The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) released results from its annual Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements on Thursday. Numbers held steady compared to last year's results, with 68 percent of 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed reporting that they take dietary supplements. Consumer confidence waned slightly, dropping from 85 percent in 2013 to 83 percent this year, but the dip is surprisingly small given the hits that omega-3s and multivitamins have taken in mainstream media.
Since CRN began tracking consumer supplement usage 15 years ago, results have tended to be more remarkable for their consistency than their fluctuation.
"If you look back 10 years ago to 2005, usage was 64 percent," said Judy Blatman, vice president of communications at CRN. "Since then it has fluctuated between 64 and 69 percent. But if you consider that the adult population is growing, it's impressive that we've stayed consistent at that two-thirds mark."
One change of note is that the gap between female and male supplement users is closing. In 2012, 74 percent of women took supplements, compared to 62 percent of men. In 2014, 71 percent of women took supplements, compared to 65 percent of men. A possible explanation, Blatman said, is the steady decline of calcium supplement sales as women continue to exit that category.
CRN will present more of its proprietary survey results at this year's CRN Conference, scheduled for Nov. 5-9 at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif. The organization will also release more results from the survey via infographic in coming weeks.