According to a new Nielsen study, 40 percent of consumers surveyed use vitamins and dietary supplements, with North Americans and Asians leading the world in usage (54% and 43%, respectively). The highest levels of usage were found in the Philippines and Thailand, with 66 percent of consumers saying they take vitamins, although not every day. 56 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed said they take vitamins or supplements, with 44 percent saying they take them daily.
The primary benefit of taking vitamins and supplements, according to more than 60 percent of those surveyed, was to boost the immune system, a response most common in Asia. In the U.S., 62 percent of respondents said they took vitamins and supplements to ensure a balanced diet, a response only matched by Japan with 60 percent.
Regions where vitamin and supplement usage was lowest was Europe (30%) and Latin America (28%), with France and Spain bringing up the bottom with only 17 percent and 13 percent of consumers saying that they take vitamins and supplements. The primary reason for not taking vitamins was that their diets were already balanced and saw no need to take them. Interestingly, consumers in Poland, Russia and the Baltic states felt that "it is too difficult to understand which product to use," suggesting an opportunity for marketers to refine their message in these markets.