5 top takeaways from NFM’s Dietary Supplements 101 webinar

Experts Bill Giebler of NBJ and Scott Dicker of SPINS share their expectations of the 2024 supplement market. Read the highlights.

Dawn Reiss

February 22, 2024

3 Min Read
shopping basket filled with dietary supplements

Organic and natural retailers are always looking to improve their businesses.

Supplement sales can make a difference, especially to a retailer’s bottom line. Navigating the complexities of regulatory requirements, product trends, brands, certifications and best practices for staff and consumer education is complicated, though.

“What I really love about supplements is there’s still so much room for innovation,” says Scott Dicker, marketing insights director at SPINS, a wellness-focused data company in Chicago. 

Dietary Supplements 101, the first in New Hope Network’s new, year-long Retail Education Series, offers a deeper dive into key factors.

In this kick-off event, a panel of retail and supplement experts share what drives success and best practices for the supplements industry. Watch a replay on demand.

Here are five important takeaways.

Dietary supplements a $63 billion industry

U.S. supplement sales growth grew an estimate 4.1% to $63.54 billion industry in 2023. The numbers are still preliminary, says Bill Giebler, content and insights director, Nutrition Business Journal, but current estimates for 2023 are $2 billion higher than pre-COVID projections.

After sales fell 1.9% in 2022, the herbs and botanicals category is seeing 3.2% growth again in 2023. Sports nutrition, which saw a dip in 2020, has experienced growth of 7.1% in 2023 and 9.7% in 2022.

Related:Functional formulations find a place in the nonalcoholic beverage market

Gummies make up 23.4% of the supplement market—more than pills. “The largest single format flying off your shelves are probably gummies,” Giebler says. “If we combined pills, that would be close to 40% of the market.”

Preferred format differs based on generation: Thirty-eight percent of Gen Zers prefers gummies, the highest of any generation. Only 18% of boomers prefer gummies, while 37% of boomers prefer a tablet over a capsule or gummy.

“Gummies are really popular with younger generations,” Giebler says. “And that likely foretells a future for companies.”

Mood and mental health a strong category

“I always say this with a sigh,” Giebler says. “This isn’t really good news for the world, but it’s pretty good news for the industry.”

NBJ recently surveyed 1,000 US consumers who say they struggle with stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, cognitive decline or hormone-related mood imbalances. The survey found that 55% of respondents believe dietary supplements have the ability to relieve their symptoms or concerns.

Blurring supplements and functional beverage

There’s a big format expansion in the mood support category.  As mood support supplements have been peaking, Dicker says, we're seeing a huge rise of calming beverages.

“There’s a big opening for functional beverages that include supplement ingredients, especially in the after work, before bed category,” Dicker says.

Look for disruption in the category as powdered hydration products move into ready-to-drink formats. “This is going to follow the energy drink playbook, where a lot of active nutrition brands went from their usual position as a pre-workout products into a ready-to-drink energy drink. Look for the same playbook to disrupt and impact hydration this year,” he adds.

Diversifying products for women

There’s a growing emphasis on more personalized, specified health. “I think we’re going to see a lot of growth in women’s health,” Giebler says.

In the general health and wellness category, women are most concerned about “beauty from within,” Giebler says, which includes hair, skin and nails, mood, mental health, weight management, brain health and sports performance. “There’s not a huge difference here between women and the general market,” he says.

Look for women-centric products that target menopause, perimenopause and libido boosters that were historically targeted toward men, Dicker says.

About the Author(s)

Dawn Reiss

Dawn Reiss is a Chicago-based journalist who has written for TIME, The New York Times, The Atlantic, AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Civil Eats, Fortune.com, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, among others. Find her at www.dawnreiss.com.

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