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Vitamin Statistics and International Vitamin Trends

By: Samantha Chmelik
Posted: November 19, 2010, from the December 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Following are vitamin statistics and international vitamin trends from Euromonitor International. To read the full article on vitamins and the spa, check out Samatha Chmelik's article from the December 2010 issue.

U.S. vitamin stats

Since 2004, the top five dietary supplements by retail value sales in U.S. dollars have remained remarkably constant; calcium supplements and minerals supplements remained No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Fish oils, glucosamine and probiotic supplements fluctuated in their top five rankings throughout the 2004–2009 time period. Co-enzyme Q10, eye-health supplements, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, protein powder and royal jelly all appeared in the remainder of the top 10 during the same time period. Global sales of vitamins are also unvarying during the 2004–2009 time period.

Multivitamins are the No. 1 type of vitamin sold, with sales usually four times that of the No. 2 vitamin—vitamin B. Vitamin C is in third place, with triple the sales of fourth place vitamin E. In recent years, vitamins A and K have alternated for fifth place, while vitamin D lags in seventh place. However, vitamin D had the highest growth rate in 2009 at 38.7%. Vitamins are flexible, popular products, valued as supplements and ingredients.

International vitamin trends

Consumers throughout the world are still most familiar with vitamins and dietary supplements as pills, and the marketing or positioning of supplements is a critical factor in their success. Local attitudes toward health and beauty drive that marketing or positioning.

France, the exemplar country for fashion and beauty, prefers vitamins and dietary supplements positioned for specific health problems, rather than products marketed as general beauty solutions. Probiotics for the immune system and cranberries for urinary tract problems enjoyed ongoing double-digit current value growth in 2009. The aging French population was also attracted to joint-health products, such as glucosamine and shark cartilage. Consumers rejected products that were simply promoted for beauty. For example, Laboratoire Oenobiol enjoyed impressive growth in its dermo-cosmetic products, while the sales of its brands with a beauty positioning declined.