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NBJ
Claire Morton

The Analyst’s Take: Supplement sales growth expected to spike above 12% this year

Increased usage of supplements as a result of COVID-19 is leading to the highest growth year for supplements since 1997, ringing in at 12.1%. This is the latest installment in our data discussion from Nutrition Business Journal’s senior analyst.

With health concerns at the highest level in years, it is likely no surprise that supplement sales remain a bright spot in 2020. The supplement industry has been cruising along successfully for a few years, with growth of 5.7% in 2019, fairly consistent over recent years. Given the current climate, though, Nutrition Business Journal projects that supplement sales growth will spike to the highest level in over 20 years, reaching over 12% and far surpassing $50 billion.

NBJ’s 2020 Supplement Business Report not only explores the category and channel dynamics of 2019, but digs deeply into the effects of COVID-19 on this year and beyond. The unique nature of this pandemic and all related events have created a lift across many categories, but there are certainly some clear winners from a growth perspective.

 

On a category level, concerns about immunity and overall wellness are driving growth in some legacy categories that had slowed in recent years. Multivitamins, the largest overall category tracked by NBJ, is projected to bring in sales of $7.5 billion in 2020, with growth spiking to 17.1% over just 3.7% in 2019. Another category with slowing growth and maturity projected to benefit in 2020 is prebiotics and probiotics. The category growth had been slowing since 2015, with growth dropping to 3.8% in 2019. However, increased marketing and formulation around immunity has helped create opportunity for a resurgence in growth, projected to reach 9.3% in 2020. Melatonin is yet another category to keep an eye on this year. Between increased demand for sleep support and scientific studies linking the nutrient to COVID-19 recovery, growth is forecasted at nearly 20%.

On a channel level, the pandemic is likely to create permanent shifts in consumer buying behavior. E-commerce has been the fastest growing channel in the supplement industry for years, but the growth in 2020 and beyond is particularly notable, maybe even explosive. NBJ projects that online sales will grow 61.4%, compared to 7.1% growth in brick-and-mortar this year. With the channel capturing consumers for the long term, e-commerce sales of supplements have the potential to grow from 10% of the market in 2019 to 20% by 2023.

The events of 2020 will no doubt have impacts on every category and channel in the supplements industry for years to come, some expected and some unexpected.

The 2020 Supplement Business Report explores the impacts to the entire industry in great detail, providing more insight on the expected and enlightening on the unexpected.

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