Supplement trends: 7 growing categories, ingredients worth watchingSupplement trends: 7 growing categories, ingredients worth watching
Sales of supplements have slowed since the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the country. Find out what categories and ingredients are showing strength now.
October 16, 2023
The vitamins and supplements space has seen its fair share of ups and downs in 2023, but top performers are still driving it to overall growth. Like many areas of health and wellness, vitamins and supplements were affected by inflation concerns, evolving consumer values and changing trends—all of which shifted the category’s landscape.
Strong growth from performance nutrition (34.3%) and protein supplements and meal replacements (14.1%) are among the bright spots leading the double-digit growth, based on data from SPINS, a leading wellness-focused data company.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at Natural Products Expo East’s Supplements Symposium, where I shared some of today’s top supplement trends to watch. Here are some highlights for everyone in the supplement space to watch.
1. Health focus attracts shoppers
Among the top performing supplements are hydration, 49.0%, and performance, 31.9%, which easily outpace the nearest growers, energy support at 6.3% and digestive health at 3.8%. This focus on health suggests shoppers are looking for supplements that address issues they can see clear progress on. Staying active remains a growing priority for consumers throughout life. An increased focus on health span rather than life span will continue to bring in new consumers of all ages and drive forward these types of products for years to come.
2. The fastest-growing functional ingredients
Functional ingredients provide health benefits that address specific health concerns, often as a bonus to a product’s primary purpose. These four functional ingredients are among the fastest growing:
Beet root, with 62.8% sales growth, supports performance and, more recently, has been touted for blood pressure support.
DHA products, 13.5% growth, and other omega-3s support brain and heart health.
Ashwagandha, 6.3% growth, supports stress relief. Other adaptogen herbs might have opportunities to piggyback off the success of ashwagandha. Look for ingredients such as rhodiola to find renewed success in the near future.
Lactase, 7.8% growth, supports digestion. Beyond probiotics, consumers continue to look for additional support for gut health.
3. Minerals, probiotics and homeopathy
While most vitamins and minerals have been trailing sales compared to a year ago, the minerals subcategory grew 5.2%. Within homeopathic medicines, growth came from homeopathic singles, 20.8%, and formulas, 2.6%. With 8.1% growth, fiber products and laxatives led probiotics and digestive aids.
4. Key areas in women’s health
Supplements within the women’s health focus have seen an overall decline of 2.1%, but a few key supplements still serve as growth highlights: digestive health, 27.2%; reproductive, 4.5%; urinary tract, 3.8%; and bone health, 3.2%.
Though menopause-related supplements continue to see a decline in brick and mortar, we’ve seen continued interest in these products online, be that Google search interest or an increase in articles written around the topic. Moreover, DTC menopause supplement brands continue to gain traction, which could mean that we might see sales of menopause supplements turn around in the near future.
5. Performance nutrition subcategory growth
As mentioned above, performance nutrition is experiencing strong year-over-year growth at 34.3%. This category’s growth is driven primarily by hydration and electrolytes at 52.2%; pre-workout at 33.7%; intra- and post-workout, 28.1%; and creatine, 114.4%. Weight management formulas, meanwhile, saw a modest 1.9% decrease. Performance nutrition looks as though it will maintain its crown as the fastest-growing supplements category for a third year straight. Beyond bodybuilders and serious athletes, everyone is looking for boosts to performance in their everyday life. Creatine continues to be reborn as a supplement staple beyond young men looking to get jacked. New marketing efforts on this long-studied ingredient are expanding the market to women and people interested in brain-health support.
6. Hydration and electrolytes extend their reach
Unsurprisingly, hydration and electrolyte products often see their largest share of dollar sales during the hottest parts of the year, with more consumers exercising outdoors and just generally trying to beat the heat. However, hydration and electrolytes have seen growth greater than 50% even during some cooler months. This is because, in recent years hydration has gone from being marketed exclusively to hardcore athletes to being for anyone at anytime. It’s now seen as a product that’s also for the casual athletes, concertgoers, dehydrated travelers and—lest we forget to mention—partiers looking for hangover prevention or cures.
7. Pay attention to GutTok
The power of social media, particularly TikTok, cannot be overstated when we talk about health trends. This year alone, we’ve already seen berberine, known informally as “nature’s Ozempic,” reach from popular TikTok topic to media reports and increased sales. Overall gut health is a popular subject on the influential social media platform. In 2022, related topics (gut health, Gut Tok, irritable bowel syndrome and probiotics) amassed more than 7 billion views. Keep an eye on TikTok as more users—both average users and healthcare experts—continue to share their thoughts and recommendations on gut health.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like