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Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 5th Edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Throughout the recession and its “New Normal” aftermath of frugal spending, the nutritional supplements market held steady as Americans apparently embraced supplements as less costly alternatives to pure-play medical options like doctor visits and prescription medications. Now, with U.S. consumers beginning to loosen their budgetary belt straps, nutritional supplement marketers must work to keep their products at the forefront of consumers’ health regimens. Key to this pursuit are targeted products featuring trendy ingredients more heavily backed by science and increasingly taking a page from their functional food competitors. At the same time, supplement marketers must keep their sights squarely focused on their prime demographics:  those over age 65 and the up-and-coming aging Baby Boomers currently swelling the senior brackets. Nor can the industry afford to ignore the younger demographics who are its longer-term future but whose supplement usage rates have been declining, or the emergent Hispanic population, whose supplement usage rates are below average but gradually rising.

Marketwide, product efficacy and credibility remain crucial, with supplement developers increasingly relying on scientific evidence supporting the benefits of taking nutritional supplements to bolster the industry’s image in the eyes of consumers and healthcare practitioners. With market regulation and scrutiny at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever for the industry to produce and feature products able to substantiate their health benefit claims. In this vein, condition-specific supplements continue to grow in breadth and importance, and they will remain a key driver of sales and new product development across myriad segments including joint, brain, cosmetic, and heart, with many of these products homing in on age-related health issues. At the other end of the condition-specific spectrum, children’s supplements have been doing well, demographically book-ending the overall market in way that suggests solid future prospects. During 2012, supplement sales rose 7% to $11.5 billion, the report calculates, and sales are forecasted to reach $15.5 billion by 2017.

Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 5th Edition, a fully updated Packaged Facts report, examines the market for nutritional supplements within the context of broader HBC trends in new product development and marketing, including vitamins, minerals, herbals, homeopathics and combination products. It charts industry sales and composition, providing retail sales breakouts for four main product categories (general supplements, multivitamins, 1 & 2 letter vitamins and liquid supplements) and for over a dozen condition-specific segments (children’s, joint health, calcium/bone health, eye health, women’s, vitamin C/immunity, digestive health/probiotic, men’s, brain health, heart health, omega, cosmetic, energy, and CoQ-10. The report also provides a thorough examination of market drivers, the competitive situation, mass-market marketer and brand shares, marketing trends, and consumer trends.

Key data sources include Experian Simmons national consumer surveys covering category and brand usage levels and trends as well as demographic and psychographic patterns; and Information Resources, Inc. InfoScan Reviews, quantifying nutritional supplement marketer and brand shares at the mass-market level across the four product categories. The report includes many product images, and as a special feature, late-breaking data from Packaged Facts’ proprietary consumer survey, which was conducted online in August 2012.


