CRN survey shows 75% of Americans use supplements

Annual survey shows supplement use holding steady and trust in sports and weight management supplements increasing.

Hank Schultz, Senior Editor

October 10, 2023

2 Min Read
Dietary supplements

The Council for Responsible Nutrition’s annual consumer survey shows that about 3 of every 4 Americans are using supplements at least occasionally and more than half are regular users.

The results of the annual survey were released at CRN’s annual meeting last week in Dana Point, California.

CRN has conducted the survey every year since 2000. This year’s version was the result of online interviews conducted from Aug. 9-14 with almost 3,200 adults, of whom 2,328 reported using supplements seasonally, occasionally or regularly. The survey was conducted by the statistics firm Ipsos.

Level of engagement has remained consistent

The finding that 75% of Americans are engaging regularly with supplements mirrors earlier CRN surveys. In 2022, the survey reported the same figure, indicating that supplement use patterns had returned to pre-pandemic levels.

“Today's dietary supplement consumer is confident in their decision to take supplements and reports that using supplements empowers them to take charge of their health and wellness,” said CRN President and CEO Steve Mister.

CRN’s survey is the most frequent sampling of consumer behavior vis-à-vis supplements. The findings have been corroborated by a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the 2017-to-2018 time frame.

Related:8 ingredients and product format trends driving the shift from sports to active nutrition

CRN’s 2018 survey reported that 75% of U.S. adults used supplements at least occasionally. The CDC study landed at essentially the same figure: 74.3% were reported to have used a supplement during the study period.

One of the key takeaways of this year’s survey that CRN has highlighted is the finding that 92% of respondents either “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” with the statement: “Dietary supplements are essential to maintaining my health.”

Trustworthiness on the rise

Some categories have made gains since the 2022 survey, which was conducted around the same time of year.

For example, trust in sports nutrition products is up. This year, 66% of respondents said they trusted the safety and quality of these products, compared to 61% last year.

The perception of weight management products improved, too. This year, 56% of respondents said they trusted the safety and quality of products in this category, compared to 52% last year.

Overall, the industry has maintained its reputation among consumers, the survey found. About 74% of all respondents said they trust the dietary supplement industry, and that included nonusers. Among those who said they use a supplement occasionally or more often, that figure was 83%.

About the Author(s)

Hank Schultz

Senior Editor, Informa

Hank Schultz has been the senior editor of Natural Products Insider since early 2023. He can be reached at [email protected]

Prior to joining the Informa team, he was an editor at NutraIngredients-USA, a William Reed Business Media publication.

His approach to industry journalism was formed via a long career in the daily newspaper field. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in journalism and German, Hank was an editor at the Tempe Daily News in Arizona. He followed that with a long stint working at the Rocky Mountain News, a now defunct daily newspaper in Denver, where he rose to be one of the city editors. The newspaper won two Pulitzer Prizes during his time there.

The changing landscape of the newspaper industry led him to explore other career paths. He began his career in the natural products industry more than a decade ago at New Hope Natural Media, which was then part of Penton and now is an Informa brand. Hank formed friendships and partnerships within the industry that still inform his work to this day, which helps him to bring an insider’s perspective, tempered with an objective journalist’s sensibility, to his in-depth reporting.

Harkening back to his newspaper days, Hank considers the readers to be the primary stakeholders whose needs must be met. Report the news quickly, comprehensively and above all, fairly, and readership and sponsorships will follow.

In 2015, Hank was recognized by the American Herbal Products Association with a Special Award for Journalistic Excellence.

When he’s not reporting on the supplement industry, Hank enjoys many outside pursuits. Those include long distance bicycle touring, mountain climbing, sailing, kayaking and fishing. Less strenuous pastimes include travel, reading (novels and nonfiction), studying German, noodling on a harmonica, sketching and a daily dose of word puzzles in The New York Times.

Last but far from least, Hank is a lifelong fan and part owner of the Green Bay Packers.

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