The UK vitamins market continued to grow by 4% in current value terms to reach £738 million in 2012. Cautious consumer spending, lower consumption and a lack of significant new product development prevented the category from growing at a faster pace.
The struggle to gain momentum bears witness to challenging trading conditions for companies targeting this industry.
Around 35 per cent of adults take vitamins, down from 41 per cent in 2008. Despite this, rising prices meant the market was worth £385 million in 2012, up by nearly three per cent compared with 2011 - although this too is expected to decrease in the near future.
When it comes to health and wellness today's information-driven consumers seek advice from a number of quarters but it is recommendation that carries the highest weight influencing purchase of vitamins amongst six in ten users.
This trend has been linked to a growing desire among consumers to buy healthy food rather than vitamins, as well as studies questioning the efficacy of vitamin tablets compared with a decent diet. There's also the fact that the uncertain economic climate has led some people to view supplements as a luxury they don't actually need.
There are several other issues vitamin manufacturers might need to be aware of when reviewing their operations. One of the most important is the European Commission's ongoing work relating to setting maximum dosage levels for supplements within food items to ensure consumer safety, which may result in changes to vitamin levels in certain products.
Holland & Barrett Retail continued to represent the leading company in the UK vitamins market during 2012, with a 14% value share.
The retailer's strategy of continuing the expansion of the number of stores, the introduction of new products, effective promotional activity and continued investment in its employees paid off in terms of helping the company to maintain its leading position.
For more information on the UK vitamins market, see the latest research: UK Vitamins Market
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