  • Executive Summary
    • Scope of Report
    • Product Categories and Classifications
      • Vitamins
      • Minerals
      • Supplements
    • Mass-Market Product Classifications
    • Combination Formulas
    • Market Trends
      • U.S. Retail Sales to Reach $15.5 Billion in 2017
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Nutritional Supplements, 2012-2017 (in millions of dollars)
      • Mass-Market Sales Accelerate
      • General Supplements Dominate Retail Sales
      • Condition-Specific Products Maintain Growth
      • Supercenters/Mass Merchandisers Lead in Supplement Sales
      • Focus on Health and Wellness Drives Supplement Purchases
    • Marketing Trends
      • Competitive Overview
      • Category Crossover and Line Extensions
      • Natural Product Marketers
      • Market Bellwethers GNC and Vitamin Shoppe See Growth
      • Share of Mass-Market Sales: Carlyle Group Leads the Pack
        • Table Top Marketers of Nutritional Supplements: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)
      • Private-Label Share Disappoints
      • New Product Activity Ramps Up as Industry Celebrates 100th Anniversary
      • Boomers Influence Product Selection
      • Multivitamin Marketers Expand Into General Supplements
    • Consumer Trends
      • Over Half of U.S. Adults Use Supplements
      • Fish Oil, Vitamin D Use Grows
      • Condition-Specific List
      • Top Brand Lines Are Store Brands, Other Brands
      • Belief in Efficacy Spurs Supplement Use
      • Supplements Unnecessary, Expensive
      • More Older Adults Use Supplements
      • 41% of Supplement Users Are Boomers
      • Usage Declines Among Younger Consumers
      • Hispanic Supplement Use Key to Market Growth
  • Introduction
    • Market Definition
      • Scope of Report
      • Product Categories and Classifications
      • Vitamins
      • Minerals
      • Supplements
      • Mass-Market Product Classifications
      • Combination Formulas
      • Other Product Classifications
      • Synthetic vs. Natural
      • Demographic Segmentation
      • Delivery Systems
    • Industry Regulation
      • FDA and DSHEA Oversee Supplements Industry
      • The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA)
      • Qualified Health Claims
      • RDAs, RDIs, DRIs, DRVs and DVs
      • Congress Passes Adverse Event Reports (AER) Bill
      • The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act
      • DSHEA Remains FDA Focus, Evolves
      • FDA Enforces Good Manufacturing Practices for Dietary Supplements
      • Supplement-Focused Regulation Continues
      • More Challenges to DSHEA
      • CRN Spearheading Industry Self-Regulation
  • The Market
    • Market Size and Growth
      • U.S. Retail Sales Top $11 Billion in 2012
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Nutritional Supplements, 2008-2012 (in millions of dollars)
    • Mass-Market Sales Accelerate
      • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Nutritional Supplements, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars)
      • General Supplements See Greatest Gains, Liquid Supplements Grow Fastest
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Nutritional Supplements: By Product Category, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars)
    • Market Composition
      • General Supplements Dominate Retail Sales
      • Condition-Specific Products Maintain Growth
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Condition-Specific Products by Type, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Condition-Specific Supplements: By Type, 2011-2012 (percent)
      • Supercenters/Mass Merchandisers Lead in Supplement Sales
      • Supplement Shoppers Prefer Walmart
        • Table Percentage of Consumers Purchasing Vitamin/Mineral/Supplement Products by Retail Channel, May/June 2010 vs. August 2012 (percent)
    • Market Outlook
      • Focus on Health and Wellness Drives Supplement Purchases
      • Consumers Sticking with Nutritional Supplements
      • A Supplement a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
      • Supplement Market Fights Negative Press
      • Supplement Shoppers Need Reassurance
      • The "Dr. Oz Effect"
      • Competition from Functional Foods
      • Whole-Food Supplements Fill a Niche
      • The Mainstreaming of Natural/Organic
      • Consumers Misled by Organic's Health Halo
      • Aging Baby Boomers a Massive Market Driver
      • 41% of Supplement Users Are Boomers
        • Table Number and Percent of U.S. Adults Using Nutritional Supplements: By Age Bracket, 2012 (number in millions and percent of U.S. adults)
        • Table Projected U.S. Population by Age Bracket, 2010-2020 (in thousands)
      • Older Americans Hit Hard by Recession
      • Rise of the Millennials
      • Hispanic Consumers a Growing Concern
        • Table Projection of U.S. Population by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2010 vs. 2020 (number in millions)
    • Looking Ahead
      • Economic Impact
      • Scientific Backing
      • New Ingredients
      • Online Retailing
      • The Aging Population
      • Hispanic Consumers
      • The Younger Set
      • U.S. Retail Sales to Top $15 Billion by 2017
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Nutritional Supplements, 2012-2017 (in millions of dollars)
  • The Marketers
    • Competitive Overview
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
      • The Carlyle Group Completes NBTY Purchase
      • Pfizer Completes Series of Acquisitions
      • Procter & Gamble Acquires New Chapter
      • GNC Buys LuckyVitamin.com
      • Schiff Acquires Sustenex Brand from Ganeden Biotech
      • Nestlé Invests in Accera
      • Ingredient Producer DSM Acquires Martek, Amerifit
    • Retailers Benefit from Private-Label Offerings
      • Nutritional Supplement Private-Label Share Disappoints
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Nutritional Supplements by Category: Private-Label vs.Overall, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars)
    • Category Crossover and Line Extensions
    • Natural Product Marketers
    • Market Bellwethers GNC and Vitamin Shoppe See Growth
      • Table GNC and Vitamin Shoppe Annual Sales, 2008-2012 (in millions of dollars)
    • Direct Marketing Companies
      • Direct-Sales Channels Booming
      • Online Sales Attractive to Marketers
      • Direct Mail Works for Nutritional Supplements
    • Practitioner Channel on the Rise
    • Consumer Advertising Themes and Promotions
      • Eco-Credibility
      • Traceability
      • Celebrity Endorsements
    • Trade Support
    • Natural Grocers Continue to Extend Reach
    • Retailers Learn How to Educate Consumers
      • Table The U.S. Market for Nutritional Supplements: Selected Leading Marketers and Brands, 2012
    • Marketer and Brand Shares
      • Methodology
      • The Carlyle Group Leads the Pack
        • Table Top Marketers of Nutritional Supplements: SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Marketers of Nutritional Supplements: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)
        • Table Top Nutritional Supplement Brands: SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Nutritional Supplement Brands: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)
      • Carlyle Group Scores Top Spot in General Supplements
