What you need to know

Value sales of vitamins and mineral supplements flatlined in 2014, as reduced NPD (New Product Development) and a shift towards healthier diets impacted consumer interest in the market. Sales of demographically targeted vitamins continued to fare well, however, reflecting the consumer desire for personalisation.

Brands are increasingly tapping into the consumer preference for getting vitamins from their diet rather than from capsule/tablet supplements by exploring vitamin powders, which has resulted in a blurring of the lines between supplements and food/drink. Further alignment with the healthy eating trend could be a boon for the vitamins and supplements market, allowing brands to capitalise on the UK’s changing eating and lifestyle habits.

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, gamma-linolenic acids (GLAs), 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 (please see Mintel’s upcoming Complementary and Alternative Medicine – UK, December 2015 report for more information).

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