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Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 5th Edition

Throughout the recession and its “New Normal” aftermath of frugal spending, the nutritional supplements market held steady as Americans apparently embraced supplements as less costly alternatives to pure-play medical options like doctor visits and prescription medications. Now, with U.S. consumers beginning to loosen their budgetary belt straps, nutritional supplement marketers must work to keep their products at the forefront of consumers’ health regimens. Key to this pursuit are targeted products featuring trendy ingredients more heavily backed by science and increasingly taking a page from their functional food competitors. At the same time, supplement marketers must keep their sights squarely focused on their prime demographics: those over age 65 and the up-and-coming aging Baby Boomers currently swelling the senior brackets. Nor can the industry afford to ignore the younger demographics who are its longer-term future but whose supplement usage rates have been declining, or the emergent Hispanic population, whose supplement usage rates are below average but gradually rising.

Marketwide, product efficacy and credibility remain crucial, with supplement developers increasingly relying on scientific evidence supporting the benefits of taking nutritional supplements to bolster the industry’s image in the eyes of consumers and healthcare practitioners. With market regulation and scrutiny at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever for the industry to produce and feature products able to substantiate their health benefit claims. In this vein, condition-specific supplements continue to grow in breadth and importance, and they will remain a key driver of sales and new product development across myriad segments including joint, brain, cosmetic, and heart, with many of these products homing in on age-related health issues. At the other end of the condition-specific spectrum, children’s supplements have been doing well, demographically book-ending the overall market in way that suggests solid future prospects. During 2012, supplement sales rose 7% to $11.5 billion, the report calculates, and sales are forecasted to reach $15.5 billion by 2017.

Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 5th Edition, a fully updated Packaged Facts report, examines the market for nutritional supplements within the context of broader HBC trends in new product development and marketing, including vitamins, minerals, herbals, homeopathics and combination products. It charts industry sales and composition, providing retail sales breakouts for four main product categories (general supplements, multivitamins, 1 & 2 letter vitamins and liquid supplements) and for over a dozen condition-specific segments (children’s, joint health, calcium/bone health, eye health, women’s, vitamin C/immunity, digestive health/probiotic, men’s, brain health, heart health, omega, cosmetic, energy, and CoQ-10. The report also provides a thorough examination of market drivers, the competitive situation, mass-market marketer and brand shares, marketing trends, and consumer trends.

Table of Contents :


Chapter 1: Executive Summary

Scope of Report

Product Categories and Classifications




Mass-Market Product Classifications

Combination Formulas

Market Trends

U.S. Retail Sales to Reach $15.5 Billion in 2017

Table 1-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Nutritional Supplements, 2012-2017 (in millions of dollars)

Mass-Market Sales Accelerate

General Supplements Dominate Retail Sales

Figure 1-1: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Nutritional Supplements: By Product Category, 2008 vs. 2012 (percent)

Condition-Specific Products Maintain Growth

Supercenters/Mass Merchandisers Lead in Supplement Sales

Focus on Health and Wellness Drives Supplement Purchases

Marketing Trends

Competitive Overview

Category Crossover and Line Extensions

Natural Product Marketers

Market Bellwethers GNC and Vitamin Shoppe See Growth

Share of Mass-Market Sales: Carlyle Group Leads the Pack

Table 1-2: Top Marketers of Nutritional Supplements: Share of SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar Sales, 2011-2012 (percent)

Private-Label Share Disappoints

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