Pooled from Euromonitor, Datamonitor, Mintel and Nutrition Business Journal, the data was gathered by Capsugel's global business development manager for dietary supplements Peter Zambetti. Within the scope of an overview of the global nutraceuticals market, Zambetti also pinpointed the types of dietary supplement and vitamin products that US consumers most commonly purchase. He identified products that are fast gaining popularity, as well as other products that are on the way out. Zambetti, who is also in the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Association's (IADSA) global market affairs department, was addressing attendees at the recent Supply Side East trade show in Secaucus, New Jersey. Dietary supplement preferences The aging US population was a major driver for supplement sales, according to Zambetti. "Around 50 percent of all dietary supplement products sold in the United States are age-related products for baby boomers," he said. Sales of supplements in 2006 - the latest available year of comprehensive figures - were led by calcium, which saw sales of over $1bn. Glucosamine, which is used to support joint health, was the next most popular dietary supplement, recording sales of over $800m. Minerals were third in line, with sales of over $750m, followed by fish oil (sales over $400m), Co-Enzyme Q10 (just under $400m), probiotics (just under $300m), and noni (over $200m). Other popular dietary supplements included garlic, Echinacea, eye health products, Ginkgo Biloba and Sam-E. Vitamin preferences Multivitamins were by far the most popular products in the vitamin category, accounting for around 60 percent of the total vitamin market. "There were sales of $4bn in multivitamins alone - because if people don't know what to take they'll take a multi," said Zambetti. Multivitamins are predicted to grow by 7.5 percent in constant value between 2003 and 2008. B vitamins were the next popular vitamin product, with a market worth $1bn in 2006. Vitamin C was next, with over half a billion in sales, followed by vitamins E, D and A, all with sales under half a billion. Falling supplements Zambetti also provided an overview of the dietary supplement products that saw sales falling in the period. These included Vitamin E, Ginkgo Biloba, Echinacea, garlic, evening primrose oil and ginseng. According to Zambetti, in today's market these products are all considered "yesterday". Vitamin E was the hardest hit of all of these products, due to the negative publicity it received following publication of a controversial meta-analysis in 2005. Sales of this vitamin fell some $102m, said Zambetti. According to Zambetti, the day after the negative vitamin E report came out, 20 percent of US consumers taking vitamin E supplements stopped taking them. EU consumers did not react quite as strongly, he said, primarily because the US consumer is more "fickle" and more easilty affected by negative media reports. Ginkgo Biloba sales were down $8.4m, Echinacea and garlic sales both fell $6m, evening primrose oil sales feel $4.2m, and ginseng sales were down $1.4m. Supplements on the up Supplements that are fast picking up steam in the US market include fish oil, Co-Enzyme Q-10, probiotics, glucosamine, noni, eye health products, and Sam-E. Fish oil was the fastest growing product, according to Zambetti: "The only thing fish oil can't do is start your car in the morning!" he said. Sales for the product increased $119m. CoQ10 was the next fastest growing supplement product, with sales increasing $67m, he said. Probiotics were next, with sales up $64m. "We really need to thank Dannon on their education efforts for people to understand the benefits of probiotics," he told industry members. Glucosamine was the next fastest growing supplement in the US, with sales increasing $52m. Noni - which "ten years ago didn't exist" - was up $28m, while sales of eye health products increased $13m. Sam-E is also considered a fast growing supplement, with the market now considered to be worth around $100m. Other categories in the dietary supplement industry that Zambetti highlighted as up-and-coming include phytosterol Esters, resveratrol, nutrigenomics and nanotechnology. US overview Zambetti said that sales in the dietary supplement industry will be driven by specific supplements that help support body functions as consumers age, including eye, joint and heart health. In addition, Zambetti said that the supplement market will continue to grow as consumers turn to drug 'alternatives'. "Blends of vitamins and dietary supplements are expected to perform strongly over the next three years as consumers increasingly turn to them to treat specific health conditions as they continue to question traditional drug therapy," he said. Sports nutrition products were also popular in 2006, growing some 23 percent. According to Zambetti, this market is expected to top $12.7bn by 2011. Weight and glucose management will continue to be a priority for consumers, with more industry innovation occurring in these areas in order to meet consumer demand.