The much documented downturn in vitamin and mineral sales in the US, which has adversely affected a number of companies' results, has perhaps not been as significant as previously thought, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.
The report, The US Market for Vitamins, Supplements and Minerals, claims that the US population has retained a high level of confidence in vitamin and mineral supplements, despite a number of high-profile fraud cases and well-publicised potential health risks. Sixty-nine per cent of consumers questioned by Packaged Facts believe that taking vitamins and minerals is an extremely important factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
"Baby boomers truly are defining the market for vitamins, supplements and minerals," said Don Montuori, acquisitions editor for Packaged Facts. "The boomer population has always maintained an interest in self-care and alternative medicine, which makes them likely to turn to resources such as VSM products in their effort to live longer and live well. The products that are doing well right now are the ones that directly appeal to the American boomer population."
Concerns about osteoporosis among female baby boomers have helped calcium lead the mineral market to success in recent years, along with products specifically formulated for women's health issues.
On the non-herbal supplement side of the market, glucosamine, chondriotin and other joint support products have shown explosive growth and are well positioned to retain popularity among an active boomer population with deteriorating joints, Montuori said.
Science is revealing the potential benefits of vitamins and minerals on an almost daily basis, and this is only likely to lead to further growth in the market, despite the current downturn. The ageing baby boomer generation will be replaced by a younger generation accustomed to products such as slimming foods and energy drinks, and therefore aware of the potential effects of vitamin-enriched products.
It remains to be seen whether this will help sales of supplements, or whether this new generation prefers to take its vitamins in a more palatable form.