Multivitamins still provide plenty of opportunities via gummies, probiotics

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Multivitamins still provide plenty of opportunities via gummies, probiotics

By Michael Johnsen - 01/06/2017

Overall, sales of multivitamins are relatively flat — 0.2% annual growth toward a $1.8 billion base. But according to the latest consumer survey from the Council for Responsible Nutrition, 3-in-4 adults use a multivitamin. So, have sales of multivitamins plateaued, or are there pockets of opportunity out there?

(Click here to view the full VMS Report.)

The answer, of course, is there are pockets of opportunity out there. In fact, if you look at two of the brands experiencing phenomenal growth, the opportunity comes into sharp focus.

It’s about format.

Church & Dwight’s Vitafusion represents $88.6 million in sales for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 30, on a growth trajectory of 28.5%, according to IRI across total U.S. multi-outlets, and Pharmavite’s Nature Made brand represents another $68.4 million on a growth trajectory of 17.7%. And the common denominator between the two is format — both brands stake their point of differentiation on non-pill adult gummy and fast-dissolvable formats.

“A large growth area for the category has been the emergence of sensory delivery forms, primarily gummies,” Tim Toll, Pharmavite’s chief customer officer, told Drug Store News. “Gummies are experiencing a growth rate of 12% and $51 million in absolute growth dollars. Gummies now represent 33% of total VMS category growth in the latest 26 weeks. This is a trend that we expect to continue as consumers search for a more sensory satisfying experience.”

Nature Made is one of the leading broad-line vitamin brands in the emerging high-growth sensory delivery forms, including gummies and fast-dissolving tablets. The company fields a sensory delivery form in 11 product segments. “Currently, the need states that resonate strongly with consumers for the VMS category are digestive, sleep, memory/cognition, vision and general health,” Toll said. “These five need states combined now represent 76% of the total VMS category retail dollar sales growth.”

Probiotics is another key growth segment, Toll added. “Probiotics alone represents [more than] 28% of the category growth in retail dollars,” he said.

Another dominant brand is Church & Dwight’s Vitafusion line. Church & Dwight acquired Vitafusion in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. “Today, the gummy form of the entire adult VMS category is 10%,” noted Matthew Farrell, Church & Dwight’s CEO. “It was 3% when we bought the business four years ago,” he said. “Adult gummies is where we are putting our focus. It is underdeveloped and will be the source of future growth for us.”

One gummy brand to watch out for is Olly. For the 52 weeks ended Oct. 30, the brand generated only $12.3 million on 197% growth. But the brand still cracked IRI’s top-20 multivitamin list, and is ramping up distribution after being a Target exclusive for a year.

Olly is the brainchild of Method cofounder Eric Ryan, who co-developed the brand specifically for Target in partnership with Doug Stukenborg, former VP of OTC at Target and current industry analyst. Together, the two revamped the VMS space with the Olly line.