Who Uses Dietary Supplements?

By Jae O. Haroldsen

A big part of making a profit in the supplement industry is marketing your brand to the right crowd. We’ve broken down the 2019 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements to help you determine where your advertising dollars will make the biggest impact.
The good news for your brand is that more than three-quarters of adults in the United States are dietary supplement users.

Hot Supplement Growth Markets in 2019

Cannabidiol (CBD) - is a rising star in the supplement market. Derived from the Hemp plant, CBD is being used to help with insomnia, chronic pain, and mental health issues like anxiety/depression. The 2019 CRN survey tells us CBD is more likely to be used by the younger generation.

In 2019, 19% of supplement users under age 35 used a CBD supplement compared to only 6% of users over the age of 55.

Protein Powders - are used to meet fitness goals to increase lean muscle mass while decreasing body fat. The number of males and females of all age categories using protein powders has significantly increased over the last five years.

The following table shows the percent of supplement users broken into age and gender that used protein powders in 2015 and 2019 and the associated five-year annual growth rate.

Age in Years

 

Age in Years 

 

 

Year 

18-34  

35-54  

55+ 

Male 

Female 

2015 

21% 

15% 

7% 

15% 

13% 

2019 

39% 

28% 

17% 

30% 

24% 

Growth rate 

13.2% 

13.3% 

19.4% 

14.9% 

13.0% 


Turmeric – is used to naturally reduce inflammation without the side-effects of synthetic Nonsteroid Anti-inflammatories (NSaids).

Turmeric use has grown from 5% of supplement users in 2015 to 16% in 2019 giving it a growth rate of 26.2% over five-years.

Green Tea – is rich in polyphenols, helping to reduce inflammation. It is also a natural antioxidant that helps prevent damage on the cellular level.

Green tea use has grown from 12% of supplement users in 2015 to 19% in 2019 giving it a growth rate of 9.6% over five-years.

Breaking Down Supplement Users Data by Gender and Age

You can further focus your brand’s marketing by looking at the break down of supplement users by gender and age. Understanding what each gender and age group is taking and why they are taking it will enhance your brand’s capability to thrive in the growing market.

Males

For their healthcare, males are more likely to take a general approach when selecting their dietary supplements products. Listed in descending order, the top supplements taken by males include:

  • Multivitamin
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B/B Complex
  • Omega-3 fatty acids 

Females

Females are more likely to research and understand specific supplements to benefit their individual needs. Listed in descending order, the top supplements taken by females include:

  • Multivitamin
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B/B Complex
  • Magnesium
  • Probiotics 

Supplement Users by Age Groups

All age groups report their first reason for using dietary supplements is to provide them overall good health and to reduce healthcare costs. However, there are many different additional reasons why each age group reports using supplements.

Adults Over 55-Years-Old

The over 55-years-old crowd is looking to fill nutrition gaps, maintain strong bones, improve heart health and reduce cardiovascular disease, and enjoy healthy aging including good joint health. Listed in descending order, the top supplements taken by the over 55-years-old adults include:

  • Multivitamin
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B/B Complex
  • Magnesium

Adults 35-55-Years-Old

Those 35-55-years-old report taking supplements to improve energy, fill in nutrition gaps, support immune health, improve hair, skin, and nails, and promote digestive health. Listed in descending order, the top supplements taken by 35-55 years-old include:

  • Multivitamin
  • Vitamin D
  • Protein
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B/B Complex
  • Calcium

Adults 18-34-Years-Old

Unlike older adults who prefer to take pills, adults 18-34-years old are more likely to want their supplements in a gummy, powder, liquid, or soft chew form. Those 18-34 years old who take supplements report taking supplements to improve energy, improve hair, skin, and nails, promote immune health, fill in nutrition gaps, and manage weight. Listed in descending order, the top supplements taken by 18-34 years old include:

  • Multivitamin
  • Protein
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Energy Drinks
  • Vitamin B/B Complex

Detailed information on various dietary supplements and their uses can be found at the National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. They have compiled dietary supplement fact sheets from various federal government sources for the consumers’ benefit. These fact sheets cover information for numerous types of supplements including herbs and botanicals, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and more.

The dietary supplement market is exploding. Get into this profitable market by developing and marketing your brand today.

Sources:

2019 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements www.crnusa.org/2019survey

Carlos Valverde 7 October 2020