Modest vitamin sales growth masks decline in use

A new report from Mintel shows that the percentage of people taking a daily vitamin supplement dropped from 41 per cent to 35 per cent between 2008 and 2011.

The market analyst speculates that pressured household budgets is the likely reason for the drop off.

While total sales of vitamin and mineral supplements were up 2.7 per cent this year to £385 million, the increase is due to price rises and masks a decline in consumption, says Mintel.

Mintel senior analyst Alexandra Richmond said that conflicting evidence on the benefits of supplements, cautious consumer spending and increased preference for fresh food combine to produce a “lacklustre outlook and a fall in value sales in the short-term”.

But Graham Keen, executive director of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association, told the Daily Telegraph that the “small drop in the market size actually  represents strong industry performance” when seen in the context of the current economic climate. He told the newspaper that daily vitamin supplements provided important “nutritional insurance ” for the millions of people who want to take responsibility for their health and can’t always get all the nutrients they need from diet alone

Picture: Fresh fruit and veg is back in favour