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Sunshine Vitamin named UK bestseller

Vitamin D has been crowned Britain’s favourite single vitamin supplement, overtaking vitamin C, following research by Mintel.

Sales rose a glowing seven percentage points in 2018, bought by 33% of VMS users, up from 26% in 2017.

While usage has ticked upwards for all age groups, people aged 35-54 were the main drivers, with usage rising from 22% in 2017 to 35% in 2018 among this group.

The UK’s top five single vitamin supplements are Vitamin D (33%), Vitamin C (27%), Vitamin B complex (15%), Vitamin A (12%) and Vitamin E (10%). Meanwhile, well over half (56%) of VMS users take multivitamins.

Over the past year, six in ten (59%) Brits have taken VMS products. Around one in three (34%) take VMS daily, with women (38%) considerably more likely than men (29%) to do so. Only a quarter (26%) of all Brits have never taken VMS.

Overall in supplementation, cod liver oil/fish oil remains the nation’s number one supplement, taken by 37% of VMS users in 2018. Britain’s most popular mineral supplements include calcium (29%), iron (28%), magnesium (16%) and zinc (16%).

“The ongoing focus on health, both among consumers and in the public debate, is seeing people take a more proactive approach towards their wellbeing,” says Anita Winther, Research Analyst at Mintel (pictured).

“The interest in health is expected to be a major driver for vitamin, minerals and supplements sales, while the ageing population should continue to drive growth in the over-50s segment. Vitamin D has proved to be a star performer in the sector, with its health benefits during the winter months continuing to be a popular topic.”

Calcium and iron supplements have also risen. Calcium usage is up from 20% in 2017 to 29% in 2018, and iron up from 22% to 28%. The biggest increase for calcium was seen among 25-34-year-olds (up from 25% to 39%), while for iron, it is 35-44-year-olds who have increased their intake the most (up from 22% to 36%).

A vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyle is likely to be affecting what people look for in their vitamins and supplements. More than one in ten (11%) people who use and buy VMS products see a vegetarian/vegan claim as an important factor when choosing a supplement.

Meat reduction diets are thought to be boosting iron supplementation while the rise in usage of calcium may be linked to the growing focus on plant-based foods.

Mintel market reports can be accessed here.

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