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Monitor: Vitamins C and D show different sales routes now

Vitamin C’s strong association with immunity likely limits post-pandemic sales, while vitamin D’s perceived versatility strengthens the market.

Rick Polito, Editor-in-chief, Nutrition Business Journal

June 30, 2023

2 Min Read

Vitamin C and immunity are practically synonymous in the minds of many consumers, something that was proven by skyrocketing sales in 2020 sales at the height of the pandemic, but the strength of that association now looks like a market weakness in new data from the Nutrition Business Journal’s 2023 Supplement Business Report.

Scurvy may afflict an astonishingly high number of Americans (7%, by some accounts), but other than avoiding that seeming anachronism and warding off the common cold, many consumers would be hard pressed to say what specific benefits vitamin C offer. That few-tricks-pony perception may be costing vitamin C at the cash register, according to the sales data. In NBJ preditions, the vitamin C market in 2025 will be 29% smaller than it was in 2020, when sales shot up 58.1%.

Nutrition Business Journal Supplement Business Vitamin C sales and growth

Another letter vitamin, however, is holding onto more of its pandemic gains.

That vitamin D is gaining traction an immunity ingredient was also made clear during the pandemic, but D has many additional accepted benefits, from mood to bone health to weight loss and testosterone support. It’s an easy assumption that those benefits are leading to better sales. To be clear, vitamin D sales are also dropping post pandemic but the decline came later and is not as steep as was seen for C. A rebound is also forecast for D, but not for C. In 2019, the vitamin C market was substantially bigger than the market for vitamin D.  In 2025, NBJ predicts vitamin D will pass vitamin C in market size. The vitamin D market will also be 12.7% larger than it was in 2020.

Nutrition Business Journal Supplement Business Vitamin D sales and growth

That vitamin D sales will be higher than vitamin C is likely inevitable, but that doesn’t mean stores and brands should not be leaning into education for vitamin C and its benefits. The benefits don’t end with immunity and scurvy. Skin health and eye health have also been linked to proper vitamin C intake. 

Nutrition Business Journal Supplement Business Report 2023

Learn more about the 2023 Nutrition Business Journal Supplement Business Report at the NBJ store.


About the Author(s)

Rick Polito

Editor-in-chief, Nutrition Business Journal

As Nutrition Business Journal's editor-in-chief, Rick Polito writes about the trends, deals and developments in the natural nutrition industry, looking for the little companies coming up and the big money coming in. An award-winning journalist, Polito knows that facts and figures never give the complete context and that the story of this industry has always been about people.

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