbal infusions. This organisation succeeds the European Tea Committee and the European Herbal Infusions Association.
The marketing of herbal teas is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Manufacturers build marketing stories around traditional use and production (e.g. handpicked). They also put a stronger focus on specific indications, such as:
- slimming; for example containing yerba mate
- relaxing; for example containing lemon balm
- energizing; for example containing moringa
- digestive health; for example containing fennel
- male and female health; for example tea for a healthy menstrual cycle
- fatigue and sleep, for example containing valerian
Growing demand for homemade health products and teas
European consumers also look for ingredients to produce personalised health solutions at home, mostly as teas. They use both traditional and new ingredients for these teas. Consumers inform themselves through online resources.
They also buy ingredients directly from other regions, such as plants used for Ayurvedic health products from India. Companies respond to this need by direct worldwide B2C marketing of ingredients and finished products through the Internet. The market for direct marketing to European consumers is small and limited to ingredients from well-established herbal traditions, such as Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Determine the opportunities for your natural ingredient in herbal teas for health. For which indication could your ingredient be marketed? Is it traditionally used to relax or help in digestion?
- Build a marketing story around your ingredients for the herbal tea market.
- See our studies on tea for more information on the European tea market, for example our studies on tea in Europe, trends for tea and speciality tea.
- See our study on moringa for more information on its use as tea.
Antimicrobial resistance is a growing concern in Europe. This is when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to antimicrobials or antibiotics that could previously treat them. Treatment becomes difficult or even impossible. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that antimicrobial resistance results in 25,000 deaths and €1.5 billion in healthcare expenses and productivity losses in Europe every year.
Consumers are concerned that antibiotics will not be effective in the future.
As a result, consumers and manufacturers are turning to natural products as alternatives to antibiotics. Examples include essential oils such as:
- tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia);
- lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) (see our study on stress and anxiety products);
- clove (Eugenia caryophyllata);
- rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and
- oregano (Origanum vulgare).
Livestock industries are also reducing the use of antibiotics and replacing antibiotics with natural alternatives (see trend on veterinary medicine).
- Find out if your natural ingredients can be used as alternatives to antibiotics. This depends on their antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities.
- Study scientific articles for references, such as this example that discusses the antibacterial activity of 14 essential oils.
- To find natural alternatives to antibiotics, look for essential oils that are used on infections in aromatherapy. If you want to target the European aromatherapy market, you need a specific product identity for your essential oil (species, sub-species, varieties and chemotypes).
A changing perception of health combined with concern over antimicrobial resistance is leading to an increased popularity of aromatherapy. It is especially strong in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where aromatherapy is commonly practised as medicine.
There is also a good market for aromatherapy in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Here, as in most other Western European countries, aromatherapy products are marketed as cosmetics. Products are primarily used for relaxation or preventative care rather than as a form of medication for particular health issues.
Several trends on the European market aid the interest in aromatherapy oils:
- Consumers see aromatherapy products as milder and thus safer options as compared to conventional medicine. Consumer awareness of side effects from conventional medicine is increasing, especially for strong medicines taken over long periods of time.
- According to industry experts, there is growing trust in the effectiveness of essential oils for various health indications. For example, some researchers are looking into the use of essential oils, which may be effective on resistant bacteria.
To both consumers and companies, large and growing amounts of information are available on aromatherapy and essential oils used for specific effects. Some essential oils do not even need product claims and information because consumers already know or can easily find information on how and for what effect to use theme.
- Focus your exports on the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as these are important markets for aromatherapy products.
- In countries where aromatherapy is marketed and administered as a medicinal product (e.g. France, Germany), you may need to comply with legislation for herbal medicinal products. See our study on buyer requirements for natural ingredients for health products for more information.
- See our study on aromatherapy products for more information.
The popularity of organic meat and dairy and consumer concerns about antibiotics are driving European use of herbal veterinary medicine and feed supplements (see trend above). There are strong opportunities in Western Europe for veterinary medicine directed at pets and horses.
This trend also leads to a growing use of food and feed supplements for pets and livestock. Examples include supplements for joint or digestive support or those containing Omega fatty acids or fish oils. Herbal options for such food supplements are still limited, but include chia seeds for pets.