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of General Supplements: SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of General Supplements: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)
      • Multivitamins Category Sees Lukewarm Growth
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Multivitamins: SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent change)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Multivitamins: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)
      • Pharmavite, Carlyle Group Dominate 1 & 2 Letter Vitamins
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of 1 & 2 Letter Vitamins: SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent change)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of 1 & 2 Letter Vitamins: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)
      • Liquid Supplements Category Highly Fragmented
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Liquid Supplements:SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent change)
        • Table Top Marketers and Brands of Liquid Supplements: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)
    • Focus on Condition-Specific Products
      • Condition-Specific Products Over a Quarter of the Market
      • Bayer's Flintstones on Top in Children's Supplements
      • Osteo Bi-Flex Leads in Joint Health Supplements
      • Citracal Over One-Third of Calcium Segment
      • Bausch & Lomb Dominates Eye Health Segment
      • Pregnancy, Menopause Top Women's Supplements Concerns
      • Emergen-C a Major Force in Vitamin C/Immunity Supplements
      • Digestive Health/Probiotic Supplements Still Popular
      • One A Day Leads in Men's Supplements
      • Sales Skyrocket in Brain Health Segment
      • Heart Health Supplements Experience Free-Fall
      • Omega-3 and 6 Supplements
      • New Cosmetic Supplements Breathe Life into Segment
      • Energy Supplement Sales Falter
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Market Share of Condition-Specific Products by Type, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Children's Supplements Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Joint Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Calcium Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Eye Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Women's Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Five Vitamin C/Immunity Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Digestive Health/Probiotic Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Men's Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Ten Brain Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Five Heart Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Five Omega Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Five Cosmetic Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Five Energy Supplement Brands by SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales and Segment Share, 2011-2012 (in millions of dollars and percent)
  • New Product Trends
    • Activity Ramps Up as Industry Celebrates 100th Anniversary
      • Boomers Influence Product Selection
    • Multivitamin Marketers Expand Into General Supplements
    • Joint Supplements Driven by Aging Population
    • U.S. in Need of Heart Health Supplements
    • Probiotics: Moving Beyond Yogurt
      • Probiotics in the Mainstream
      • Digestion Begins at the Mouth
    • Brain Power
    • Aging Population Drives Eye Health Segment
      • Second AREDS Study Puts Eye Health into Focus
    • Supplements for Sleep
    • Men's Supplements
    • Diabetes and Blood Sugar
    • Cosmetic Supplements Offer Beauty from Within
      • Skin Whitening Supplements
    • Omegas Expand Beyond Heart Health
      • Lack of RDAs Hasn't Stifled Omega Growth
    • Bridging the Gap Between Food and Supplements
    • Rise of the Herbalist
    • Organic and Vegan Supplements
    • Whole Food Supplements
    • Seasonal Approach to Supplements
    • Up-and-Coming Ingredients
      • Chia
      • Argan Oil
      • Fruit Stem Cells
      • African Mango
      • Green Coffee Extract
      • Raspberry Ketones
      • Baobab
      • Turmeric/Curcumin
  • Consumer Trends
    • Introduction
      • Note on Data Sources
      • Over Half of U.S. Adults Use Supplements
      • Fish Oil, Vitamin D Use Grows
        • Table Selected Leading Types of Nutritional Supplements by Usage Rates, 2008 vs. 2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Heart Health/Blood Pressure Supplements Top Condition-Specific List
        • Table Usage of Condition-Specific Supplements, 2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
      • Top Brand Lines Are Store Brands, Other Brands
        • Table Top 15 Nutritional Supplement Brand Lines by Usage Rates, 2008 vs. 2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
        • Table Overview of Nutritional Supplement Usage, 2012 (percent and number of U.S. adults in millions)
    • Consumer Psychographics
      • Belief in Efficacy Spurs Supplement Use
      • Supplements Unnecessary, Expensive
        • Table Top Reasons Consumers Do Not Take Supplements, 2012 (percent of U.S. consumers who don't take supplements)
      • Supplement Users Pursue Health/Wellness Goals
      • Stronger Skews for Specialized Products
      • A Preference for Alternatives
      • Branded vs. Private Label
        • Table Positive Attitudes Toward Product Efficacy Among Nutritional Supplement Users, 2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
        • Table Psychographic Indicators for Nutritional Supplement Users vs. Total U.S. Population, 2012 (percent of U.S. adults)
        • Table Index of Psychographic Indicators for Nutritional Supplement Users, 2012 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Index of Psychographic Indicators for Nutritional Supplement Usage by Product Type, 2012 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Index of Psychographic Indicators for Nutritional Supplement Usage by Brand, 2012 (U.S. adults)
    • Consumer Demographics
      • More Older Adults Use Supplements
      • 41% of Supplement Users Are Boomers
        • Table Number and Percent of U.S. Adults Using Nutritional Supplements: By Age Bracket, 2012 (U.S. adults, numbers in millions and percent)
      • The Gender Gap
      • Hispanic Supplement Use Key to Market Growth
      • Socio-Economic Indicators
      • Patterns by Product Type
      • Patterns by Brand Line
        • Table Nutritional Supplement Usage: Overall Demographic Patterns, 2012 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
        • Table Percentage of Adults Using Nutritional Supplements: By Age Bracket, 2008 vs. 2012 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Percentage of Adults Using Nutritional Supplements: By Age Bracket, Men vs. Women, 2012 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Percentage and Number of Adults Using Nutritional Supplements: By Race/Ethnicity, 2008 vs. 2012 (percent and number in millions of U.S. adults)
        • Table Indices for Adult Use of Nutritional Supplements: By Educational Attainment and Household Income, 2008 vs. 2012 (U.S. adults)
        • Table Top Demographic Indicators for Nutritional Supplement Usage by Product Type, 2012 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
        • Table Demographic Indicators for Nutritional Supplement Usage by Brand or Brand Line, 2012 (percent and index of U.S. adults)

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