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Spain: health and wellbeing export opportunities

Market opportunity: Health and wellness

Key details

Opportunity: Health and wellness

Country: Spain

Sector: Food and drink


Spain is one of several countries that has seen major growth in the health and wellness sector in recent years. This is for many reasons, including the pandemic, health concerns, the climate crisis and an interest in general wellbeing.

In 2021 the Spanish government increased the tax on sugary drinks (from 10% to 21%) to reduce consumption due to rising concerns over obesity rates within children. This awareness has sped up the growth in the naturally healthy drinks category. It has also encouraged manufacturers to work on new product development to provide reduced or natural sugar alternatives.

The increased incidence of dietary intolerances, allergies, related conditions, and new eating habits (including vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian) provide sales opportunities for free-from functional products in Spain.

In 2021, Danone SA was the leading company providing 'better-for-you' packaged food and fortified or functional packaged food in the Spanish market. Mercadona held the top spot for free-from and naturally healthy packaged food and Carrefour led for organic packaged food.

Opportunities exist for Scottish companies in the following categories:

  • Reduced or natural sugar
  • Low salt
  • Free-from
  • Vegan
  • Plant-based proteins
  • Vegetarian
  • High-protein and dairy alternatives
  • Natural soft drinks including tea-based, fermented products, vegetable and plant-based drinks
  • Snack products
  • Baked goods

Scale of opportunity

According to Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, 55.2% of Spanish households in the country purchased some organic food in 2021, with the most purchased being fresh products like fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat.

The organic food industry had a turnover of 2.2 million euros in the first 11 months of 2021 — 15.7% more than in the same period of 2020.

According to Ecovalia, spend on organic food and beverages reached more than €2,752 million Euros in 2021, 9% more than in 2020.

Spaniards spent €80 million Euros on gluten-free products in 2021, 13% more than in 2020, according to the report 'Gluten-free, necessarily a trend', prepared by Nielsen.

Spain is the leading country in Europe for consumption per capita of vegetable drinks, according to Nielsen. 246 million litres were sold in 2020, with a market value of €318 million Euros.

According to a Bloomberg report, the plant-based protein market in Spain was valued at €430 million Euros in 2020, growing by 48% in just two years and with volumes of more than 250 million kilos. Even meat and dairy companies are tapping into this market with new alternatives.

Eligible companies

Scottish food and drink manufacturers focused on health and wellness products, or those willing to develop alternatives focused on health and wellbeing in their existing product ranges.

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Register your interest

Register your interest

Get in touch with our in-market specialists to find out more about this export opportunity.