Economic crisis places weight on supplement prices, survey

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supplement users

Half of US supplement users said that the economic squeeze is unlikely to change their purchasing habits, although price could become an issue, according to a survey released last week.

Conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs for the supplement trade group Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the survey found that 51 percent of US adults do not plan on cutting back on their supplement usage.

According to CRN, which presented the survey results at its annual conference in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, last week, the findings are “encouraging”​ as they indicate that a large percent of consumers still continue to invest in preventive health measures, despite the tight economic environment.

The annual CRN Consumer Confidence Survey was this year conducted online between August 20 and 25.

It involved just over 2,000 US adults, taken from Ipsos’ national panel. Although the survey has taken place every year since 2000, this is the first time it was conducted entirely online. CRN said it was weighted to reflect the actual US adult population, with an estimated margin of error of +/-2.2 percentage points.

Price is important

Out of those consumers who said their purchasing habits would remain unchanged, 13 percent – or 134 out of the 2,013 people surveyed – agreed with the statement that supplements are “an essential part of my wellness regimen and I cannot do without them”.

Out of the remaining respondents, 30 percent of supplement users said that while they will continue to purchase dietary supplements, price will become a more important consideration.

An additional 13 percent said that given the potential downturn in the economy, they will continue to buy supplements, but are likely to buy fewer products in the future.

Six percent of survey respondents said they considered supplements a “luxury” ​and believe they can do without them if their economic pressures become too tight.

“Times are tough for many Americans right now, and countless families are faced with the difficult position of cutting back on items that are not of absolute necessity when trying to balance higher costs in gasoline, groceries and other daily necessities,”​ said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN.

“We were pleased to see that an overwhelming majority of supplement users recognize the value of taking vitamins, minerals and other supplements, and are making a concerted effort to invest in their health long term.”

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