Confidence, trust in supplements stay high as younger consumer usage grows: CRN data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Source: CRN
Source: CRN

Related tags Dietary supplement industry Dietary supplement

Usage of dietary supplements by younger consumers aged between 18 and 34 grew 5% to 70%, while the over 55 age group maintained the highest percentage of supplement use at 74%, according to results of the CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements.

“It is exciting to see the growth in supplement usage among younger adults especially after our 2015 survey indicated that increased usage should be anticipated among those aged 18 to 34 over the next five years,”​ said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN.

“Every industry is talking about the millennials and the impact this generation will have. Our data shows the impact is already being made on the dietary supplement industry as young adults are increasingly incorporating dietary supplements into their health regimens.”

Confidence and trust

Despite a slew of negative headlines in the mainstream media, consumer confidence in the products has remained high over the years, with 85% of the consumers surveyed saying they were very confident (41%) or somewhat confident (44%) in the confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements. Among supplement users it’s even higher, with 96% indicating confidence.

The highest level of confidence was for vitamins and minerals (86%), followed by specialty supplements (66%), herbals and botanicals (63%), and sports nutrition (56%).

“We’re always pleased to see data showing Americans are confident in our industry’s products. We were all the more satisfied to see that not only do a majority of Americans have confidence in dietary supplements, but also that a majority of Americans have trust in our industry,” ​said Blatman.

Trust was assessed for the first time this year, noted CRN. The question, “To what extent do you perceive the dietary supplement industry as being trustworthy,” revealed that nearly three quarters of Americans (73%) perceive the dietary supplement industry as being trustworthy. “This question will serve as a benchmark question for us moving forward,”​ said Blatman.

CRN Survey Data 2016 3
Source: CRN

Energy on the rise…

The survey is conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs and funded by CRN, and includes a national sample of 2,007 adults aged 18 and older living in the United States, including 1,430 among those who are considered supplement users.

The data showed that the five most popular supplements are the multivitamin (53%), vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin B/B complex.

The main reasons cited for taking dietary supplements are overall health & wellness (42%), energy (30%), to fill nutrient gaps (28%).

CRN Survey Data 2016 2
Source: CRN

Versus NHANES data

Recently published data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) put dietary supplement usage at 52%.

The data, published in JAMA​, indicated a decrease in the use of multivitamins from 37% in 1999-2000 to 31% in 2011-2012, which were offset by significant increases in the use of vitamin D and fish oil supplements for the same time periods.

Multivitamins were not the only class to decline, with decreases also reported for vitamins C, E, and selenium. On the other hand, vitamin D supplement use increased from 5.1% to 19%, and fish oil supplement use increased from 1.3% to 12% over the study period.

NHANES tracks 37,958 adults (average age 46) from 1999 through 2012, with the participants surveyed over seven continuous two-year cycles.

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