The VMS and diet aid/sports nutrition markets together command $11.9 billion in total retail sales, excluding specialty channels, and is growing at a steady clip.
Specifically, vitamins, minerals and supplements sales totaled $6.4 billion across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended March 23, according to IRI, up 2.5%. That growth is primarily coming out of the adult multivitamins, glucosamine and chondroitin, and omega-3 segments, noted Laura Mahecha, industry manager of health care for the research firm Kline, in a recent blog. Along with private-label nutritional products, Vitafusion (Church & Dwight), Centrum (Pfizer) and Schiff (Reckitt Benckiser) contributed to gains in this category.
Gummy vitamins remain particularly hot. According to C&D’s chairman and CEO James Craigie, gummy vitamins represent only 6% of total adult vitamin sales. “The adult gummy segment has already doubled in size in the past 18 months, and that still leaves 94% of the total category as upside,” he said. And C&D is looking to seize the gummy opportunity. “We doubled our ad spending on gummy vitamins in 2013, and we are increasing our advertising spending by at least 30% in 2014 to continue to divert adults to our delicious-tasting gummy vitamins.”
Meanwhile sales of weight-control products are up 4.7% to $3.1 billion while sales of meal-replacement bars are up 13.5% to $2 billion.
According to IRI’s 2013 New Product Pacesetters report, the most prevalent addition to nutrition brands was fiber and/or whole grains, which were found in 42% of new consumables launches. In addition, the report suggested that “dieting” has evolved into “nutritional management.” Consumers are looking for products that remove or limit less desirable attributes, such as calories and sugar. BelVita Breakfast Biscuits proved to be a good source of sustained energy provided through grains. And General Mills launched four Pacesetter Fiber One brands, each offering up to 40% of the daily value of fiber.
And the diet-aid program Nutrisystem will be making a big splash this year as the company makes its national retail launch. The company has generated $8 million in retail sales over its first quarter with its distribution through 2,500 Walmart locations. Channel expansion will be focused on mass and club outlets with a test line approach before expanding nationally, the company reported, with its first test going through Target.
To see the charts that accompany the article, click here.