The 2017 and 2019 studies surveyed the health concerns of over 25,000 consumers from 23 different countries with the results revealing that the number of people taking supplements every day has increased by almost 10% in the two years.
An impressive 37% of 2019 respondents said they took daily supplements (vs 28% in 2017), with products primarily taken to boost health in general (56%), improve the immune system (46%) and increase energy levels (41%).
Energy has even knocked weight off the top spot and Carla Labrador, market insights manager for DSM, told NutraIngredients this is most probably due to the fact people's lives are getting busier with longer days and a faster pace to keep up with.
“Life is getting faster and faster and we are all conscious that we want to keep up with our growing list of activities and responsibilities," she said.
“But, interestingly, if you ask those who are concerned about energy whether they actually have an issue regarding their energy levels, they often say they don’t.
“This just shows that people are simply very conscious about keeping up their energy levels, rather than there being a health issue.”
After energy, consumers surveyed were most concerned about eye health and protection against diseases later in life.
Over 70% of respondents admitted they worried about their health yet many admitted not knowing what nutrients they might be lacking.
Reasons given for not taking supplements included cost and the consumer not knowing what supplements they need.
Labrador told NutraIngredients this points to a clear opportunity for the industry to work to increase education.
She said: “If consumers can be educated better about what nutrition they are missing and what supplements they need then this will be a win-win for consumers and the industry.”
According to the surveys, among parents of children aged under 16, almost 70% are most concerned about their child’s immunity, followed by the quality of his or her nutrition – especially for picky eaters – and protection against diseases later in life.
Of course, specific health concerns evolve as the consumer ages: 18 to 30 year olds are focused on energy level, while those aged 30-50 are likely to start worrying about protection against diseases, whilst those aged over 51 are often concerned about mobility, joints and bones.