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2024 predictions: Five trends affecting the dietary supplements industry – a mid-year review

Stay on top of your product and category forecasting. Inside the Bottle and the co-founders of Radicle Science review prior industry predictions and take stock mid-2024 of their expectations.

June 18, 2024

5 Min Read

Following a tumultuous 2023 marked by regulatory shifts and supply chain disruptions, there was much anticipation regarding the trends and controversies poised to shape 2024. With the market moving at lightning speed, shifts in market priorities are happening rapidly. As we approach mid-2024, we thought it prudent to revisit these predictions, assess accuracy and adjust our outlook accordingly.

Inside the Bottle’s Fran Schoenwetter checked back in with Pelin Thorogood and Jeff Chen, M.D., co-founders of Radicle Science, and Jaclyn Bowen, executive director of Clean Label Project, working with Radicle Science, to reassess early 2024 predictions and discuss where the industry should consider pivoting priorities.

Prediction #1: The rise of femtech: A new era in women’s health and nutrition

What we anticipated:  FDA's reversal of excluding women from drug trials in 1993 has led to increasing growth in women's health products. For 2024, we expected a surge in dietary supplements tailored to address women's unique needs, including menstrual symptoms and sports nutrition.

Current state: The femtech industry is experiencing rapid growth, especially in technology-driven solutions for women's health issues including fertility, menstrual health, menopause and general wellness. The global femtech market is anticipated to maintain this optimistic trajectory through 2032. A significant trend is the increasing integration of technology to enhance product quality and efficiency (a trend further reinforced in prediction #3). Despite historical underrepresentation, femtech is now addressing unique female needs with more personalized, clinically validated products, reflecting a significant shift towards empowering women's health globally.

Sales for women’s health products are supported by the market data, forecasted to remain on steady growth trajectory, with NBJ reporting a compound annual growth rate hovering around 3% — not the 15.3% leap we saw during the pandemic, but healthy growth across all women’s health subcategories according to the 2023 NBJ Women’s Health Report.

Prediction #2: The Ozempic effect: Demand for off-label use of pharmaceutical products

What we anticipated: The Ozempic weight loss trend prompted shifts in consumer behavior, yet the supplement industry's susceptibility to off-label pharmaceutical use went unnoticed. We predicted that as Ozempic's influence grew, ensuring consumer trust and clinically proving supplement efficacy would become a strategic imperative in 2024.

Current state: Yes, AND the Ozempic craze has also spurred growth of products designed to support those using Ozempic for weight loss. Be it Nestle’s new frozen food line consisting of portion-controlled meals that are high in protein plus fiber or GNC and Vitamin Cottage redesigning displays to appeal to the emerging Ozempic-taking market, there is no shortage of innovation taking place across food and supplements to support these emerging populations. In fact, NBJ analysts note a steady upward trend in meal replacements, which seems to be following the metabolic health activity. We believe this affords consumers healthy options to supplement what they may need nutritionally when on calorie-restrictive regimens.

As for the trend’s trajectory, given the numerous side effects of GLP-1 inhibiting medications — ranging from fatigue, nutrient deficiency, reduced bone density and loss of muscle mass — time will tell whether this is a short-term consumer trend or if Ozempic is here to stay. Either way, the supplement industry can support optimal well-being.

Prediction #3: Advancing health literacy: Next-gen tools to enhance supplement adherence

What we anticipated: Despite 92% of supplement users valuing these products for their anticipated health benefits, poor use adherence affects realized benefits and repeat purchases. We predicted that in 2024, use of mobile apps and gamification for real-time consumption tracking would enhance adherence, improving health literacy and brand profits.

Current state: Next-gen tools are revolutionizing supplement adherence by enabling users to easily record their personal health journeys, improving both consumer health outcomes and brand loyalty. The supplement industry is increasingly turning towards artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze vast datasets, detect differences in customer preferences, and create personalized experiences, which is revolutionizing how supplement companies interact with their customers. By offering real-time, personalized health insights, next-gen tools have the potential to significantly improve health literacy, promote consistent supplement use and transform personalized wellness.

Prediction #4: AI: Adapting to your new co-pilot

What we anticipated: AI is increasingly seen as a game-changing tool in workplaces — we anticipated that embracing AI would be crucial in 2024, as companies using it will thrive while others risk failure.

Current state:  The use of generative AI has nearly doubled since the start of 2024, moving beyond experimentation into business transformation.  According to Microsoft, this shift signifies that AI is becoming an integral part of operations, driving efficiency and innovation across the industry. Add to that Apple’s recent announcement of generative AI for iPhone, with the iPhone making up over 60% of smart phone market share in the U.S. and nearly 22% globally, the future is happening now. Buckle up — this ride is just getting started!

Prediction #5: Expanding FDA oversight: What’s next after the Amazon debacle?

What we anticipated:  In 2023, Amazon faced FDA scrutiny for selling products with undeclared and potentially harmful ingredients, violating federal law. The FDA warned of potential legal action if issues weren't resolved. We anticipated stricter enforcement in 2024, affecting other retailers and offering opportunities for compliant brands. 

Current state: In April 2024, Amazon overhauled its dietary supplement requirements. mandating test results directly from labs or third-party certification bodies. This move aims to protect consumers from harmful products, but the full industry impact and implications for FDA compliance remain uncertain.

New trends on the horizon:  Emerging trends, such as increased demand for evidence-based solutions and the impact of FDA restructuring, highlight evolving areas for industry focus and adaptation. Companies that prioritize innovation, compliance and consumer trust are well-positioned to capitalize on these trends to drive future growth.

The dietary supplement industry's resilience and adaptability in the face of significant challenges highlight the critical importance of embracing change, leveraging technology and prioritizing evolving consumer needs. Continued strong growth in product innovation and industry sales underscore that consumers want to continue to have control over their well-being and maintenance of their health, and this is great news for shaping a healthier future for all.

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