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Vitamin D noses ahead of multivits in sales league

Vitamin D is the most popular supplement, according to research among 1,000 shoppers carried out by Lumina Intelligence for The Grocer with support from mainstream brand Centrum. More than 40% put it at the top of the list.

A multivitamin is second at 33% followed by vitamin C (31%) and omega-3/fish oil (25%).

However, the research notes that general multivitamin sales are in decline as shoppers opt for VMS tailored for specific health needs and life stages. This includes probiotics (11%) and age or gender-specific multivitamins (15%).

While 58% trust healthcare professionals for advice, 39% turn to specialist retailers, a strong position for independent health stores with well-trained staff. Only 7% trust social media influencers for information.

Why do they buy supplements? Boosting intake of nutrients and minerals comes out top at 55% closely followed by boosting the immune system (53%). Numbers are halved below these with both energy and gut health at 27% and anti-ageing at 19%.

"The pandemic has had an obvious knock-on effect on how we view our wellbeing with consumers tending towards a more proactive approach to their health," says Centrum brand owner Haleon's marketing director Monica Michalopoulou. "After a particularly strong cold and flu season last year, we're seeing increased attention being placed on supporting our immunity."

Immunity support is the top reason for parents buying supplements for their children (44%) followed by healthy bones and teeth (41%).

Another take out from the survey is that consumers want scientific evidence and advice from store staff, tailored to their specific needs. Understandable labels and descriptions are also key.

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