Survey result a boost for multivitamins

Patient confidence in multivitamins grows, as Australia’s most highly rated brand is revealed

Australian consumers are becoming noire convinced about the perceived benefits of multivitamins, despite increasing expert criticism of these products.

The latest Canstar Blue survey shows that 71% of 1693 adult consumers are convinced multivitamins live up to their claims of health benefit. This is up from 64% who answered this way in January 2015.

More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents said they feel better when they regularly take multivitamins.

The Berocca range, from Bayer, was the most highly rated multivitamin brand, getting five stars for overall satisfaction as well as taking out four of the five individual categories: ease of consumption, effectiveness, taste and availability.

The other category – value for money – was headed by Cenovis.

Cenovis, Blackmores, Centrum, Nature’s Way and Swisse scored four stars for overall satisfaction, while Nature’s Own recorded three stars.

When asked why they take multivitamins, 43% of respondents said it was because of the perceived health benefits and 23% to boost their energy.

Another 13% said they were recommended to do so by a health professional.

However 5% of users said they are not sure why they take them.

“These type of supplements divide medical and consumer opinion, and manufacturers face a challenge to convince people about their merits,” said Megan Doyle from research agency Canstar Blue.

“So it’s fascinating to find that the majority of consumers who take them believe they offer some benefit.”

“That being said, 29% is still a significant number of consumers buying and taking multivitamins when they’re not convinced about their claims. If they are not convinced about their benefits, why are they taking them?”

See the full list of results here.

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  1. Ian J Carr

    This is exactly the sort of story fed to the AJP by marketers which put a positive spin on products which have little or no basis in evidence. It puts the reputation of the AJP as a serious journal in doubt.
    Let’s investigate the “survey”.
    Most people who pay for mulivitamins think they work. Mmmmm. What a revelation!
    Similarly, most people who buy homeopathic medicines believe that homeopathy works.
    The same could be said of Reiki clients and devotees of faith healing.

    The fact that MORE people have fallen victim to the supplement marketers could be the fact that their advertising campaigns have multiplied many-fold, engendering irrational fear and paying small fortunes to have “brand ambassadors” such as the lifelong smoker Nicole Kidman tell us how to glow with health.

    I am dismayed that Australian pharmacy has given unquestioning support to this snake oil industry, at the same time as science is revealing the almost complete invisibility of this particular Emperor’s wardrobe.

    May I recommend a recent book by Brian Rigby, “The Multivitamin Lie”, an exhaustive study of the history of vitamin research, in which he skewers many popular misconceptions. I downloaded my copy to Kindle from Amazon. It is not yet published in hard copy.
    Mr Rigby also discusses these issues on

    • Nathan Cooper

      Have you stopped selling multi-vitamins too Ian?

      • Ian Carr

        I stock a very few multivitamins. I have yet to find a client requesting a multivitamin who, I find upon questioning, has any likelihood of benefitting from one. Not that there’s much evidence of benefit to be found anywhere. Multivitamins are marketed at the worried well. I prefer to counsel my patients instead of reinforcing the erroneous view that there’s a pill for every problem. The myth that our modern lives don’t allow us to get sufficient nutrition is bullshit. Even if true, the multivitamin would not be the answer. What sort of a message are we sending our kids with Vita Gummies???

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