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The Analyst’s Take: Multivitamins came back in 2020 as vitamin sales reached new high

Claire Morton Reynolds
Before COVID-19 made it to American shores, multivitamins were falling from favor with U.S. consumers. That changed in 2020, when the pandemic forced everyone to prioritize their health.

The overall vitamin category was considered sleepy before the pandemic, with growth slowing to 3.8% in 2019, the lowest growth rate in five years. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic with its immunity and general health demands, spiking 2020's growth to a more-than-impressive 22.3%.

This growth rate is particularly remarkable for the largest single category in the industry, with over 30% of total sales. By comparison, the 5.5% gain in 2021 looks paltry, but the market is more than $4 billion larger than it was in 2019.


Prior to COVID, the storyline of growth in the overall vitamin category had shifted from multivitamins to more specific letter vitamins, but the category is making a comeback. Multivitamins had an estimated 45.1% of market share within vitamins in 2017, and that’s expected to increase to 46.9% by 2025. More than half of added dollars in vitamins during that time frame is projected to come from multis.

While the vitamin category is making a comeback, it’s interesting to keep an eye on the bigger picture. Herbs and botanicals have been considered a bright spot in the supplement industry, recording the highest growth rate each year since 2014, with the exception of vitamins' record growth in 2020. This trajectory is expected to capture market share directly from vitamins through the forecasted period, leading to a notably different market makeup by 2025.

NBJ Supplement Business Report 2022For an in-depth dive into the supplements industry, check out the newly published Nutrition Business Journal Supplement Business Report 2022.

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