The health and wellbeing market is booming across Europe and has doubled in size in the UK alone over the past decade – but food and drink manufacturers hoping to exploit the overseas market are being warned not to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.

Healthy food and drink has shot up from 11% to 22% of the total UK grocery market by servings over the past 10 years, according to TNS data cited in Food from Britain’s International Health, Wellbeing & Organic Report. Over the next decade, that figure could rise to 30%, predicted FFB. 

There were similar growth prospects for the European market, it said, adding that given the torrid economic climate in the UK, it was a good time to exploit the export market. However, it warned, the international market was “very fragmented”. 

“Manufacturers can tap into the global health and wellbeing trend but products need to be tailored for each market and different countries demand different benefits from their healthy foods,” said Chris Brockman, research and consultancy manager at FFB.

“In a market like Spain, where the average consumer has very limited experience or understanding of organic food, a one-size-fits-all approach may not work.”

A 22% share of the UK market valued the health and wellbeing market at about £10.7bn on the basis of last year’s Euromonitor’s figures for retail packaged food sales, said FFB. 

Germany was Europe largest consumer of organic food, spending more than £5bn on organic products each year – or £54 per capita – it said. Spanish shoppers spent just £6 a head on organic food but led the way in the consumption of functional food and drink.

Low-fat products were popular in France, while the free-from sector had developed fastest in Italy. “As lifestyles and work patterns throughout Europe evolve, opportunities will grow for UK manufacturers to take advantage of this rapidly developing trend,” said Brockman.