Functional Gummy Market could Benefit from Loosened Restrictions in China
Regulatory reforms to product registration for gummy vitamins and supplements in China could have enormous implications for a growing market. Although functional gummy products currently must obtain a “blue hat” license, a registration process that can take as long as three years, many within the industry are optimistic that functional gummies will be permitted to participate in the normal filing system for other basic nutrients which takes about one year.
The gummy market has already experienced rapid growth in developed markets. In the United States, the market has grown at an estimated 13% annual rate, reaching $821 million in 2016. Gummies are regarded as an optimal delivery method for children and elderly consumers. Sirio Pharma, a major international gummy producer that has expanded its operations in China, contends that gummies allow for “enjoyable doses”, a pleasurable alternative for pills, which are regarded as medicine.
“In the US and Europe in particular, there is a significant growth potential in gummy formulations – as they are seen as a more consumer-friendly dosage form, said Rui Yang, chief strategy offier at Sirio Pharma. “We anticipate exponential growth for the gummy lines in 2019. And obviously, with the new capacity we have, we can supply even the largest of nutraceutical brands”, he noted. The company opened a 26,000 square meter production plant in Ma’anshan, China last year, in anticipation of a more favorable regulatory environment in 2019 and beyond. The plant has a staggering production capacity of 2.4 billion gummies per year.
Furthermore, Yang notes that consumer demand for plant-based gummies could also increase. Sirio Pharma has committed to developing low-sugar and vegan options, due to way gummies are often used to supplement diets and intensive health regimens. As incomes and health awareness continue to increase in China and other developing countries, demand for niche gummy products of all types will undoubtedly soar.