Vitamin D explodes with product growth
The vitamin D category continues to grow. Category leader Nature Made from Pharmavite is on the cusp of launching a host of new products, including a Super D-Complex with magnesium, vitamin D chewable tablets and vitamin D with vitamin C and zinc.
“I think this is category growth that has been driven by the science,” said Doug Jones, Pharmavite’s corporate communications and public relations manager. “When you get a lot of the medical establishment behind it, you see long-term sustained growth of a category. And vitamin D has received lots of press. There’s widespread recognition that there’s a deficiency problem.”
John Hathcock, SVP scientific and international affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, said that the information about vitamin D is permeating the public’s awareness because it’s so all-encompassing. “For well over 50 years and perhaps closer to 75, we’ve known that vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and thus [helps to] build healthy bones,” Hathcock said. “But it’s also been found to help reduce the risk of cancer, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other metabolic syndrome issues, [and] falls related to neuromuscular activity, [as well as] immune function and all the things that result from that.”
The numbers back up the science. Sales of vitamin D were up 49% for the 52 weeks ended April 16, down slightly from last December when sales were up 73%, according to Nielsen.
Despite Pharmavite having a plethora of vitamin D products, its best-seller remains its 1,000 IU product. Also, last year the company released a product with 5,000 IU, and two years ago it launched a 400-IU chewable vitamin D product for children.
Hathcock said he expected to see more vitamin D supplements on the market — from multivitamins with vitamin D to vitamin D and calcium tablets. But with a marketplace as full as it is with new vitamin D products, how does Pharmavite ensure its products stand out? The company participates in the dietary supplement program from the United States Pharmacopeia, a scientific not-for-profit organization that has set pharmaceutical quality standards since 1820 and bears the USP’s stamp on many of its products, with more constantly being added.
ReportersNotebook — Over the Counter, 7/11/11
SUPPLIER NEWS — A survey for Vitamin Shoppe found that 60% of Americans currently take a vitamin or supplement. Of those who take vitamins, more than 70% of respondents said they feel more confident about their health when they are taking a vitamin. Multivitamins are the most popular supplements, with 75% of respondents taking a multivitamin regularly. Other top supplements by those who take vitamins were: vitamin D (52%), vitamin C (49%), calcium (45%), B vitamins (43%), fish oil (42%) and iron (25%).
Starting on a vitamin regimen was not an impulse decision. Almost half began taking a vitamin based on the recommendation of a healthcare professional. Only 38% of parents take a daily vitamin, compared to 56% of adults without children. Only 34% of kids are given a daily vitamin. For those that do not take supplements, 43% feel they do not need vitamins with a balanced diet, 22% think they would never remember to take them and others feel vitamins are too expensive (9%).
The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe, and polled 1,000 U.S. adults on their vitamin and supplement habits.
Home safety drives first aid sales
NEW YORK — Children are hurt more from falls in the home than any other kind of home accident; falls cause more than 3 million childhood injuries every year, according to the Home Safety Council. That was one driver behind the growth in first aid accessories in the summer months — for the 12 weeks ended May 15, sales of overall accessories were up 3.4% to $257.7 million across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group. Sales of first aid kits across that period were up 15.4% to $5.4 million.