Slicing industry into manageable pieces
The DSI draws upon sales data from the market research firm SPINS to assess the relative size of the market for various categories of products. The new index divides the industry into categories that include General Health (Amino/Antioxidant Supplements, Bone & Joint Supplements, Children’s Supplements, Energy Supplements, Herbal Singles A to Z, Organ, Reproductive Supplements, Stress/Anxiety, Superfood & Whole Food Supplements, Multivitamins & Minerals, and Single Letter Vitamins), Brain Health, Digestive Health, Heart Health, Immunity, and Sleep.
Like other such industrial indices, such as the index of manufacturing activity maintained by the Institute of Supply Management, the DSI sets a baseline value of 100 for these categories with 2019 as the baseline year. That captures sales for the last year before the global pandemic stretched the market in unprecedented and to some extent ephemeral ways.
David Spangler, CHPA’s senior vice president of legal, governmental affairs and policy, said the index breaks new ground for the organization.
“We’ve not done something like this before,” Spangler told NutraIngredients-USA. “It’s still a work in progress and we’ve had a great experience working with the people at SPINS.”
DSX results could help inform public policy debates
Spangler said the DSX score can be calculated at a county, state, or regional level and comparisons can be made across demographics. The index can also be integrated with data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and others.
Spangler said all of that information can be integrated into reports that could help inform public policy. That could include making a case for the purchase of supplements to be covered by funds from health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs), something CHPA has long advocated for.
According to CHPA, the initial analysis of the DSX found that between 2019 and 2021, the overall DSX score increased nationally in every category, but growth was led by sleep, immunity, and brain health. During the global pandemic, consumers initially focused on immunity to help themselves stay healthy during COVID-19. But as more variants emerged in 2021, consumer interest shifted to brain and sleep supplements to address stress resulting from the ongoing pandemic, while immunity supplements fell slightly.