Consumer Confidence in Dietary Supplements Rises in 2009

Consumer confidence in dietary supplements reached a high point in 2009*, with 84 percent of American adults indicating that they are confident in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements compared to 81 percent last year, according to a new survey conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). In the last several years, confidence levels in dietary supplements have been on a gradual rise, with 80 percent of American adults indicating a favorable level of confidence in dietary supplements in 2007, and 79 percent of American adults responding similarly in 2006.

According to the results from the 2009 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, confidence in dietary supplements isn’t the only thing on the rise—the on-line survey also showed a slightly higher percentage of adults who label themselves as supplement users, with 65 percent classifying themselves as such. In 2008, 64 percent of American adults identified themselves as supplement users. These numbers are also consistent with previous years’ findings, as 68 percent and 66 percent of Americans identified themselves as supplement users in 2007 and 2006, respectively.

“We believe that responsible companies within the industry can take some of the credit for the continued rise in consumer confidence in dietary supplements. They have embraced new regulatory requirements such as adverse event reporting and new Good Manufacturing Practices specific to dietary supplements,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN. “We also hope that the self-regulatory programs that the industry is taking part in, such as CRN’s initiative with the National Advertising Division, have helped boost confidence. Despite a few industry outliers who create much of the negative publicity about the industry, consumers trust these products as safe and beneficial.”

Mr. Mister further noted that consumers can also feel more confident given that in its first year of existence, the serious adverse event reporting system for dietary supplements demonstrated a strong safety profile when viewed within the context of similar reporting systems for other regulated industries. In addition, he said, “Good Manufacturing Practices will soon be in effect for all dietary supplement companies, and that should continue to help consumers feel confident in dietary supplement products.”

Also up slightly this year is the percentage of consumers who regularly take a multivitamin; with 78 percent reporting they do so compared to 75 percent of supplement users who reported taking a multivitamin regularly in 2008.

“As hard as they may try, many consumers recognize that daily stress and lack of time prohibit them from eating as well as they know they should; they realize they can’t meet all of their nutritional requirements through diet alone,” said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN. “Though certainly not a substitute for a healthy diet, taking a daily multivitamin provides that extra insurance policy to fill those gaps where our diets may be lacking. We’re encouraged that consumers continue to look to the multivitamin to help round out their nutritional habits.”

The 2009 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements was conducted August 26 through September 1, 2009 by Ipsos Public Affairs and funded by CRN. The survey was conducted on-line and included a national sample of 2,043 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. on-line panel. The survey has been conducted annually since 2000. Weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.


Ipsos Public Affairs is part of Ipsos, a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens. Ipsos offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and on-line research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our 70+ manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit

*Since the CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements began asking the confidence question in 2001.

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