Pharmacies the top shop for vitamins and minerals: Roy Morgan

vitamins and minerals spill from bottles and packets

The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that demand is skyrocketing for vitamins and minerals in Australia – and more and more, they’re being bought from a pharmacy.

In the 12 months to June 2015, 8.1 million Australians aged 14-plus (or 42% of the population) bought vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in any given six-month period — a substantial increase on the 6.6 million consumers (36%) who bought them in the year to June 2011.

Vitamins are especially popular with women, nearly half of whom (49%) buy them in an average six months, compared with 34% of men. Women aged 35-49 (55%) and 50-64 (53%) are the most likely to purchase these products, while men aged under 25 (14%) are far and away the least likely.

As the number of Australians purchasing vitamins, minerals and supplements has grown, some striking trends have emerged in terms of where they are buying them.

Most notable has been the increasing tendency to purchase these products from a pharmacy, rising from 44% of all vitamin-buyers in 2011 to 54% as of June 2015.

In contrast, the proportion of vitamin buyers who make their purchase at a supermarket has fallen from 33% to 28% over the same period, a decline primarily due to fewer people purchasing these products at Woolworths/Safeway.

Health food stores (9%, down from 14%) and discount stores (2%, down from 3%) are also falling from favour among Aussie vitamin buyers.

“Despite ongoing medical debate about whether vitamins actually work, an increasing number of Australians are buying them, with chemists their favourite place of purchase,” Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says.

“Chemists have long been the most popular place to buy vitamins, minerals and supplements, and this popularity is picking up even more as the market grows.

“Although there is no denying the convenience of picking up one’s vitamins at the supermarket with the rest of the groceries, the proportion of consumers doing this has declined in recent years. Of course, supermarkets tend to stock a less diverse range of vitamins, minerals and supplements than chemists, so cannot always cater to consumers with specific needs.

“Our data shows that women are far more likely than men to buy these products, particularly women aged between 35 and 64,” he says.

“However brands wishing to woo this—or any other— demographic need to know more about them than just their age and gender.

“Factors such as attitudes to health and diet, family circumstances and socio-economic status, exercise participation and education all contribute to a consumer’s vitamin-purchasing decisions, and any brand that tailors its marketing campaigns accordingly will be better placed for success.”

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