Despite a year when the media whacked at the industry like a money-filled piñata, sales of supplements are still up by about 2 percent according to SPINS and Euromonitor International. “The negative media attention directed at the supplements market this year has had minimal, if any, lasting impact on total industry growth so far,” according to a Nutritional Outlook sector overview.
How’s this possible?
“Negative media stories can have fairly meaningful impacts,” Euromonitor’s Schmidt told Nutritional Outlook. “But those tend to be fairly short-lived. Consumers don’t have really strong long-term memory in terms of any sort of press affecting their consumer purchasing. As soon as a negative story comes out, it’s refuted with positive coverage from the industry or a physicians’ group, etc. We don’t see long-term magnitudinal changes from negative coverage, but it can hit an individual category, like the fish oil category” a few years ago, he said.
Trade groups like the American Botanical Council and advocacy organizations like the Council for Responsible Nutrition effectively worked to educate consumers, Jim Emme, CEO of NOW Foods, tells the nutrition news source. “They’ve all been doing a very good job responding to the educational needs of consumers and trying to set the record straight,” he said.