The HFMA (Health Food Manufacturers Association) have released the results of their ‘Health of the Nation’ survey this week. The research was conducted by One Poll on behalf of the HFMA, comprising of 10,000 UK adults and covered a comprehensive gender, age and geographical representation.
Understanding why consumers are purchasing health supplements is key and according to the survey, the number of people who think they are ‘very’ or ‘quite’ healthy, has reduced by a third in the last 2-3 years. Supplementing with vitamins, therefore helps millions of people to lead healthier lives. And this looks set to continue, as we see that record numbers are now taking food supplements – 2 in 3 adults expect to increase their consumption of food supplements as they get older.
Results from the survey show that 69% of adults take some form of food supplement, with 41% taking these daily. This is a rise of 8.6% from the last survey, which was conducted in 2016. The most popular vitamin consumed is the multivitamin, with 45.5% supplementing for general health and well being. The other reasons for consuming health supplements are for joint health, energy and for vitamin deficiency.
The survey also highlights that the average spend on keeping healthy is still £8.82, which is up from £7.62 in 2016. England spend the most (£8.96) in comparison to Northern island (£8.71) and Wales (£7.37).
A need for consumer education
The HFMA reveal that almost one third of Britons are not aware of the Public Health England recommendations and that they should consider taking Vitamin D supplement in winter. In addition, almost half of the participants did not know that a lack of iron can lead to anaemia and with veganism on the rise, it is more important than ever to supplement with iron.
Nutrition in specialist groups
In certain population groups, interest in health and well being is rapidly growing. Particularly with parents, as over 50% are now ensuring that supplements are part of their child’s routine. 66.1% of adults also plan on taking more food supplements as they age. In addition, 91.5% of women say they are aware of recommendations of supplementing with folic acid during pregnancy.
Most popular supplements
The following table shows supplements that participants buy on a regular basis.
Savvy health supplement consumers
Today’s consumers have become knowledgeable health advocates and are looking for substantiated, proven health benefits. According to the survey, 38% of consumers purchase supplements based on their personal research. 27% are influenced by friends and family recommendations and 21% are recommended to take supplements from a doctor or other expert.
The findings from this survey confirm that the UK natural health supplements industry continues to be a success and is expected to grow even more, especially as 2 in 3 adults expect to increase their consumption of food supplements as they get older.
For more information on the HFMA, click here.
Source: HFMA Health of the Nation Survey 2019