The vitamins and supplements sector has seen many ups and downs in 2023, but top performers are still driving the sector’s overall growth. Like many health and wellness sectors, vitamins and supplements are impacted by inflation concerns, rising consumer values and shifting trends, all of which are changing the category landscape.
Strong growth from performance nutrition (34.3%) and protein supplements and meal replacements (14.1%) were among the bright spots leading to double-digit growth, based on data from SPINS, a leading health-focused data company.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Natural Products Expo Easts Supplements Symposium, where I shared some of today’s top supplement trends to watch. Here are some highlights for everyone in the additional space to see.
1. Paying attention to health attracts shoppers
Among the highest performing supplements were hydration, 49.0%, and performance, 31.9%, easily outpacing the closest growers, energy support at 6.3%, and strength digestive health at 3.8%. This focus on health shows that shoppers are looking for supplements that address issues where they can see visible progress. Staying active remains a top priority for consumers throughout their lives. An increased focus on health over longevity will continue to attract new consumers of all ages and drive these product categories forward for years to come.
2. Fastest growing functional ingredient
Functional ingredients provide health benefits that address specific health concerns, often as a complement to the primary purpose of the product. These four functional ingredients are among the fastest growing:
Beetroot root, with sales growth of 62.8%, supports performance and, more recently, has been touted as supporting blood pressure.
DHA products, growth 13.5% and other omega-3s support brain and heart health.
Ashwagandha, growing 6.3%, aids in reducing stress. Other adaptogenic herbs may have a chance to continue ashwagandha’s success. Look for ingredients like rhodiola to find new success in the near future.
Lactase increased by 7.8%, supporting digestion. Beyond probiotics, consumers continue to seek additional support for gut health.
3. Minerals, probiotics and homeopathy
While most vitamins and minerals had lower sales than a year ago, the minerals subcategory grew 5.2%. Within homeopathic medicines, growth came from single homeopathic medicines, 20.8%, and formulas, 2.6%. With 8.1% growth, fiber products and laxatives led probiotics and digestive aids.
4. Key areas in women’s health
Supplements in the women’s health focus were down 2.1% overall, but several key supplements still served as growth highlights: digestive health, 27.2%; reproduction 4.5%; urinary tract 3.8%; and bone health, 3.2%.
While menopause-related supplements continue to see a decline in traditional product availability, we are seeing continued interest in these products online, for whether it’s the level of search interest on Google or the increase in articles surrounding the topic. Furthermore, DTC menopause supplement brands continue to gain traction, which could mean we could see sales of menopause supplements increase. increase in the near future.
5. Growth performance nutrition subcategory
As mentioned above, performance nutrition is experiencing strong year-over-year growth at 34.3%. Growth in this category was primarily driven by hydration and electrolytes at 52.2%; pre-workout was 33.7%; during and after exercise is 28.1%; and creatine was 114.4%. Meanwhile, weight control formulas showed a modest decrease of 1.9%. Performance Nutrition looks set to maintain its crown as the fastest growing supplement category for the third year in a row. In addition to serious bodybuilders and athletes, everyone is looking for performance enhancement in their daily lives. Creatine continues to be reborn as a dietary supplement primarily for young men looking to improve their health. New marketing efforts for this long-studied ingredient are expanding the market to women and those interested in supporting brain health.
6. Hydration and electrolytes extend their reach
Not surprisingly, hydration and electrolyte products often command the largest share of dollar sales during the hottest times of the year, when many consumers exercise outdoors and generally just is trying to avoid the heat. However, water and electrolyte intake increased by more than 50% even in some colder months. This is because, in recent years, hydration has shifted from being marketed exclusively to hardcore athletes to being available to anyone at any time. It is now considered a product for casual athletes, concert goers, dehydrated travelers, and let us not forget to mention those looking to prevent or cure hangover.
7. Pay attention to GutTok
The power of social networks, especially TikTok, cannot be overstated when we talk about health trends. This year alone, we’ve seen berberine, informally known as Ozempic essence, reach from popular TikTok topics to media reports and increased sales. Overall gut health is a popular topic on this influential social media platform. In 2022, related topics (gut health, Gut Tok, irritable bowel syndrome, and probiotics) attracted more than 7 billion views. Stay tuned to TikTok as more users (both casual users and healthcare professionals) continue to share their thoughts and recommendations on gut health.
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