The report, entitled "Nutritional Supplements in the US" projects the supplement market will reach $4.7bn by the year's end - a one percent increase over 2005. While bad press may have contributed to a nearly three percent loss in 2005, according to the market researcher, overall market growth has been respectable and sales from 2002 to 2006 have increased by more than six percent.
The conclusion that condition-specific supplements are leading the pack is in line with findings from another recent survey showing consumers tend to look for labels that spell out the potential therapeutic benefits of a supplement.
"Long-term health benefits and prevention are the leading motivators, particularly for Baby Boomers, who are big on supplementation as a means to wellness," said Packaged Facts publisher Don Montuori.
In 2005, according to Packaged Facts' report, products marketed for condition-specific benefits accounted for a large proportion of new product introductions which rose by 33 percent.
"Age-related condition-specific products, including weight, diabetes, joint, and eye health, as well as heavy emphasis on the Os - Omega-3s and organics - will continue to proliferate in the years ahead," said Montuori.
The Natural Marketing Institute released similar results in August as part of its 2005 Health & Wellness Trends Database. With a compound growth rate of 17 percent over the past five years, the firm identified the most popular condition-specific supplements as being those for joint, heart and osteoporosis or bone health.
Packaged Facts' report also highlighted alternative delivery systems for nutraceuticals, such as food and beverage, that it says are growing at a faster rate than the traditional supplements category.
"We can also expect functional foods and beverages to continue stealing some of the thunder from traditional supplements," said Montuori.
This is corroborated by testimonials of companies attending what once trade shows for supplement ingredient suppliers - such as the recent SupplySide West in Las Vegas - who now say ingredients for functional foods and beverages are playing a larger and larger role at these events.
Other findings of the report, according to Packaged Facts, are that the multivitamin category saw considerable gains between 2001 and 2005. Another category that grew was liquid vitamins, which jumped by $5.6mn over the same time period. One and two letter vitamins suffered sales decline each year, with the most dramatic drop in 2005.
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market research on consumer industries, including consumer goods, food and beverage, and demographics.