The ingredients used are similar to those used in herbal medicinal products for humans. Examples include rosemary and oregano as raw materials and/or essential oils.
The veterinary medicine industry is market-led. All product development leads come from European buyers. These companies have easier access to the market and they will feed this to you as a supplier. It will probably not be feasible for you to develop new products yourself.
Industry sources warn that targeting the herbal feed supplements industry may be difficult. The legislative framework is different from human medicine and supplements and can even be more strict, especially for feed additives for industrial production of food, meat, eggs, etc. (for example in terms of maximum residue levels).
- If you want to supply veterinary medicine for pets, target the Western European market.
- If your natural ingredient has antibiotic properties, consider veterinary medicine as an additional market.
- Obtain organic certification for your ingredients if you want to target the herbal veterinary medicine industry for organic meat production.
- Research the legislative framework for herbal feed supplements for livestock if you want to target this market.
Demand for herbal medicinal products made in Europe is increasing in countries such as the USA, Russia, Japan and China. This is driving European demand for pharmaceutical ingredients.
Globally, buyers value the high quality and pure image of European products, especially of German and Swiss producers. For the same reason, Asian buyers increasingly source well-documented natural ingredients in Europe for their own processing activities.
Production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in Europe is decreasing. Where in 1980 more than 80% of APIs destined for the European market were of European origin, in 2008 this proportion decreased to 20%.
Currently, Asia (e.g. India, China) is dominant in European supply of APIs.
The increased dependency on non-European sources is a key concern in the European Union’s strategy for the health sector. The main concerns are over the security of supply for European consumers and the (perceived lower) quality of APIs from outside of Europe.
In terms of trade, the growing API industry in Asia is also increasingly demanding raw materials used to produce these APIs. This further reduces supply of ingredients to Europe (see trend below).
- If you supply raw materials for APIs, consider targeting Europe to fill the rising gaps in European supply.
Shortages of raw plant materials are expected in Europe, specifically for wild-collected species.
These shortages can give you as an exporter from a developing country a better bargaining position, especially if you can supply these products at sufficient and stable quantity and quality. If you can show that you are a reliable supplier, you can also establish more sustainable, long-lasting business relationships with European buyers and even get higher or cost-based prices.
Industry sources indicate that particularly Asian buyers are driving shortages in Europe. Asian buyers are willing to pay higher prices, while buyer requirements are lower than in Europe. This makes Southern markets increasingly attractive to suppliers from developing countries.
- Look for opportunities to negotiate better prices. Add value through certification and product documentation.
- Strengthen the partnership with your buyer by being a consistent supplier.
- Be transparent and forthcoming in terms of information on future prices and availability.
- Find out if you can supply herbal medicinal products companies instead of supplement producers. Although herbal medicinal products companies pay better prices, they also have stricter requirements than producers of supplements. It can also be difficult to enter the herbal medicinal segment because of established supply arrangements.
European buyers are becoming much more involved in the sustainable management of the natural resources they use. In some cases they do so through ownership, but in most cases CSR is integrated in their requirements through surveys, declarations or codes of conduct and their documentation.
Buyers expect you to make your supply chains more transparent and traceable to them, and take more responsibility for the sustainability of your products: legally (e.g. collection permits, compliance with local legislation), economically (e.g. fair contracting with suppliers) and socially (e.g. fair pay, health and safety).
Companies make large investments in product development, documentation and market authorisation. They don’t want to take chances with their supply of strategic ingredients.
Supply sustainability and security covers both quantity and quality (e.g. consistency in active content). European buyers consider both particularly important, especially for wild-collected ingredients.
- Make your supply chain transparent for European buyers. Use appropriate tracking and tracing or other audit and certification systems to show where your ingredients come from.
- Show sustainable wild collection by conducting a resource assessment. See the CITES International standard for sustainable wild collection of medicinal and aromatic plants for more information. Based on the assessment’s outcomes, implement a resource management system. Document your processes to make sure your efforts can be translated to your price.
- Implement Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP).
- If you supply wild-collected ingredients, either certify your ingredients under FairWild, comply with BioTrade Principles and Criteria or provide your buyers with documentation that proves your sustainable collection practices.
