Multivitamins, sleep supplements lead growth

Dietary supplement product lines with the strongest growth in overall consumer bases include vitamins B and D, multivitamins and melatonin, the popular supplement that helps regulate sleep cycles, according to the latest TABS Group 2013 Annual Vitamin Study released in May.

"We saw some gains in adult multis, really for the first time in awhile," reported TABS Group CEO Kurt Jetta. "The new news there? I would surmise it was gummy vitamins," he said. "Melatonin is another [supplement] that saw some pretty substantial gains [in overall consumer base]. A lot of that is driven by the over-the-counter sleep supplements," Jetta noted. For example, the recent launch of Procter & Gamble's ZzzQuil has prompted many retailers to migrate their sleep sets from the bottom shelf to the top, helping to raise the profile of all supplements in the category.

"The heavy buyers are really defined by how many different types of products [they purchase]," Jetta said. "If you ever [looked] into the cabinet of a hardcore supplement user, you'd see 10 or more [VMS] bottles in their cabinet."

The number of heavy users remains steady, but there is significant growth in the number of consumers who are trying supplements out — those who report that they take one to two supplements either occasionally or regularly, Jetta said.

A separate survey conducted on behalf of the Council for Responsible Nutrition found that the 68% of consumers who have committed to supplementing their diets are actually making healthier lifestyle choices overall. That suggests VMS sets could become a lead-in to many product lines that support healthier lifestyles, such as yoga accessories and light gym equipment, along with pedometers and activity tracking devices.

"Supplement users seem to understand the importance of combining, rather than isolating, healthy practices," said Judy Blatman, SVP communications for CRN. "It's the total lifestyle that's going to help you feel good and stay fit, and taking supplements is one piece of that lifestyle."

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Vitamin Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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