Store Brands

FEB 2017

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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www.storebrands.info / February 2017 / Store Brands 6 3 Category Intelligence: Vitamins and Minerals Steady and strong Americans are embracing vitamins and supplements for many reasons, providing a healthy opportunity for private branded products By Lawrence Aylward riven by consumers who want to be healthy and fit, the vitamins and supplements category is busting out. Picture Marvel Comics' Bruce Banner transforming into the powerful Hulk, his muscular body bursting through torn clothes. In a recent study, New York-based Nielsen cited the "nutritional" category as one of the top 10 categories for dollar growth in the grocery department. In 2016, the category grew 9.3 percent in dollar sales, with unit volume growth of 2.9 percent. According to market research firm IRI, the vitamins and supplement category grew 3.8 percent overall in 2016 from 2015, with dollar sales of more than $6.8 billion. Private label sales of vitamins and supplements grew 1.4 percent in 2016, totaling about $1.9 billion of the category, a 27.5 percent dollar share. Manufacturers of vitamins and supplements in private brands aren't surprised by the category's growth, which they believe is directly related to skyrocketing healthcare costs. "Due to high healthcare costs and an increased emphasis on preventive care, consumers are willing to try supplements as an option to maintain their health," says Patricia Jones, senior manager of new business development for Miami Lakes, Fla.-based Mason Vitamins. Adam Kilpatrick, chief science officer for Essex Junction, Vt.-based FoodScience Corp., says another factor spurring the category's growth is that middle- aged people are witnessing the rapid decline of their parents and don't want to experience something similar. "They don't want to be on 12 different medica- tions," Kilpatrick adds. Jeff Reget, account manager of private label nutrition products for Agropur Ingredients in LaCrosse, Wis., says that "consumers are investing more in their health on the front end rather than the something-is-wrong-with-me-and- now-I-have-to-fix-it end." Rob Hollnagel Jr., director of sales contract manufacturing for Agropur, says more people are simply into fitness these days, which has spurred the category's growth. What's hot Tim Evans, national sales manager for Carrollton, Texas-based Aegle Nutrition, describes the vitamins/ supplements category as "dynamic." Evans says supplemental liquid vitamin products "are as hot as can be." So are products that tout weight loss during sleep. Evans sees opportunities in brain-boost products as well as eye health. "The vegan sector is also getting attention," he adds. "So we are looking into more plant-based proteins." Jones says condition-specific products are popular, such as turmeric extract and coconut oil, which consumers use for multiple therapeutic applications. Favored products among women are those that reduce menopause symptoms, strengthen bones or are formulated for pregnancy/prenatal supplementation. Kilpatrick cites liposomal vitamin C and probiotic products as among the most popular. Reget believes fortified foods, such as vitamin-based cookies and brownies, will continue to grow as consumers recognize the benefits of the healthy ingredients in the foods. All manufacturers say free-from and cleaner labels are also trending in the category. Consumer types from across the board are influencing manufacturers' development of vitamins and supplements. "Younger generations, including millennials, are Do offer in-store materials to educate consumers. Don't communicate the products to consumers as something that they aren't.

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