- Establish sustainable wild-collection or domestication trajectories to market species which are insufficiently available in Europe, such as Cephaelis ipecacuana, Rauwolfia serpentina, Saussurea costus or Nardostachys jatamansii.
- If you supply cultivated ingredients, show sustainability by producing according to organic principles.
- See our study on buyer requirements for natural ingredients for health products for more information.
There are opportunities for exporters of so-called borderline products, such as cosmeceuticals and medical devices. Requirements for claim substantiation are not too demanding at the moment. However, legislation and product definitions are becoming stricter. More and more, you need to substantiate your claims.
The implications of stricter legislation are:
- It is more difficult to market new products.
- It provides greater clarity to consumers, which can lead to market growth.
- Supplement manufacturers increasingly use social media or references to (online) literature to point out potential health benefits of their products. In the future, regulators are expected to crack down on this.
- Companies use the Internet to market products in Europe that are not allowed on the market.
- Back up your product dossier with scientific data to attract potential partners. Partnerships with buyers or final product manufacturers are increasingly important to tackle legislative market entry requirements for new ingredients in national and international markets.
- Find out what claims you can make on product labels for food supplements. For example, look at claims that European supplement manufacturers use by searching through online retailers. Always keep within these boundaries so you can ‘sell an appropriate claim’ for your ingredient.
- Find out which market segment you should target with your ingredient: herbal medicinal products or food supplements. Analyse market opportunities to see if you can make use of them. Also determine if your company has the capacities to take up challenges and meet legislative and buyer requirements for either segment. See our study on buyer requirements for natural ingredients for health products for more information.
- For more specific information on a country level, please see our studies on promising markets: Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Poland and Spain.
Revised Novel Food regulation may make it easier for you to bring new food (supplements) to Europe if they have a history of safe use in a country outside of Europe.
The changes in Novel Food regulation also aim to simplify, clarify, harmonise and centralise procedures.
- Stay up to date on developments in Novel Food legislation and supplements positive lists to determine if your products can be sold on the European market. Check the website of the European Commission or online newspages such as NutraIngredients.com. Also, use national positive lists such as BELFRIT or the German list to identify potential additions to your product portfolio.
- See our study on buyer requirements for natural ingredients for health products for more information on legislative developments.
You’ll find the most opportunities for product development and innovation in the food supplements sector. Here, manufacturers need to differentiate themselves on the market.
A key method for European manufactures to differentiate themselves is to develop new products. Producers find inspiration for product development in both new and existing ingredients, as well as traditional medicine systems.
In the future, product development in food supplements may become more difficult when product claims for herbal ingredients need to be proven.
Product development in herbal medicinal products is restricted because of registration and safety assessment requirements, time-to-market and high market authorisation costs. It will be beyond your scope to develop new herbal medicinal products for the European market. Product development is limited to established species.
Developing completely new products is probably beyond your scope as a small or medium-sized company. There are however opportunities for you to develop products based on ingredients already known to the market. Popular ingredients for innovation are marine ingredients, such as kelp (seaweed). Because of its nutritional content, this trendy ingredient is now also marketed in food supplements.
Examples of innovations are:
- Species for specific conditions: such as obesity (e.g. Ilex paraguaiensis, (Capsicum annuum) joint health (e.g. Curcuma longa, Boswellia serrata), digestive health (e.g. Peumus boldus, Plantago afra), etc.
- Health products that prevent illness or support overall health: such as supporting or improving the immune system, maintaining energy or supporting cognition and concentration (e.g. Centella asiatica, Withania somnifera).
- In your portfolio, balance innovative products with established ingredients. European markets for new ingredients are small, at least at first. Only a few products truly take off. Adapt your portfolio to national, regional and international markets. Each of these markets demands different products.
- Combine information on traditional use with simple local trials to make your product dossier more attractive to partners. For example, work with a university to test the efficacy of your ingredient on a small group of people, by checking their health before and after taking the ingredient or food supplement.
- If you want to develop products based on marine ingredients, identify the chemical and nutritional profile of the ingredient. Which of the components in these ingredients could be interesting in the European market and are sourced from well-documented and certified sustainable resources? To find out what the trends are in Europe and what components are popular, look for information on trade press websites such as NutraIngredients or Nutraceuticals World.
