Online Exclusives

Confidence in Supplements on the Rise

By Joanna Cosgrove, Online Editor | June 18, 2012

The Vitamin Shoppe’s annual survey finds about 2 out of 3 U.S. adults feel better about their health when they’re taking vitamins or supplements.

The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. recently completed its annual consumer poll to gain insights into their feelings on vitamins and dietary supplements. This year’s survey results yielded interesting results, as 93% of the 1,000 U.S. vitamin consumers polled indicated they felt more confident about their health when taking a vitamin or supplement – a jump from 71% of customers polled last year.
“Vitamins and supplements are becoming more popular,” The Vitamin Shoppe said via press release. “The survey found that 63% of the nation currently takes a vitamin or supplement, up three percent from 2011. Of those who take supplements, multivitamins were once again the most popular choice, with 72% of respondents reporting that they take the supplement on a regular basis.”
The use of single entity vitamins and minerals were also up among vitamin users. Vitamin D consumption ranked highest among consumers at 51%, with vitamin C (49%), calcium (43%), B vitamins (42%), fish oil (40%), iron (27%), and CoQ10 (11%) following in descending order.
Sharon Richter, a New York City-based registered dietician, said the survey data was indicative of how time-crunched consumers used dietary supplements to fill in the gaps of their daily diets. “It's difficult for most people to consume the recommended daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially while juggling work and family," she said. "These findings reaffirm how important many feel it is to maintain a vitamin or supplement regimen to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients needed on a daily basis.”
When asked how many days per week, if any, they took vitamins and/or supplements, 48% of vitamin-takers responded “7 days per week.”        
The Vitamin Shoppe consumers were also polled about the influence of research and studies on their vitamin supplement purchasing habits, with 66% responding that research had some degree of influence, while about 32% said it did not.
Those polled were also given the opportunity to voice their opinions on solution-driven supplement options. “If given a choice, half (50%) of Americans would want a vitamin that could improve their significant other's listening skills,” The Vitamin Shoppe said. “Other areas that both genders agree can use improvement: cleaning (43%), physique (37%) and cooking skills (35%). Fortunately for the guys, ranked last on the women's ‘needs improvement’ list is ‘bedroom’ skills (25%).”
Lifestyle Snapshots
In addition to revealing insights about consumer supplement usage, the survey also got a glimpse into lifestyle choices and family habits.
In terms of activity levels, 81% of the respondents considered themselves to be “active.” Of those, the survey found that nearly six in ten (56%) believed vitamins and supplements were necessary to achieve their health and fitness goals.
Other products they felt were necessary for achieving your fitness/health goals included caffeine (28%), electrolyte-enhanced water or drinks (24%), vitamin-enhanced water (21%), meal replacement bars (18%), energy drinks (15%), or none of those products (21%)
Healthy behavior options observed three or more days a week included having fruits and/or vegetables for a snack (86%), making a homemade balanced dinner (85%), exercising or being active for 30 minutes or more (75%), taking a vitamin and/or supplement (61%), packing a healthy lunch (53%), and meditating (25%).
“Parents are passing on healthy habits to their kids, with 54% giving their children a regular vitamin and/or supplement,” The Vitamin Shoppe reported. “Most days of the week, 64% of parents pack their children a healthy lunch, nine in ten (89%) give their kids fruits and/or vegetables for a snack, and 84% exercise or are active with their children for 30 minutes or more.”
For those with children under 18, the observance of the aforementioned activities was slightly higher in many categories: having fruits and/or vegetables for a snack (89%), making a homemade balanced dinner (87%), exercising or being active for 30 minutes or more (84%), packing a healthy lunch (64%), taking a vitamin and/or supplement (53%), and meditating (14%).
The Vitamin Shoppe’s annual “America's Take on Vitamins” survey was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of The Vitamin Shoppe, who interviewed 1,000 nationally representative American adults, ages 18 and older, between March 14th and March 20th, 2012, using a random-dialing telephone survey.
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