Pharmacies the vitamin winners

colourful vitamins

New Roy Morgan data shows that the proportion of Australians buying vitamins, minerals and supplements has gone down since 2014

Amid news that pharmaceuticals such as Blackmores and Swisse can begin labelling some of their products with the “Australian Made” logo, the latest findings from Roy Morgan also show that demand has been increasing overall as a result of population growth.

Of the people who purchase vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in 2018, 65% purchased them from what Roy Morgan describes as “pharmacies and chemists, such as Chemist Warehouse, My Chemist or Priceline”.

Another 27% purchased their vitamins, minerals and supplements from supermarkets.

In December 2014, the number of Australians who purchase vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in an average six months increased from just under 8 million to over 8.3 million in 2018. However, as a proportion of Australia’s growing population, demand has dropped slightly from 41.2% in 2014 to 40.7% in 2018.

Women are still by far the largest purchasers of vitamins, with just under half of all Australian women (49.1%) having purchased vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in an average six months, compared to 32% of men.

The demographic for which vitamins, minerals and supplements are purchased at the highest rate are women aged 35-49 (59%), followed by women aged 50-64 (53%), while men under 25 are the least likely demographic to buy vitamins, minerals and/or supplements at only 16%.

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2018 – December 2018 (n=14,913).
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2018 – December 2018 (n=14,913).

“Despite ongoing medical debate about whether vitamins actually work, a large proportion of Australians are still buying them, with pharmacies and chemists their favourite place of purchase,” says Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.

“Chemists have long been the most popular place to buy vitamins, minerals and supplements, with supermarkets being the next most popular option, offering customers higher convenience but at the cost of a smaller range than that offered by chemists.

“Growth in this market has stagnated in recent years, trailing behind population growth as pharmaceutical companies struggle to find larger demand in the domestic market.

“Whether recent developments surrounding ‘Australian Made’ packaging rights for Australian vitamin manufacturers such as Blackmores and Swisse can improve local sales remains to be seen, however demand does appear to be holding steadily in the vitamin, minerals and supplements industry with women aged 35-49 years old and older a key market.

“In fact the Roy Morgan data shows that women are far more likely than men to buy these product across all age groups.”

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