The dietary supplements market in 2021 : deciphering

2021 is no exception! The dietary supplements market therefore continues to grow, a record since 2014 according to Synadiet, and the trends for 2020 persist. Immersion in this dynamic market …

The dietary supplement market keeps growing in 2021

The dietary supplements market turnover rises to €2.3 billion in 2021, thus recording a growth of 6.3% in 2021 compared to 2020. Also, the sector has been growing steadily since 2019 with a +12.9% increase between 2021 and 2019.

In terms of health promises, the top 3 of 2020 will continue in 2021 with, in order (growth vs. 2020 in pharmacies): vitality/immunity (+13.1%), mood/stress/sleep (+12.1%) and digestion/transit (5.5%). Conversely, the slimming/detox promise is in decline, all circuits combined. This can be explained in part by the promotion of “over-promising” products in the 2000s, and today leads to a distrust of the more informed consumer. In addition, self-acceptance and a holistic approach, i.e. taking overall responsibility for one’s health through nutrition and physical activity, is a major trend in the dietary supplements market. To reverse this trend, the slimming/detox segment must, as a priority, demonstrate the effectiveness of its products to regain consumer confidence.

The market of food supplements is dynamic and attracts many new players. To stand out on the trendy promises, it will be necessary to innovate.

Innovative food supplements : the keys to success. 

Moreover, new products have accounted for 30% of the dietary supplements market over the last two years in the pharmacy channel.

The pharmacy remains the main distribution channel in the dietary supplements market

The leading distribution channel in the dietary supplements market remains the pharmacy, which holds 50% of the market share in 2021 and show a growth of 9.56% vs. 2020.

Although the pharmacy channel dominates, almost all distribution channels are also gaining market share compared to the previous year: distance selling (+16.4%), specialized nutrition and advice channels and parapharmacies (+7.0%) and direct selling (+3.0%). Distance selling is progressing, particularly with the boom in e-commerce, which is growing by 25% compared to 2020 and 62.6% compared to 2019. The pandemic and the development of Digital Native Vertical Brands (DNVB) are contributing to the rise of this channel.

As for organic stores, they are the only distribution channel to lose market share over two consecutive years (-9.4% vs 2020 and -0.3% vs 2019). However, with the “post-covid” phase, consumers are returning to their buying habits and the organic store channel is also regaining its “pre-crisis” market share.

Good to know: the trend towards “classic” points of sale is currently taking place among DNVBs. Will there be a balance between e-commerce and pharmacy ?

Dietary supplement consumers : who are they and what do they want ?

In 2022, more than half (59%) of French people will consume food supplements. The “typical” profile of the consumer is a young woman, of higher socio-professional category, in couple with child(ren) and in search of good health. Other profiles stand out, especially those who take supplements regularly, such as consumers with long-term health problems or senior citizens. Indeed, the latter represent a real opportunity for the players in the dietary supplements market.

Concerning the reasons for consumption, the French use supplements for fitness, vitality and energy, followed by the reinforcement of the immune system and finally for the improvement of sleep and relaxation. Also, vitamins and minerals, beehive products and omega 3/6/9 are the most consumed ingredients.

Consumers have high expectations regarding the naturalness of products, understanding the intended use and health benefits, as well as the effectiveness and reputation of the ingredients associated with the promise. Also, echoing the e-commerce boom, consumers are looking for better prices in half of the cases, time savings and more choice via this channel.

However, even if innovation is an essential lever of the market, the most classic galenic formulations are still the consumer’s favorite. Indeed, the sale of capsules and tablets will represent 2/3 of the dietary supplements market in 2021.

Good to know: What about organic in all this? The organic sector is also developing on the supplements market with a positive perception from consumers, at the risk of becoming a prerequisite for some.

Ingredient and row material sourcing

The market players must focus on their key promises while innovating and meeting consumer expectations. Despite the fact that the pharmacy channel is largely “in the lead”, digital is a channel that should not be neglected for the promotion of food supplements.

Sources : Synadiet, 2022. The dietary supplements market – Figures for the year 2021. Harris Interactive and Synadiet, 2022. Barometer 2022 of the consumption of food supplements in France. Nutriform Business Days, 2022.