« Food supplements means foodstuffs the purpose of which is to supplement the normal diet and which are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, alone or in combination, marketed in dose form », according to Directive 2002/46/CE on the approximation of laws of the Member States relating to food supplements.
In order to improve our health, food supplements cover our daily energy and nutritional needs. They also ensure the comfort and maintenance of a normal state of health, as part of a healthy, varied diet, whilst reducing risk factors for diseases.
The majority of food supplements are composed of natural, plant-based ingredients (phytotherapy) or vitamins, minerals and trace elements (micronutrition). And, finally, substances with a nutritional or physiological purpose ; chemically defined substances with nutritional or physiological properties. Around 36% of consumers are willing to consume products from beehives (honey, royal jelly, propolis, etc.), 35% for vitamins, and 30% for minerals and trace elements.
In order to preserve all of the benefits of the ingredients, food supplements rely on traditional uses (powders, dry or aqueous extracts) or on more modern extraction techniques enabling isolated substances to be obtained from plants. As such, various forms are created such as capsules, tablets, powder sachets, liquids, etc. 65% of French people show a preference for capsule or tablet forms.
Despite an image that some still perceive to be negative and regard as “vague”, “useless” or even “dangerous”. However, around 54% of French people state that they have consumed food supplements over the course of the last 12 months, notably thanks to the democratisation of these substances.
Increasingly easy to access, many people are taking the plunge. Food supplements can be found everywhere: in pharmacies, health and beauty stores, supermarkets and, more recently, on the Internet.
In order to reinforce the image of food supplements, the opinion of health specialists is primordial. Their support is an excellent ally in gaining the trust of the majority of French people.
Another confidence factor is achieving the most natural yet effective composition possible.