Supplement Perspectives
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Energy Takes No. 2 Spot Among Reasons Driving Supplement Use in 2016

This year energy has risen to become the No. 2 reason for taking supplements among supplement users, which could be driving an increasing number of younger consumers taking supplements.

Seventy-one percent of U.S. adults—more than 170 million—take dietary supplements, according to the most recent annual survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). This year energy has risen to become the No. 2 reason for taking supplements among supplement users, which could be driving an increasing number of younger consumers taking supplements.

Results of the 2016 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements showed energy (30 percent) has risen to become the No. 2 reason for taking supplements among supplement users, behind only “for overall health and wellness benefits" (42 percent), which remains top of mind.

In years past, the top two reasons for taking supplements among supplement users were for “overall health/wellness benefits" and “to fill nutrient gaps in my diet." “To fill nutrient gaps in my diet" now ranks third when it comes to reasons why supplement users take supplements, at 28 percent.

Contributing to the boost in overall usage is general population growth, as well as an increase in supplement usage among adults between the ages 18 to 34 years.

“Every industry is talking about the millennials and the impact this generation will have," said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN. “Our data shows the impact is already being made on the dietary supplement industry as young adults are increasingly incorporating dietary supplements into their health regimens."

The increase in supplement usage among younger adults can potentially be correlated with the shift seen in the most common reasons users take dietary supplements. According to the survey results, 70 percent of adults aged 18 to 34—as well as 70 percent of those aged 35 to 54—reporting dietary supplement use. In comparison, only 65 percent of adults aged 18 to 34 reported taking dietary supplements in 2015, while 68 percent of adults aged 35 to 54 said the same.

As in years past, the oldest population surveyed (adults aged 55 and older) maintains the highest percentage of supplement use at 74 percent. The 2016 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements found that the five most popular supplements are the multivitamin, vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin B/B complex.

Another important finding, which is consistent with the findings from CRN’s previous surveys, is the high level of confidence Americans have in dietary supplements. According to the 2016 survey, 85 percent of U.S. adults have overall confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements. Among supplement users it’s even higher, with 96 percent indicating confidence.

A new question aimed at measuring consumer trust in the dietary supplement industry was added to the survey this year. The question, “To what extent do you perceive the dietary supplement industry as being trustworthy," revealed that nearly three-quarters of Americans (73 percent) perceive the dietary supplement industry as being trustworthy.

The survey was conducted Aug. 24–30 by Ipsos Public Affairs and was funded by CRN. The survey was conducted online in English and included a national sample of 2,007 adults aged 18 and older living in the United States, including 1,430 among those who are considered supplement users. The survey has been conducted annually since 2000.

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