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If you’re here, there’s a good chance you were at SupplySide West 2019 and you attended Tracy’s talk, “What Consumers Want in a Supplement Brand.” Firstly, thank you for attending! We hope it was a good use of your time in Vegas, where you otherwise could have been making a serendipitous connection or donning a fur coat and sipping on cocktails in a room-sized ice sculpture with clients. Don’t ask us how we know this.

As a Food and Beverage and VMS industry mentor and educator, Tracy is no stranger to writing and delivering consumer insight reports. But for her 2019 SSW presentation, she decided to kick off the most ambitious internal research project in the history of MarketPlace. Jon Copeland, our Research Strategist, used this project as an opportunity to pilot video capture technology. As our Growth Strategy Director, I agreed that it would be a great offering and potential partnership tool. In the following months, we found ourselves knee deep in conference calls, .csv files, and a podcast interview.

Whenever we can offer insight that might influence the way formulation, due diligence, branding, and promotion is practiced and that also helps consumers, we can’t help but say yes. When you combine a topic as serious as public health with consumer demands, you can bet we took our research seriously.
Our goal was to ask questions that no one else was asking and, mostly, just to listen. We asked open-ended questions and rolled the camera. We also captured data from a sample of 500 U.S. supplement consumers.

A Few Takeaways From Our Research:

Efficacy, Trust, and Safety:

Consumers, first and foremost, want to know that their supplements work and do what they claim to do through felt, improved health and validated 3rd-party clinical data. Secondarily, the majority trusts only widely accessible brands (available online and in-store) that go out of their way to become trustworthy and well-known.

Consumer Intent and Opportunities for Personalization:

Overwhelmingly, we discovered, the majority of supplement consumers still prefer to get their nutrition through food, but there is a general concern that diet is not providing enough nutrition. This goes a long way toward explaining the rise in personalized supplement formulation.

Reach, Content, and Digital Strategy:

The largest group of consumers still takes advice from medical professionals—no surprise and as it should be. But a surprisingly high number trust the research they do themselves, via Google and other search engines. This demonstrates a desire to learn more about supplements instead of merely taking professional advice at face value.

The Gummy Supplement Consumer:

Supplement consumers who prefer a gummy delivery format demonstrated themselves as more supplement savvy and more inclined to purchase CBD, among other things, than the average supplement consumer.
We encourage you to view the white paper below. It contains consumer data and insights that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re a doctor, scientist, nutritionist, entrepreneur, or work at a nutraceutical ingredient or consumer goods company and you want to launch your own supplement brand, we do that, too—let’s talk!

Megan Hook roadmaps new and alternative revenue streams and manages the MarketPlace brand, adhering to her conviction that success is found through purpose, focus, and iteration.