Who takes the most vitamins?

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The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that 8.7 million Australians (or 44.2% of the population) take vitamins, minerals and supplements.

And Nature’s Own is the most widely consumed brand, the figures show.

With the exception of Berocca, owned by German company Bayer, Australia’s most popular vitamin/mineral/supplement brands are all home-grown. 

Two Brisbane-founded brands lead the way: Nature’s Own, consumed by 13.9% of Aussies (more than 2.7 million people) in an average 12 months; and Blackmores, brand of choice for 10.1% (almost 2 million people). Coming a very close third is Berocca (10.0%), with two other local brands—Swisse (9.5%) and Cenovis (4.7%)—completing the Top Five.

The Australian market for these products is very crowded, says Roy Morgan. So it is no surprise to learn that almost 4 million Australians (19.6%) took other brands of vitamins, minerals and supplements in the last 12 months.

Just over half (50.4%) of all Australian women take vitamins, compared with 37.8% of men. But while women outnumber men for consumption of Nature’s Own, Blackmores, Swisse, Cenovis and other brands, the gender skew is reversed for Berocca.

Nature’s Own owes its popularity primarily to Australians aged 50+, 15.3% of whom take its products, as well as 35-49 year-olds (14.6%).

It’s also the brand most widely consumed by teenagers aged 14-17 (7.8%), although it should be noted that this group is much less likely than Aussies 18+ to take any vitamins, minerals or supplements at all. Among 18-24 and 25-34 year olds, Berocca is top, taken by 13.9% and 15.5% respectively.


Who’s more (and less) likely to take vitamins?

Age and gender are just two of the factors influencing a person’s propensity to take vitamins. People with a vitamin deficiency are dramatically more likely than the population average to take vitamins:  75.4% of them report doing so.

People who watch what they eat—whether by avoiding genetically modified food, buying organic and/or additive-free food, avoiding dairy wherever possible or following a totally or near-vegetarian diet—are also more likely to take vitamins, minerals and/or supplements than the average Aussie, as are expecting mums and mothers of young children.

With most Australians falling well short of the recommended serves of fruit and vegetables in their day-to-day diet, one might expect that many people take vitamins, minerals and supplements to make up for the nutrients they’re missing. But Roy Morgan data shows that the opposite is true: it’s precisely those people who do get their ‘two and five’ who are more likely to take vitamins.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says: “The popularity of Australian vitamins in China has been well documented recently (retired Chinese tennis star Li Na even acts as a Blackmores Ambassador), but the Chinese are not their only fans: nearly 50% of Aussies take vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in an average 12 months, and home-grown brands account for four out of the top five most widely consumed brands.

“It makes sense that many people take these products to address a particular need, such as an actual vitamin deficiency or expecting mothers who want to ensure their unborn baby is getting all the nutrients it needs.

“But Roy Morgan data shows that others appear to take them as part of an already healthy lifestyle and nutritious diet.

“These people already eat well, avoiding food additives and opting for organic wherever possible, while some even manage their recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of veges per day! It seems ironic that they over-index for vitamin consumption when Aussies whose diets are probably lacking in goodness, such as those who eat minimal fruit and/or veg, are below average!

“With insights such as these (and so many more), Roy Morgan’s deep consumer data can assist vitamin brands to identify exactly which segments of the population would be most receptive to their products and then to tailor their marketing strategies accordingly. Why take the risk of getting lost amid such a crowded (and lucrative) market?”

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