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Regulations, aging population boost category sales

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Martha Stewart, who is launching her own line of supplements at NACDS Total Store Expo, couched the aging of America as a "silver tsunami" that will have older Americans streaming toward all things health and wellness.

In addition to a swell of seniors, the overall tone in the media has turned more positive when it comes to supplements — and with good reason. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the industry at large have worked toward better regulating and vetting the supplement space.

"The industry is continuing to grow," Steve Mister, CRN's president and CEO, told DSN. "Even through the recession of 2008-2009, we were seeing [upward of] 8% growth. We're seeing a lot of interest from outside the industry, whether it's equity capital coming into existing companies, or whether it's other companies buying into the industry." The public companies that entered the category through acquisition in the past year include Church & Dwight (L'il Critters/ VitaFusion), Procter & Gamble (New Chapter) and Reckitt Benckiser (Schiff/Airborne).

"First of all, ... 57% of adults use nutritional supplements, and it's going to just stay very strong going forward — very steady growth between 5% and 10%," said James Craigie, C&D's chairman, CEO and interim president. The opportunity, he said, is in gummies — 58% of kids' vitamins are gummies, but gummies comprise only 3% of adult SKUs.

That's changing, however, as both Pfizer Consumer and Bayer Healthcare have entered with Centrum and One-A-Day launches, respectively. Bayer's One-A-Day VitaCraves has been one of the fastest-growing vitamins this year.

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