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Supplement users healthier, shop more frequently


Shoppers of dietary supplements generally are the healthier customers who are in your stores fairly frequently to purchase their vitamins, minerals or supplements. According to a survey conducted by Field Agent exclusively for Drug Store News, 55% of dietary supplement buyers considered themselves “very healthy.” And they were shopping the dietary supplement aisles at least once every quarter (37.4%), if not every month (34.4%).

As many as 83% of supplement shoppers took supplements to improve their general health as one of their goals. Almost half (45%) sought to boost their immune system, and 38% used supplements as an energy source or to improve mental focus.

Value was the single-biggest influencer in what supplements they purchased — 74% of all shoppers counted price as one of the major criteria into their purchase decision, while 59% were significantly swayed by deals. Following value, the strength or potency of the vitamin (42%) was the most important in making a purchase decision, and 2-in-5 shoppers (41%) shopped by ingredient.

Respondents relied on product labels (52%) more than any other source for information about a supplement of choice. Four-in-10 sought the advice of their healthcare practitioner on which supplements to use, and almost as many — 37% — considered the advice of friends and family when making a purchase decision.

More than three-quarters of supplement shoppers (77%) placed a multivitamin in their shopping basket. The most popular supplements next were fish oil (37%), vitamin D (36%), calcium (32%), probiotics (24%), iron (23%) and fiber (21%). Reinforcing the idea that supplement shoppers are generally more health-oriented, 41% of supplement consumers shopped for fresh food at the time of their trip. Conversely, only 14% placed a less-healthy prepared food item in their market basket while shopping for supplements.

The top four retail destinations for supplement shoppers were Walmart (52%), Target (40%), CVS/pharmacy (33%) and Walgreens (31%). Far fewer shoppers placed their supplement order online at such retailers as Amazon. com (19%).

The survey of 393 respondents was conducted Dec. 11-15 by Field Agent, which provides business information and consumer insights by leveraging traditional methodologies and incorporating new, cutting-edge crowd-sourcing and mobile technologies to deliver real-time information about purchasing behavior and attitudes. To learn more about Field Agent, visit

To view the full report from Field Agent, click here

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