With the exception of Berocca, owned by German company Bayer, Australia’s most popular vitamin/mineral/supplement brands are all home-grown.
Two Brisbane-founded brands lead the way: Nature’s Own, is consumed by 13.9% of Aussies (more than 2.7m people) in an average 12 months, and Blackmores is the brand of choice for 10.1% (almost 2m people). Coming a very close third is Berocca (10.0%), with two other local brands - Swisse (9.5%) and Cenovis (4.7%) - completing the top five.
In a crowded market place, its perhaps no surprise that almost 4m Australians (19.6%) took more than one brand of vitamins, minerals and supplements in the last 12 months.
Research from Roy Morgan Research found that just over half (50.4%) of all Australian women take vitamins, compared with 37.8% of men.
But while women outnumber men for consumption of Nature’s Own, Blackmores, Swisse, Cenovis and other brands, the gender skew is reversed for Berocca.
Nature’s Own owes its popularity primarily to Aussies aged over 50, 15.3% of whom take its products, as well as 35-49 year-olds (14.6%).
It’s also the brand most widely consumed by teenagers aged 14-17 (7.8%), although it should be noted that this group is much less likely than Aussies over the age of 18 to take any vitamins, minerals or supplements at all. Among 18-24 and 25-34 year olds, Berocca is top, taken by 13.9% and 15.5% respectively.
With most Australians falling well short of the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables in their day-to-day diet, it might be expected that many people take vitamins, minerals and supplements to make up for the nutrients they’re missing.
But the data shows that the opposite is true: it’s precisely those people who do get their recommended amount who are more likely to take vitamins.
Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan research said: “The popularity of Australian vitamins in China has been well documented recently (retired Chinese tennis star Li Na even acts as a Blackmores Ambassador), but the Chinese are not their only fans: nearly 50% of Aussies take vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in an average 12 months, and home-grown brands account for four out of the top five most widely consumed brands.
“It makes sense that many people take these products to address a particular need, such as an actual vitamin deficiency or expecting mothers who want to ensure their unborn baby is getting all the nutrients it needs. But Roy Morgan data shows that others appear to take them as part of an already healthy lifestyle and nutritious diet.
“It seems ironic that they over-index for vitamin consumption when Aussies whose diets are probably lacking in goodness, such as those who eat minimal fruit and/or veg, are below average.”