In a new animated version of the Health of the Nation Survey 2021: Lockdown Focus, the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) highlights key data relating to how lockdown has impacted the health of 10,000 UK adults.

The animation poses the question ‘Has lockdown changed the way people think about natural health and buy natural health products?’ before outlining the following key figures:

  • 71.2% of the UK adult population are now taking food supplements
  • 72% claimed they plan to take more supplements as they get older
  • Of those taking supplements on a daily basis, 53% are women
  • Vitamin D has replaced multivitamins as ‘most popular’, with vitamin A coming in third and fish oil taking fourth place
  • A higher number of men (58%) than women felt ‘very’ or ‘quite’ healthy
  • Those aged 18-24 felt ‘healthiest’
  • The 25-34-tear-olds had the highest average weekly spend on health at £10.31 (the national average is £8.15 – down from £8.82 in 2019)
  • The influence of friends and family has dropped, sitting at 14.2%; instead, 41.6% said they are doing their own independent research
  • 81% ‘find it easy to find and research the right information’
  • 31% are new to supplements, having started taking them in the last year (vitamin D at 63% and vitamin C at 39%)
  • Information on nutrition and immunity influenced 40% of supplement purchases; 20% specifically stated they are taking more VMS to support immune health

Our products have probably never been held in more esteem by consumers

Graham Keen, executive director, HFMA, comments: “We’re very happy to be reporting that record numbers of people are now taking food supplements. I think we all knew that this is happening, but it’s great to have it confirmed so definitively by this survey. It also gave us a timely opportunity to see how the pandemic, and the series of lockdowns that resulted, has influenced consumers to take proactive steps to help themselves to be healthier.

“The findings from this latest survey confirm that the HFMA’s member companies, and the wider natural health industry, continue to play a vital role in helping our nation to be healthier. And our products have probably never been held in more esteem by consumers, and perhaps more understood by Government and regulators, than they are right now.”