TREND: Fast-Expanding Markets for Good

New markets such as personalized medicine can drive rapid social change.

In 2008, vitamin D deficiency—due in part to human’s increasing lack of direct sun exposure—was declared a pandemic. As the news spread among medical professionals, the market for vitamin D detection tests skyrocketed, growing at a compound annual rate of 76 percent between 2007 and 2010. One company, DiaSorin, positioned itself for market domination by increasing its expertise in vitamin D testing and output. By 2011, DiaSorin had achieved 47 percent worldwide market share and 51 percent of the US market. Vitamin D detection testing is an example of what we call a fast-expanding market (FEM).

FEMs are new, rapidly growing economic opportunities that fly under the radar of macroeconomic analysis. They are exciting because they offer value creation and growth potential with undefined limits. Entrepreneurs and enterprises astute enough to recognize an FEM in action can pivot or diversify their suite of products and services, and drive social change in doing so. Some FEMs are observable from a national or regional basis, while others, such as vitamin D testing, exist on a global product or industry level. In today’s technology-driven and information-rich world, more and more FEMs are emerging. One of the latest developments is the rise of personal genomics and personalized medicine—a new market where advanced technology is transforming the way doctors diagnose and treat diseases.