Rockville, MD—While many Americans have been cutting back their spending during the recession, nutritional supplements are one area that has not been affected. In fact, according to the report released by Packaged Facts, Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., supplement sales increased 7% to $11.5 billion in 2012, and are projected to reach $15.5 billion by 2017.

But, why is there an increase in supplement sales? With money short, many Americans view nutritional supplements as an economical alternative to doctor visits and prescription medications. However, with the economy back on the rise, supplement companies will have to work hard to keep their products as essential items in the consumers' health routines. If they choose to market trendy ingredients, they must be heavily backed by science, for instance.

Scientific evidence is increasingly important as healthcare professionals are recommending condition-specific supplements. Popularity is rising for items focusing on age-related issues such as joint, brain, heart health and beauty. Conversely, children’s supplements have also been prevalent in the industry.

The report also recommends that supplement marketers focus on prime demographics, such as the 65+ age group and growing Baby Boomer population. Other populations of interest include younger aged groups, because while their usage rates have declined, they are still the future of nutritional supplements.  Another area of growth could be the growing Hispanic population. While supplements use in this group is at less than other groups on average, their usage is gradually increasing. 

Overall, it cannot be stressed enough that the science behind the ingredients is what is going to be key in keeping supplements in the eyes of the consumers in our expanding economy.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2012 (online 9/24/12)