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Data reveal trends and habits, reaffirm industry trust of American consumers and dietary supplement use

In the ldquoFuture of Supplementsrdquo session at Natural Products Expo West two weeks ago in Anaheim the panelists talked about sales teetering public trust and how money moves through the industry There was more discussion than outright prediction with so many signs and trends unclearBut one piece of the ldquofuturerdquo seemed completely solid despite being far from realizedThe Council for Responsible Nutritionrsquos supplement product registry merely an idea five months earlier
Dietary supplement use remains strong among consumers as their needs evolve.

The number of US adults using dietary supplements has increased 10 percent over the past decade, according to new data from the 2018 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. The survey found that 75 percent of adults take dietary supplements, as opposed to 65 percent in 2009.

Emerging trends in consumer behavior and product demand were revealed, with consumer confidence in products and trust in the industry remaining strong. Eighty-seven percent of adults have overall confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements, consistent with last year’s data and up from 84 percent in 2009. The survey also found that 78 percent of Americans perceive the dietary supplement industry as being trustworthy. 

“This year’s data provides further evidence that dietary supplements are mainstays in modern day health and wellness regimens,” said Brian Wommack, senior vice president, communications, CRN. “Three-quarters of Americans take dietary supplements, and the steady increase in use observed over recent years speaks to society’s shift toward a more holistic, personalized approach to health care.”

As seen throughout the survey’s history, the 2018 results also show that dietary supplement users are more likely to engage in healthy habits than non-users.


Supplement use is diversifying across categories. Vitamin/mineral supplements remain the most popular category among supplement users (98 percent), the overall use of herbals/botanicals has significantly increased in the past five years. In 2018, 41 percent of supplement users reported they had taken herbals/botanicals in the past twelve months—up 13 percentage points from 2013. Within that category, the new data reflect the emergence of turmeric, which wasn't on the survey five years ago, and is now the second most popular supplement in the herbal/botanical category.

According to the 2018 survey, 78 percent of US adults aged 55-plus take dietary supplements, followed by those aged 35–54 (77 percent) and 18–34 (69 percent). Among those age groups, data revealed the following trends:

  • US adult supplement users aged 18–34:
    Eighty-three percent of supplement users take a multivitamin, up 8 percentage points from last year. Additionally, 20 percent take fiber supplements—up 2 percentage points from 2017. When it comes to reasons for taking dietary supplements, 37 percent of 18–34 year olds cite energy, versus 33 percent of adults aged 35–54 and just 16 percent of adults aged 55-plus.
  • US adult supplement users aged 35–54:
    Seventy-seven percent of adults take dietary supplements, up 11 percentage points from five years ago. Forty-two percent take herbals/botanical supplements, up from 37 percent in 2017. Additionally, 31 percent of supplement users in this age group cite immune health as the top reason for taking dietary supplements, compared to 25 percent of U.S. adults aged 18–34 and 21 percent of U.S. adults aged 55-plus.
  • US adult supplement users aged 55-plus:
    Forty-six percent of supplement users take vitamin D, versus 34 percent of supplement users aged 35–54 and 31 percent of supplement users aged 18–34. Survey data show that 24 percent of these supplement users take magnesium, compared to 17 percent last year. Additionally, healthy aging (28 percent), heart health (29 percent), and bone health (31 percent) are among the top reasons Americans in this age group take dietary supplements.

The survey was commissioned by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

TAGS: General
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