Bryter Insight Director Isabel Wood explores a global survey showing consumer behaviors in relation to mental health and wellbeing
The global vitamin, mineral, and supplement (VMS) industry shows no signs of slowing its growth trajectory – valued at $129.6 billion in 2021, it is anticipated to grow to $196.6 billion in 2028 with a compound annual growth rate of 6.1% in the forecast period.
The adaptability of this market, coupled with an understanding of evolving consumer preferences, plays a vital role in this growth narrative. As more individuals worldwide embrace a proactive stance towards health, the industry responds with several specialized products. From supplements tailored for women's unique health concerns to those formulated for senior citizens, and even preparations for teenagers, the spectrum of offerings is vast and nuanced.
Reflecting this vast interest in vitamins and supplements is the emergence of celebrities as wellness entrepreneurs. In recent years we’ve seen stars from Halle Berry to Jennifer Lopez to LeBron James all selling supplements. Gwyneth Paltrow champions wellness through her brand "Goop" and NBA star Chris Paul attributes his enhanced on-court performance to plant-based dietary supplements.
But also cutting through to the already crowded VMS market in recent years are several products aimed at mental wellness. Increased openness and dialogue around mental health has opened up a global market and created a keen interest among consumers in this particular area.
So, what are consumers’ priorities when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and supplements? What are people buying and why?
What are people buying and why?
A recent Bryter survey in six global markets (US, Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, and Italy) found that a substantial 40% of global consumers buy health products to assist with the broad goal of immune support. But more specialized products – such as for heart health and mental wellness – are not far behind.
Our survey found that 39% of consumers buy products specifically targeted to support heart health. In fact, heart health is the biggest priority for older age groups (47% of 55–75-year-olds buy heart supplements) as well as men (45% of men buy them).
Similarly, 38% of consumers buy VMS products to assist with mental wellness / stress management. Mental health is the biggest priority for younger age groups (44% of 25–44-year-olds buy these products) as well as women (40% buy them).
Mental health / stress management supplements particularly resonate with consumers in the UK (43% buy them), Canada (40%), and the US (39%). They are the most popular type of supplement bought across these three countries.
More specialized mental wellness products are also purchased by a significant share of global consumers. In our survey, 31% said they buy products to aid brain / memory, and 29% to aid better sleep.
Consumers also turn to supplements in an effort to help manage their weight. This is the case in the UK (35%) and the US (33%) more so than the other countries we surveyed.
Supplements supporting healthy bones and joints (32%), gut / digestive health (27%), eye health (18%), and enhancing hair, skin & nails (17%) also make their presence felt, though to a lesser extent.
Understanding the VMS Market: The Takeaway
The multifaceted vitamin and supplement industry paints a picture of informed consumers.
They are not merely passive recipients but active seekers of specialized products, with nuanced preferences based on age, gender, and region. This approach reflects a shift in consumer behavior – from generalized to specialized health solutions.
Companies attuned to these evolving demands stand to make significant inroads into the market. The clear message is to cater to the discerning, informed, and specialized needs of today’s consumers.
Bryter are experts in understanding HCP and consumer needs to help clients maximize opportunity.
We combine our vast global category expertise and experience with advanced statistical, digital, and behavioral change approaches to generate insight to inform decision making. We have a strong focus on innovation in research and employ a range of in person and digital research techniques to truly understand the needs of healthcare professionals and consumers.
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Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in creating a market research plan that provides useful insights for your health and wellness project.