Stratégies Nutraceutiques
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New food supplements brands : why do french pharmacies welcome them ?

New food supplements brandsThe new food supplements brands, for which distribution started on the Internet, are more and more welcomed by French pharmacies (drugstores). This stronger presence of new food supplement products in pharmacies is pleasing the consumers.


Indeed, the Digital Native Vertical Brands (DNVB) are a big hit since 2018, so big that their integration on pharmacies shelves seems obvious.


 Is it only a diversification desire from the pharmacies or are there other reasons?

We will try to decipher why French pharmacies welcome the new food supplement brands that were born on the Internet.



1- The DNVB assets


Their modernity

The modernity of DNVB attract young generations. These brands that are created on the internet are customers oriented, they communicate more on their values which are key to their DNA and which meet the new societal expectations in terms of Eco responsibility, naturality, respect of animals and different food regimes.


The characteristics of new food supplement brands contrast with the more « medicinal » offer of food supplements traditionally offered by pharmaceutical laboratories.


Their community

Decisively customer oriented, DNVB go as far as involving their community in the development of their products, in the funding of their marketing campaign or in their innovation. This is part of their inevitable assets to retain their customers.


Their credibility

Previously, brands that were sold on the internet could raise questions regarding their seriousness and the quality and traceability of their products. Today, the Internet players are more and more controlled and, the business model of DNVB relying on customer loyalty and values, do not have any other choice than setting higher standards at all levels.


From now on, each brand being developed for the Internet includes in its development process health professionals, nutritionists, dieticians and often pharmacists.


This approach contributes to the rapid growth of DNVB, for which the turnover often shows sharply increasing slopes (Nutri & Co, Aime Skincare, Les Miraculeux…)



2- A wake-up call for pharmacists

In December 2020, we had shared a thought about the risk for pharmacies to get overthrown by Internet players.


At that time, our analysis showed that in 2019, the ascending curve of Internet sales displayed an absolute growth value very close to the one of pharmacies. Indeed, the turnover (CA on the graph below) for both distance selling and direct selling (VAD+VD on the graph below) was rising by 40 million euros, a rise nearly identical to the pharmacies’ turnover of 50 million euros.


Ventes compléments alimentaires en France



Later, in 2020, the gap has widened since the absolute value of sales growth on the Internet surpassed the one of pharmacies: +70 million euros for distance and direct sales against +44 million euros for French pharmacies.


Thus it became urgent for pharmacies to review their offer in order to reinvigorate their turnover.


A shift occurred in 2021 since the growth of sales in pharmacies is back to being superior in absolute value in comparison with the growth of sales on the Internet. And this shift matches with the referencing of more and more DNVB on their shelves.



Our conclusion :

Pharmacies have an interest in keeping welcoming new food supplement brands on their shelves if they want to remain competitive and keep their shares on the nutraceutical market.


Regarding new food supplement brands, they should not worry about being new on the market, because, as seen previously, they possess numerous assets to reinvigorate sales in the pharmacies. These new promising brands must be convinced of their potential when considering their distribution into pharmacies.


Raphaëlle DA COSTA
Founder of Kares-up



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