July 20, 2023
The impacts of inflation and still-shifting consumer behaviors following the pandemic brought some major changes to channel dynamics in 2022 and into this year, according to NBJ’s most recent Supplement Business Report.
E-commerce sales of supplements spiked to an astonishing 87.3% in 2020 during the height of the COVID pandemic, and slowed understandably, but to a still impressive 30% in 2021. This momentum had analysts across the industry projecting a long-term shift in consumer behavior, with normalizing but continued strong growth in the channel. That behavior shifted considerably in 2022, with growth slowing to a surprising 5.7% from the double-digits previously projected.
Given the rising costs due to inflation, consumers are understandably seeking out less expensive options across categories, supplements included. NBJ research shows that consumers are more interested in trading down within supplements, rather than trading out—shifting to store and value brands over halting use. When asked how they cut back spending on dietary supplements 59% of consumers responded they are likely to buy more store brand supplements, and 60% report they switch to lower priced products.
How does that translate into the shifting channel dynamics? NBJ saw sales growth in the mass market channel among the highest in 2022, increasing over previous estimates to 5.7% last year, bringing in over $850 million to the market, which added $1.1 billion across all channels. These numbers indicate consumers are both returning to pre-pandemic shopping patterns in brick and mortar—and opting for more cost-effective products through this channel. With this growth trajectory, mass market is projected to be the single largest channel for supplements by next year, with an expected 26.2% market share.
After years of disruption brought about by the pandemic, some brands may be encouraged to see a brick-and-mortar channel revealing such strength. As the Supplement Business Report details, however, there's no promise of “back to normal” on the horizon.
Get full insights on the supplement market in the Supplement Business Report.
Don't miss the Natural Products Expo East Supplements Symposium on Sept. 21, where retailers, category buyers and dietary supplement companies will learn sales data, industry trends and more. The event is included with an Exhibit Hall Badge. Visit ExpoEast.com for more information.
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