The survey, conducted online in 20 countries on February 2019 with results published recently, revealed that around 68% of surveyed North American consumers say “vitamins and supplements are generally safe to consume,” compared to 41% in Europe.
Meanwhile, among consumers in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa, a little more than half agree that vitamins and supplements are generally safe to consume.
Moreover, North Americans “also seem to be willing to forgo getting their vitamins and nutrients from food,” compared to other regions, according to the report by Amrutha Shridhar, research consultant of consumer insights at Euromonitor International.
This was based on the statement “I get the vitamins and nutrients from food, rather than taking vitamins and supplements.” Less than 40% of North Americans agreed with the statement, compared to 50% of European consumers, 54% of Middle East and Africa consumers, 53% of Asia Pacific consumers, and 47% of Latin American consumers.
Multivitamins, a star
“Convenience is a driving force for why so many global consumers take vitamins and supplements, however it is also the reason why multvitamins are so popular,” Shridhar wrote in the report. “Multivitamins encompass a variety of vitamins in one tablet, making it easy-to-use and efficient to take.”
The data suggest that North Americans specifically seek multivitamins to maintain their general health, immune system, and to give them energy. “Instead of focusing on one particular issue, multivitamins are thought to provide overall health and wellness, fitting into the ethos of living a balanced lifestyle and focusing on preventive care,” she added.
What supplements are consumers taking
The survey data on supplement use focused primarily at vitamin and mineral supplements (though another section of the report highlighted sports nutrition use, which you can read about HERE). The data revealed that multivitamins were the top supplement consumed in North America (56% of respondents) and Europe (42% of respondents).
In Asia Pacific and Latin America, the top supplement consumed was Vitamin C (44%) , while calcium was at the top for Middle East and Africa (56%).
“The vitamins and supplements market in North America is very competitive,” Shridhar wrote. The size of the prize of getting a slice of the North American market, and the US particularly, has motivated companies from small ones like German tigovit (which entered the US last spring) to large multinationals like Australian Swisse (which re-entered the US after a hiatus last fall) to bet on it, despite the crowded and competitive market landscape.
“Brands and companies looking to stand out in this space need to ensure that they are looking beyond convenience and general health and focus on consumers’ overall long-term health habits and behaviors,” she added.