Usage and confidence in supplements up, trust stays high: CRN data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Pat_Hastings
© Getty Images / Pat_Hastings

Related tags Dietary supplements Nutrition Dietary supplement

Seventy-six percent of US adults are using dietary supplements, an increase of 5% on 2016 values, according to results of the 2017 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements.

The survey also found that 87% of US adults have confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements overall (39% very confident; 48% somewhat confident), with 76% perceiving the dietary supplement industry as trustworthy, up three percentage points from last year, attendees at the CRN's Annual Symposium for the Dietary Supplement and Functional Food Industry in Arizona were told.

“These findings reinforce the upward trend in usage and confidence seen last year,”​ said Nancy Weindruch, vice president, communications, CRN.

“Seeing more than three quarters of Americans taking supplements is an indicator of our industry’s success in bringing products to the marketplace that are valued by the majority of Americans for their role in health and wellness.”


The survey, commissioned by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, found that consumers vitamins and minerals are the most consumed products, with 75% of U.S. adults saying they have taken these in the past twelve months. The second most popular category is specialty supplements (38%), followed by herbals/botanicals (29%), sports nutrition supplements (22%), and weight management supplements (15%).

CRN 2017 Survey 1
Source: CRN

A similar trend was observed for confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of different categories, with the highest confidence reported for vitamins and minerals (87%), followed by specialty supplements (64%), herbs & botanicals (63%), sports nutrition (54%) and weight management (45%).

Overall health/wellness benefits is the main reason cited by supplement users for taking dietary supplements (46%). Three in ten (30%) consume supplements to fill nutrient gaps in their diet and similar proportions (28%) use them for energy. Of those who do not take dietary supplements, nearly half (45%) say they might consider taking supplements in the future if a doctor recommended it to them.

CRN 2017 Survey 2
Source: CRN

The survey included a national sample of 2,001 adults aged 18 and older living in the United States, including 1,528 among those who are considered supplement users. The survey has been conducted annually since 2000. 

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