- Before you develop a new product, determine industry interest in the plant species you focus on. Look for data on clinical trials, indications of traditional use and patents. For example, check the Herbmed database. Here you can find scientific data on herbs used for health. Once you know that your species meets market demands/trends, contact processors or traders in Europe or final producers to develop your product further. Ensure that you have referenced herbarium vouchers.
- Also, ensure that you can get sufficient supplies of the raw material you need for new product development. Carry out a resource assessment, develop and implement a resource management plan. Comply with the access rights and benefit sharing obligations in your country.
- See our studies on promising markets and products for more information on innovation for the different products, such as Aloe, capsicum, turmeric, moringa, mulberries and frankincense , and different health indications, such as cognition, energy, joint health, digestive health, immune system and stress & anxiety.
- See our study on buyer requirements for natural ingredients for health products for the “route to market” for herbal medicinal products and food supplements markets.
Responsibility for quality enforced along the chain
You need to ensure a stable supply of your products and document their quality and traceability. European manufacturers are increasingly making their suppliers responsible for quality assurance. They will require you to comply with product standards and specifications for ingredients and raw materials. These requirements include botanical identification and documentation of all ingredients, as based on internationally agreed good practices (WHO/FAO/Codex Alimentarius).
Traditionally, some large European manufacturers secured supplies of raw materials by raising these on their own plantations. Many other manufacturers depend on third-party suppliers, especially for wild-collected plant species. To improve supply security, they are also engaging more actively with their supply chain for strategic ingredients through ownership, networks, or long-term relationships with key suppliers or strategic intermediaries.
- Improve the agricultural and collection practices of your raw material producers to increase raw material quality based on international guidelines. Do not forget your post-harvest and drying processes: quality loss at this level cannot be reversed later and creates risks in terms of (microbiological) contaminants. Train collectors, farmers and processing staff continually and document all procedures according to the Good Agricultural and Collection Practices and Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs).
- Demonstrate the quality of your products in your product documentation. This is also important for new requirements on sustainability reporting for European companies. Many European traders have limited knowledge of specific product quality and require support in marketing products to final users appropriately.
- Document what you do. You can only get a higher price for your products if you have the right documentation and certifications that demonstrate your product’s quality.
- In your costing, include all costs, including those related to producing sustainable, well-documented and certified ingredients. Closely consider the time in which you want to earn back investments made and set your prices accordingly.
- If you are a new supplier, demonstrate supply security or that you have an innovative approach to the use and management of natural resources.
Growing demand to substantiate claims with research
In the research-driven natural ingredients sector, you need to do work with research institutes to build evidence and substantiate claims you make. Research needs to cover both efficacy and safety. In many countries, university botanical and pharmacognosy departments and reference herbaria are not set up to support private sector development in product identification, safety and efficacy. If you want (PhD) research to succeed, you need to build a commitment at the departmental management level.
Research can concern the following.
- New product (applications): Find out if a claim for a specific product is viable and if it can provide European companies with 'their next marketing story’. Your research needs to find sufficient interest among European partners so that you can develop the product for the European market together.
- Product identification, specification and documentation: Create a foundation to communicate with your buyers and build a commercial relationship. With this research you can ensure that you meet buyer requirements or even surpass them, for example by positioning your company as a centre of excellence for your product.
- Make your product documentation and marketing materials available to your buyers. Create both printed and electronic versions. Do not make claims that you cannot substantiate for a specific segment.
- Besides scientific evidence in your product dossier, demonstrate that you are aware of developments concerning your product/species and are able to act as a helpline for your buyer. Build a company herbarium and a library of documents from international sources that refer to the history, identity, properties, benefits and claims associated with your product. Refer to publications, scientific articles and press releases. Conduct or look for studies on traditional healthcare uses of a product.
- Cooperate with other companies or industry organisations in your country on matters of common interest, for example financing research work.
- You can also hire scientific service providers in the private sector, either in your region or in Europe. They are expensive but can offer a time-efficient alternative, especially if you need help in developing product portfolios.