Two-thirds of US adults continue to take dietary supplements, with consumer confidence in the products remaining high, says the 2013 Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Consume Survey on Dietary Supplements.
The data, consistent with previous surveys , indicated that the multivitamin is still top of the pops, with 52% of US adults reporting having taken it in the past 12 months, followed by vitamin D (20%), omega-3/fish oil (19%), calcium (18%), and vitamin C (17%).
The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CRN. It was conducted on-line and included a national sample of 2,013 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ US on-line panel.
The data also indicated that 85% of consumers are confident in supplements (35% very confident, 50% somewhat confident), a result that may be a testament to “consumers’ understanding that the overwhelming majority of companies in this industry are dedicated to looking out for their customers, and manufacturing and marketing safe dietary supplement products that provide health benefits,” said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN.
“But as an industry, we can’t get complacent. We need to continue to improve our track record when it comes to following the law, including good manufacturing practices. We also need to find more ways to help consumers identify those companies that are in compliance with the myriad of regulations, versus those companies that give the industry a bad name.”
The survey identified both similarities and differences between genders when it comes to dietary supplement usage and reasons for usage. While a greater proportion of women (72%) take dietary supplements than men (64%), both women and men share the same top reason for taking the dietary supplements they do take: for overall health and wellness benefits, selected by 54% of supplement users overall. This was followed by ‘filling gaps in nutrition’ (36%), and heart health (32%).
The survey also revealed that, of the non-users, the main reason for not taking dietary supplements was, “I don’t feel a need” (47% of non-users).
An increase is usage amongst younger consumers was also reported by the survey, with 64% of 18 to 34 year olds being users, which was comparable with the 35-54 age group (66%). Supplement use was 74% in the 55+ age group.
The survey also asked new questions, including, “When did you first begin taking supplements overall?” According to the survey, 73 % of supplement users reported starting their supplement use in adulthood.
“Our data has shown enormous consistency for the past 14 years, and there is no question that the majority of American adults value dietary supplements for their health,” said Blatman.