Almost half of Britons now take supplements daily

Just under half of all Britons (46%) are now daily vitamin and mineral users, according to new research by analyst Mintel.

Sales of vitamins and supplements increased by 2% between 2014 and 2015, reaching £414m, the report found. Demographic-specific supplements aimed at men, women, children and over-50s are believed to be behind the growth, showing a trend for more targeted health solutions.

Sales of women’s supplements accounted for the largest share of the demographic sector at £55m, following a 2.5% increase from May 2015 to May 2016, while the men’s market, although comparatively smaller, saw the biggest growth with value sales rising 29% to £11m, researchers discovered.

A third of women (32%) said they started taking supplements due to a recommendation from a health practitioner, compared to just one fifth of men (21%), reflecting the higher incidence of vitamin and mineral deficiencies among women.

“Vitamins and mineral sales continue to be propelled by consumers’ emphasis on health and wellbeing, leading people to take a more proactive approach towards their health,” said Jack Duckett, senior consumer lifestyles analyst at Mintel.

“Demographically positioned vitamins are among the biggest success story this year, reflecting consumer demand for more targeted health solutions and indicating that brands could now generate more interest in the category by exploring specific gender- and age-related claims.”

Despite the growth in male-specific supplements, male non-users (53%) are among the most likely to reject supplements because they believe they don’t need them, compared to just 44% of women.

“Although advertising for male-targeted vitamins and supplement products have traditionally focused on men’s fitness lifestyles there could be merit in demonstrating how supplements can also benefit an everyday lifestyle, such as getting through the working day, undertaking household responsibilities, or looking after children,” adds Duckett.

65% of adults have taken some form of vitamins or supplements either daily or occasionally in the past 12 months, up 63% from the previous year. However, the increase in frequency of usage is fed from lapsed past users, with the proportion of people who have never used them remaining unchanged at 19% between 2015–2016.

The full Mintel Vitamins and Supplements UK 2016 Report is available to purchase here.