Vitamins, minerals and supplements are flying off retail shelves, giving retailers and suppliers a moment to cheer, while they collectively scratch their heads and try to keep up with demand.
As weary and concerned consumers continue to look for products to help them boost their immune systems due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, retailers and suppliers report that they are having a hard time keeping up with demand in the VMS category, especially with any product that can give consumers a better piece of mind.
While innovation is crucial for the survival of any category, the VMS world faces certain challenges as it expands to meet consumer demands for proactive health. As more products enter the arena, the section can be a confusing one for consumers. “Especially in the digital age we live in, where the latest health news is at our fingertips, it’s difficult for consumers to know what they need, whether it’s more vitamin C or biotin,” said Michelle Yoon, brand manager at Olly based in San Francisco.
Atwater said that USP Verification Services can help build trust. “If a product is USP verified, both retailers and consumers can trust the quality of the supplement,” he said. “We do that through a multistep process, and all of these steps we do on an annual basis, not a one-time activity.” The verifications involve Good Manufacturing Practice, or GMP; facility audits; product quality control and manufacturing process evaluation; and product testing in USP laboratories.
The USP Verified Mark can help manufacturers and retailers with customers who care about quality. “It does highlight the fact their products are high quality,” Atwater said. “It also helps with risk management.”
According to the Washington, D.C.-based Council for Responsible Nutrition’s 20th CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, 77% of Americans said they consume dietary supplements. The 2019 survey reported the majority of both males and females aged 18 years old and older take dietary supplements, which is in line with previous surveys’ findings. Among all the age groups, adults between the ages of 35 years old and 54 years old have the highest usage of dietary supplements at 81%.