Boomers and recessionary fears drive supplement growth

Economic uncertainty and concerns over healthcare costs are driving growth in the nutritional supplements, with the market expected to hit almost $10billion in retail sales.

According to an updated report by Packaged Facts, growth of the US nutritional supplements market has increased by from 5.5 percent in 2007 to 9.5 percent in 2009. Retail sales, dominated by Walmart, were worth $9.4 billion last year, said the report.
While many segments of the US economy have suffered during the economic downturn, the US nutritional supplement market remains strong. Packaged Facts forecasts annual sales growth will gradually improve over the new few years with sales exceeding the $13 billion by 2014. Baby Boomers and other health conscious consumers continue to favor supplements as alternatives to costly medications.
“Part of the resiliency of nutritional supplements during this trying economic period stems from the fact that Americans are losing confidence in their ability to pay for healthcare, even as the economy shows signs of turning around,” said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts“Compared to doctors visits, hospital stays, and prescription drugs, nutritional supplements can be a bargain.”
Report facts
Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 4th Edition by market research publisher Packaged Facts, examines the US market for vitamins, minerals, herbals, homeopathics and combination products sold to consumers through the full retail spectrum. The report also takes an in-depth look at condition-specific products in segments including joint, children’s, eye, energy, heart, men’s, women’s, brain, digestive and cosmetic.
According to a Packaged Facts Internet survey conducted in May and June 2010, more consumers are purchasing their supplements from Walmart. Of the 1,881 adults polled, 63 percent said they had taken nutritional supplements in the last 12 months, and of that group, 43 percent had purchased supplements at Walmart.
Another big growth area is the purchase of supplements via the internet. The online consumer pool also revealed that 26 percent of supplement users purchased vitamin, mineral, or supplement products online.
Support from the herbal sector
Similar findings were recently reported by the American Botanical Council (ABC) in May, with US sales of herbal supplements in mainstream market channels last year seeing the largest growth levels in recent memory.
A report in the May issue of ABC’s journal HerbalGram identified a 14 percent sales hike in this channel, to reach a total of $335,585,700 for 2009.
When other market channels are included in the equation, the overall all sales increase dips to 5 percent, with total estimated sales of just over $5bn.