A ConsumerLab.com survey of US supplement users has found great disparity in consumer satisfaction,as more than 6000 respondents named their preferred brands and vendors and demonstrated a preference for online shopping.
Brand satisfaction ranged from 97 per cent to as low as 37 per cent, while merchant satisfaction ranged from 94 per cent to 44 per cent. More than 1,367 brands and 1,578 merchants were referenced in the survey, with 47 brands and 30 merchants receiving at least 100 consumer ratings.
The top-rated supplement brands were:
- Brand in Health Food Stores: Nordic Naturals
- Brand in Mass Market Stores: Nature Made
- Catalogue Brand: Life Extension Foundation
- Direct Distributor (MLM) Brand: Nutrilite
- Healthcare Practitioner Brand: Pure Encapsulations
- Pharmacy Brand: CVS
- Vitamin & Specialty Store Brand: Vitamin World
- Warehouse Brand: Kirkland (Costco)
Top-rated Supplement Merchants:
- Catalogue: Puritan's Pride
- Direct Distributor (MLM): Nutrilite
- Grocery Store: Trader Joe's
- Mass Market: Target
- Online Retailer: iherb.com
- Pharmacy: Walgreens
- Vitamin Store: Vitamin World
- Warehouse Store: Costco
The internet was the most common and fastest growing means to purchase supplements, with 44 per cent of respondents purchasing supplements online in the past year. Other popular retail channels were health food stores (used by 35 per cent in past year), vitamin stores (28 per cent), pharmacies (26 per cent), warehouse clubs (23 per cent), supermarkets (20 per cent), mass merchants (18 per cent), catalogues (17 per cent), independent distributors (17 per cent), and health care practitioners (9 per cent).
The brand survey enquired of consumers' perceptions of product effectiveness, ingredient quality, product availability and value. They were asked to rate merchants on product selection, information, price and customer service.