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Natural & health products to ward off COVID-19 symptoms

The coronavirus has increased consumer interest in health and natural products. Retailers across Europe are reporting a big increase in the demand for food supplements, healthy foods and essential oils. Consumers are trying to boost their immune systems.

Much of Europe has been in lockdown since March. However, organic and health food shops have stayed open. Many are benefiting from the increase in consumer demand. In France, specialist organic food shops have reported sales increases of over 40 percent. Holland & Barrett, the leading health food retailer in the UK, put a cap on supplement purchases because of the rising demand. Online retailer Healthspan revealed at the end of March 2020 that sales of vitamin C supplements had tripled in a week.

Food supplements are in demand as they provide vital minerals and vitamins that can help protect the body from viruses. Philip Calder, a professor of nutritional immunology at the University of Southampton, says that they are a “safe, effective and low-cost way to support an optimal immune system”.

Natural essential oils and aromatherapy products are also experiencing an increase in sales. Consumers want to improve their health and wellness, as well as disease prevention. Essential oils with antibacterial and antiviral qualities are the highest in demand. These include tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil.

The demand for food supplements, healthy foods and natural products should remain high when Europe goes back to normal. Opportunities are likely to open up to natural ingredient suppliers in developing countries.

Online resources will keep you informed about developments in Europe and the main European markets.

Europe

The following websites provide information on the effect of the coronavirus crisis

Germany

  • The German government website gives detailed information on COVID-19 in Germany. It includes topics such as business and travel issues.
  • Food Supplements Working Group (AK NEM), within Food Federation Germany, represents the interests of the German food supplement industry. It provides updates on the German food supplement industry. Information about COVID-19 is only in German.

France

  • The French government website gives up-to-date information on COVID-19. It includes topics such as business and travel issues.
  • SYNADIET represents the food supplements industry in France. It provides valuable information on the industry (only available in French).

United Kingdom

  • The UK government website gives detailed information on COVID-19 in the UK. It includes topics such as business and travel issues.
  • Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) represents the interests of the UK’s food supplement industry. CRN provides information on the implications of the coronavirus.
  • Health Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) is the voice of the natural health industry in the UK. It supports the interests of its members. HFMA provides information on how COVID-19 is impacting the UK’s natural health industry.

Italy

  • The government website gives up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Italy. It includes topics such as business and travel issues.
  • The FederSalus association represents the specialist health product and food supplement industry in Italy. It provides information on the implications of the coronavirus (only available in Italian).

Spain

  • The Spanish government website gives up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Spain. It includes topics such as business and travel issues. You can read news about coronavirus measures in English on El Pais.
  • The AFEPADI association represents the food supplement and dietary products industry in Spain. It provides information on the implications of the coronavirus on these industries (in Spanish only).

The Netherlands

  • The Dutch government website gives detailed information on COVID-19 in the Netherlands. It includes topics such as business and travel issues.
  • Port of Rotterdam provides regular updates on the effect the coronavirus has on cargo handling at the largest European port.

This news article was written for CBI by Ecovia Intelligence.

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