Consumer Panel Insights: Vitamins

Articles
April 20, 2010

Consumer Panel Insights: Vitamins

There are a plethora of nutritious food choices on supermarket shelves, from the produce section to the freezer aisle; shoppers are practically guaranteed 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals, through the consumption of a varied balanced diet.

There are a plethora of nutritious food choices on supermarket shelves, from the produce section to the freezer aisle; shoppers are practically guaranteed 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals, through the consumption of a varied balanced diet.  Nonetheless, Supermarketguru.com was curious about whether or not consumers were still taking vitamins and other nutritional supplements- as topics like vitamin D and C are much more common conversation than they were just a few years back.
 
Seventy six percent of the Supermarketguru.com consumer panel currently takes a vitamin or mineral supplement, 15 percent occasionally or sometimes supplements and 10 percent go without. When asked about a multi vitamin, or single nutrient supplement, 64 percent take a multi vitamin, and 69 percent answered ‘yes’ to taking single nutrient supplements.
 
So why do consumers take supplements? The majority, 36 percent supplement for overall health reasons, while 21 percent feel that taking supplements adds nutrients and helps fortify a well balanced diet. Eighteen percent supplement to control or prevent a specific health condition and 12 percent take supplements to boost a less than optimal (or sometimes unhealthy) diet. Eight percent of those surveyed supplement specifically for bone health.
 
A large majority, 65 percent of the consumer panel feel that their diet, without vitamin and mineral supplements, does not provide 100 percent of the daily recommendation. Twenty percent feel their diet provides their daily dose, and 15 percent just don't know. 
 
There are currently many more choices on the shelves other than the traditional vitamins and minerals, including products like psyllium, fish oils and ginkgo biloba, thought to support and improve various aspects of health. When asked about these types of products, over half of the consumer panel currently uses these products.  
 
Whether it’s the media, touting the benefits of different vitamins and minerals, or great marketing, consumers, as mentioned above, are just not that confident- 65% feel their diet alone does not do the job, and a whopping 84 percent of consumers think that taking vitamins or supplements can improve their overall health and wellness. 
 
Shoppers need to be reminded of the fact that vitamin and mineral supplements may not be the same as whole, fresh foods. A multivitamin for example contains about twenty ingredients, which does not come close to the hundreds of healthful compounds-many of which science is not even aware of- found in plant foods. Supplements can support a healthy balanced diet and may improve health, but alone certainly do not provide a free ride to wellness. 
 
As always, please be reminded to consult a medical professional before making any dietary changes.