Expert Column: Dietary Supplements Overview 7/24/2015
The dietary supplements category is a complex and ever changing category. In fact, it is a department within many retailers with multiple and very diverse products and different needs from diverse consumer segments. In this article we will look at the key market drivers, the dietary supplement consumer, and the outlook for “What’s Next in Dietary Supplementation”.
1. More accurate and timely education so that consumers can gain a customized recommendation and approach to their health and wellness program. This will be achieved through unique online and mobile platforms, in addition to live advice from pharmacists and physicians. The growth of clinics attached to the major food, drug, and mass retailers will support this preventative health approach.
2. We will start to see more condition specific supplementation. As consumers become “pill fatigued”, there will be a renewed interest in condition specific supplementation. This trend is also tied to the overall holistic healthcare approach, in which a supplement as a preventative measure will be preferred to long term OTC usage.
3. Price compression will continue. With BOGO promotions a standard practice in this category, and with Value Sizes in almost all the top selling items available beyond the club channel – consumers are trained to seek a lower price. We see the Vitamin Specialty stores challenged by price compression. We know that consumers believe store brands are just as effective as national brands.
4. Alternative forms will continue. Growth in vitamin gummies, liquids, powders, chews and other forms will continue to enter the marketplace. Driven by the “pill fatigue” issue and the idea of making a vitamin a treat versus a negative experience is not a new concept….but is one that will continue to grow with new innovative manufacturers targeting this white space. One recent marketplace example is Olly, sold exclusively at Target. Olly is a line of gummie supplements that speak to the consumer in a modern tonality making the overall experience fun and interesting versus a chore.
5. We will see some additional brands that are focusing on more natural/organic lines. While there have been some regulatory issues currently under review – the holistic health and wellness desire is creating this opportunity.
6. Beauty supplementation will grow. We will see growth on supplements that enhance beauty and youthful characteristics and prevent aging from the inside out. According to Mintel, consumers are especially interested in supplements that claim to improve the skin, including items that moisturize the skin from within and improve skin tone. The current baby boomer consumer segment are “flat-agers” and are doing everything they can to stay vital and young. In 2014, a supplement line, HUM, was launched in Sephora.