Vitamin and supplements market in good health: nearly half of all Brits are daily users

The market for vitamins and supplements is in fine fettle according to latest research from Mintel. Sales of vitamins and supplements increased a healthy 2% between 2014 and 2015 to reach £414 million. And this year sales are set to increase a further 2% to reach £421 million.

Over the past year, the number of daily vitamin and supplement users has increased from 41% in 2015 to 46% in 2016. So today, just under half of all Britons are daily vitamin and mineral users.

Other findings

About two-thirds (65%) of adults took some form of vitamins or supplement either daily or occasionally in the last 12 months, up from 63% the previous year. Interestingly, the increase in frequency of usage was entirely fed from lapsed past users, with the proportion of people who have never used vitamins or supplements remaining unchanged at 19%.

Vitamins aimed at men, women, children and over-50s, continue to be the powerhouse behind growth in 2016. Sales of generic adult vitamins have fallen behind, suggesting consumer demand for more targeted health solutions.

Sales of women’s supplements account for the largest share of the demographic sector at £55 million, following an increase of 2.5%. While the men’s vitamins and supplements market is comparatively small, the subcategory saw some of the biggest growth, with value sales rising an impressive 29% to £11 million in the year ending May 2016. The strong sales performance is, in part, attributed to a growing consumer base, with the proportion of men using vitamins or supplements on a daily basis rising from 37% in 2015 to 43% in 2016.

Expert view

Jack Duckett, senior consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel, comments:

“Vitamins and mineral sales continue to be propelled by consumers’ emphasis on health and wellbeing, leading people to take a more proactive approach towards their health. Increases in launch activity and advertising investment are contributing to the category’s strong performance. Demographically positioned vitamins are among the biggest success story this year, reflecting consumer demand for more targeted health solutions and indicating that brands could now generate more interest in the category by exploring specific gender- and age-related claims.

“Whilst men continue to be less likely to use vitamins or supplements than their female counterparts, the proportion of men taking vitamins on a daily basis has increased significantly, illustrating men’s increased engagement with their own health and personal care. Although advertising for male-targeted vitamins and supplement products have traditionally focused on men’s fitness lifestyles there could be merit in demonstrating how supplements can also benefit an everyday lifestyle, such as getting through the working day, undertaking household responsibilities, or looking after children.”

Future opportunity

The importance of Vitamin D supplementation continues to run as a high profile debate. While overall usage of single supplements increased from 2015-16, penetration of Vitamin D grew nearly 4%, in line with changing healthcare recommendations on the need for supplementation.

“With Vitamin D levels strongly linked to sunshine hours in the UK, brands can further drive penetration by mimicking cold and flu remedy advertising patterns and increasing adspend in the autumn and winter months,” Jack suggests.