Announced yesterday, the partnership aims to put science and research at the forefront of efforts, with the association highlighting the €3.8bn Italian supplements sector – a 27% share of the European market.
“Italians are the main consumers of supplements in Europe,” said FederSalus. “It is therefore essential to update individuals with the progress of research with the correct interpretation and communication.
“In 2018 there were 26 million medical prescriptions for food supplements and the pharmacy was the first purchasing channel, for this reason the doctor and pharmacist are the main recipients of scientific study as reference figures for the consumption of food supplements, considered functional for good health.”
News of the newly formed partnership comes as FederSalus highlights the coronavirus as a factor in consumers including food supplements as a core shopping item, as the science suggests a protective role in health and wellbeing.
According to the Association’s survey, results comparing the first quarter 2020 vs. 2019, saw the value of online pharmacies jump 64% to €82m with dietary supplements representing half of this total value.
Further results of some of the main supplement categories in the first quarter of 2020 vs. 2019 found purchases for vitamin C jumped 237.8%, immunostimulants by 64.5% and supplements for sleep and relaxation by 26.6%.
This is despite local and online pharmacies making up 3.7% as a channel in which consumers can access food supplements during the lockdown.
A common cause
According to FederSalus, the increased interest in food supplements gave rise to this collaboration and a common cause that has scientific study, dissemination and training at the heart of its core objective.
FederSalus adds that it aims to add to its study and training plan with in-depth information on food supplements responding to market needs and strengthening its role as promoter of a healthy lifestyle.
With the scientific support of NFI, the collaboration will also offer its members information resources and scientific data on food supplements.
Meanwhile, NFI will make available its scientific knowhow on ongoing issues concerning botanicals and pre- and probiotics amongst others along with tools for a specialised and non-specialised public.
Formed in 1976, the NFI, provides training and information on nutrition and seeks to provide the latest information on the subject driven especially by the rise in food production technologies and links between nutrition and health.