“The vitamins, minerals and supplements market will continue to grow despite the economic downturn, due to strong associations in supporting specific areas of wellness, particularly ones trending in the time of COVID-19. While multivitamins continue to show highest usage, consumer demand for more targeted benefits beyond overall wellness continues to influence trends in both ingredients and formats. The current surge in sales of immunity products is further evidence that many consumers rely on the VMS category for security and wellbeing in uncertain times.” – Karen Formanski, Health and Nutrition Analyst

Mintel’s analysis, Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements Trends: Incl Impact of COVID-19 – US – September 2020, uncovered a few takeaways that could play a role in changing shopper sentiment through 2021. As consumer interest in supporting a healthy immune system steadily increases, shoppers are becoming more likely to follow trending products. Also of note, while current VMS consumers have trust in the ingredient claims of the products they purchase, non-users are seen as a barrier to growth due to their lack of trust in VMS ingredients.

Consumer Focus on Immune Health  – According to Mintel, we can expect a surge in sales of immunity focused supplements through 2021. After the initial wave, immunity focused supplements will adjust to pre-pandemic behaviors. “More than one third of adults state they are more concerned about their immune system health now than they were prior to the pandemic, supporting an already growing VMS market through a surge in sales for immune support products. Brands that do not offer products with some degree of immune support are missing out on opportunities to jumpstart engagement,” reports Mintel.

Total US sales and forecast of vitamins, minerals and supplements, at current prices, 2015-25

Heavy VMS Shoppers Follow Trends – Mintel noted that brands should be warry of the increased consumption of various VMS items by consumers. As consumers spend more to follow trends, they will become increasingly price-conscious and could tend to purchase lower cost items that aren’t necessarily brand loyal. “The more VMS products taken, the more likely people are to shop around for lower priced options,” reports Mintel. The analysis went on to suggest ways in which brands can offer incentives and retain brand loyalty among shoppers looking to save. “VMS consumers who use three or more product types are significantly more likely to say they like to stay on top of trending VMS products. Brands should use incentives to encourage product bundling and to introduce users to new and trending products/ingredients.”

Trust is the Key To Growth – According to Mintel, “71% of consumers say they trust that VMS products actually contain their listed ingredients, but this number drops drastically down to 40% among nonusers. In order to expand their consumer base to doubtful adults, brands must offer proof of efficacy, whether via positive product reviews or money back guarantees.” Demonstrating product efficacy to non-users could be one of the biggest hurdles for growth through 2021.  VMS brands should find opportunities to talk about the importance of a healthy immune system as a way for consumers to feel more comfortable moving about their daily lives. By finding these connections with non-users, brands have an avenue for improving trust with new consumers.