In the report, The Dietary Supplements Market Outlook 2007, extensive information and databases on consumer trends were assessed using proprietary analytic analysis.
Supplement consumption has reportedly increased in the younger generations, with condition specific sales of dietary supplements growing fastest amongst those aged between 18 and 29 years.
The change in consumer demographics will have an effect on the industry, according to the report, with the 43m consumers in this demographic accounting for nearly 30 per cent of growth in supplement sales. This will come mainly from the sports, energy and weight-loss categories.
While it was predicted that specialty supplements, such as CoQ10, omega-3 and probiotics, would experience the most growth potential, sales of minerals, vitamins, sports nutrition and herbs and botanicals were expected to slow down.
The report it said: "Eighty-six per cent of respondents rated the specialty category as the category that will offer significant or the most sales growth over the next five years.
"As more science backs the beneficial influence of probiotics and joint formulations, the consumer will gain in confidence in using supplements in this category and in understanding the benefits from dietary supplements."
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) commissioned a web-based national survey of US adults last month and found consumers overwhelmingly believe food and nutrition play the greatest role in maintaining or improving health.
The key now is for functional food manufacturers to bridge the marketing or consumer awareness gap so as to further tap into this market potential. Afterall, based on the findings that consumers understand the link between food and health, they must also be purchasing accordingly.
A report released by Packaged Facts last year, entitled Nutritional Supplements in the US, predicted that dietary supplement sales would grow upwards of $6bn by 2011, with products geared towards specific ailments accounting for a large share of the growth.
Companies have started to produce more condition-specific supplements to tap into this growing trend and attract a greater gamut of consumers.
For example, last month, Hawaiian Cyanotech Corporation launched new products containing astaxanthin, marketed for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And Nutrition 21, developer of chromium-based Chromax, is now producing more products targeted at diseases from diabetes, to arthritis, to cardiovascular conditions.