33% of Brits now take a vitamin D supplement daily

Vitamin D is now the most popular single vitamin supplement taken by Brits, with usage increasing by 7% in the past year.

According to research by market analyst Mintel, vitamin D is now taken daily by 33% of vitamin, minerals and supplement (VMS) users, up from 27% in 2017, overtaking vitamin C in the popularity stakes.

The 35 to 54-year-old age group is the main driver behind the boom, with vitamin D supplement usage among these people rising from 22% in 2017 to 35% in 2018, the report found. 

5 of the most popular single vitamin supplements taken by Brits are:

  1. Vitamin D (33%)
  2. Vitamin C (27%)
  3. Vitamin B complex (15%)
  4. Vitamin A (12%) 
  5. Vitamin E (10%). 

Sales of vitamins and supplements are estimated to reach £442 million this year, a 6% increase from £417m in 2013, and the market is forecasted to reach a staggering £477m by 2023, said the analyst. 

“Vitamin D has proved to be a star performer in the sector, with its health benefits during the winter months continuing to be a popular topic. This will have undoubtedly helped boost usage, raising its profile among Brits,” said Anita Winther, research analyst at Mintel.

Over the past year, more than half of Brits (59%) have taken VMS, with around one in three (34%) ingesting a supplement daily. The research also showed that women (38%) are more likely to invest in vitamin supplements than men (29%), while only a quarter of Brits have never taken any VMS.  

Despite this supplement boom, you’ll never guess the percentage of Brits who don’t understand how vitamins affect the body.

The calcium and iron boom

Meanwhile, calcium and iron usage has also grown thanks to the rise in veganism, with the lifestyle affecting what people look for in their vitamins and supplements. 

Calcium usage among Brits has increase from 20% in 2017 to 29% in 2018 (9% rise), while iron is also up 6% from 22% to 28% in the same time period, the report found. 

Calcium is most popular among the 25 to 34-year-old age group (up 25% to 39% in the past year), while it is 35 to 44 year olds who have upped their iron intake the most (increasing 22% to 36% in the same time period). 

“The trend towards meat reduction diets – including both strict vegan diets and the more lenient flexitarian approach – is likely boosting usage of iron. With as many as half of meat eaters believing their red meat intake should be limited, it is likely that people are looking to supplements to fill the iron gap left if they are reducing the amount of red meat they eat,” explained Winther.

“The rise in usage of calcium could also be linked to the growing focus on plant-based foods, both in terms of vegan diets and dairy avoidance.” 

Vegan beauty is also trending, with more people than ever searching for options that are free from animal byproducts.