The number of Australians buying vitamins has increased dramatically over the last four years, new research shows.
In the 12 months to June 2015, 8.1 million Aussies aged 14 and over (or 42% of the population) purchased vitamins, minerals or supplements in any given six-month period, according to Roy Morgan. That number is substantially higher than the 6.6 million (36%) who bought them in the year to June 2011.
Vitamins are particularly popular with women, nearly half of whom (49%) purchased them in an average six months, compared to 34% of men, Roy Morgan found. Women aged 35-49 (55%) and 50-64 (53%) are the most likely to purchase these products, while men aged under 25 (14%) were comfortably the least likely to do so.
Roy Morgan Research General Manager, Andrew Price, said: “Despite ongoing medical debate about whether vitamins actually work, an increasing number of Australians are buying them, with chemists their favourite place of purchase.
“Chemists have long been the most popular place to buy vitamins, minerals and supplements, and this popularity is picking up even more as the market grows.
“Although there is no denying the convenience of picking up one’s vitamins at the supermarket with the rest of the groceries, the proportion of consumers doing this has declined in recent years. Of course, supermarkets tend to stock a less diverse range of vitamins, minerals and supplements than chemists, so cannot always cater to consumers with specific needs.”
Do vitamins work?
A Canstar Blue survey of more than 1,600 vitamin-users found they spend an average of $28 per month on their favourite products, with Blackmores rated highest for customer satisfaction.
The majority of respondents cited the perceived health benefits of vitamins as their reason for taking them, while some pointed to increased energy levels and their mental well-being.
The survey found that 64% of users are convinced that vitamins work and 76% feel better when they regularly take them. However, one in five admitted they only take vitamins for the placebo effect.