Fish oils as popular as multivitamins: Consumerlab

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Percent Dietary supplement

A survey of 6000 Consumerlab subscribers has found fish oils are almost as popular as multivitamins, especially among older users.

The product tester found 73.8 percent of respondents used fish oils, followed by fish oil (71.6 percent), calcium (55.3 percent) and CoQ10 (50.9 percent) supplements.

“What we found was older consumers are more interested in specialist supplements like omega-3s and less interested in the more general offerings such as multivitamins,”​ Cooperman told

He said older users tended to favor dietary supplements over nutrition bars, and beverages such as shakes and smoothies. While 33 percent of under 35s consumed nutrition drinks, only 16 per cent of over-65s did.

“The baby boomers are very supplement focused,” ​Cooperman observed. “And their use of supplements increases too. Except for very age-specific supplements such as those designed for menopause, use of every supplement increased as citizens aged.”

Vitamin D was a good example. Among under-35s, only 21 percent used the mineral but this figure increased to 47.4 percent among over-65s. CoQ10 was similar – increasing from 28.8 percent to 60.1 percent for the two age groups.

Among heavy supplement users (those taking more than 10 supplements per day), the use of fish oils overtook multivitamins to become the most used supplement with 84.8 percent heavy consuming the omega-3 source. The next three were multivitamins (75.5%), CoQ10 (78.9%) and calcium (67.6%).

The use of herbal products sat at about 43 percent for those taking one supplement per day on average. But for heavier users, the rate shot up to 72per cent.

Multi-level marketing was much more popular with younger users than older users although heavy users more prone to use these methods, with 44 percent using a supplements catalogue compared to four percent of low-supplement users.

“But this is growing and the online reach is vast now,”​ Cooperman suggested.

About 85 percent of Consumerlab’s subscriber database are consumers, with the rest being predominantly drawn from industry and the medical and healthcare profession.

The report found the top-rated supplement brands were:

· Catalogue/Internet Brand: Puritan’s Pride

· Direct Selling (MLM) Brand: Nutrilite

· Discount/Warehouse Brand: Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club)

· Grocery Store Brand: Equate (Albertson’s)

· Healthcare Practitioner Brand: Pure Encapsulations

· Health Food Store Brand: Barlean’s

· Mass Market Brand: Nature Made

· Pharmacy Brand: CVS

· Vitamin Store Brand: Vitamin World

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