What you need to know

The ongoing focus on health among consumers and high levels of NPD has helped drive engagement with the vitamins and supplements category, while growth in demographic-specific supplements has helped drive value sales thanks to these products typically having a higher price per unit compared to generic multivitamins. This has supported value sales growth in the category of 6% over 2013-18, with the market estimated to reach £442 million in 2018.

With just 34% of adults taking vitamins and supplements daily, action is needed to improve trust in the health benefits promised in the category. Personalised subscriptions could be explored as a means to foster long-term brand loyalty and nudge occasional VMS users into establishing a daily routine. Meanwhile, that many parents are uncertain about the support vitamins and supplements can give for children’s growth and development highlights scope for boosting uptake of VMS by educating parents about the value of giving these to their children.

Products covered in this Report

This Report covers the following vitamins and supplements sectors:

  • Vitamins – multivitamins and single-dose vitamins (ie Vitamins A, B, C, D, E etc).

  • Minerals – ie iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, selenium.

  • Dietary supplements – includes supplements such as cod liver oil, fish oils, GLAs (gamma-linolenic acids), evening primrose oil, glucosamine and herbs such as garlic, ginseng and ginger.

These products have GSL (General Sales List) status, ie they are available on open sale in all types of outlets including grocers, pharmacies and drugstores.

Unless a medicinal claim is made for the products, vitamins and supplements are not classified as medicines and, therefore, are not subject to the Medicines Act 1968 or the Medicines for Human Use Regulations 1994. They are, however, controlled by the Food Safety Act 1990, and therefore have to be fit for human consumption.


Miscellaneous products claiming to be ‘vitamin-enriched’ or ‘performance-enhancing’ (ie protein shakes designed to help build muscle).

Homeopathic and herbal remedies.

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