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According to Nielsen’s March issue of Consumer Insight, four out of 10 worldwide consumers claim to use vitamins and dietary supplements, but less than 60 percent of these are regular daily users. A Nielsen survey covering 52 countries found that North Americans and Asians were more likely to use supplements than Europeans and Latin Americans, with the highest usage in the Philippines, Thailand (66 percent) and the United States (56 percent).
Daily supplement usage is most likely in North America and Western Europe; most Asian and Middle Eastern markets show more infrequent usage. The United States had the highest number of respondents (44 percent) claiming to use supplements every day, while only 8 percent of the Spanish and Italians said they use supplements daily.
Sixty percent of global vitamin and dietary supplement users said they’re looking to boost their immune system, 47 percent use these products to prevent illness and 46 percent to ensure a balanced diet. But given an interest in healthy living, it’s interesting that only 18 percent of global users say they use vitamins and supplements on the advice of a doctor or healthcare professional.
Nearly half of global respondents who said they do not use vitamins or supplements said they do not see any need for them. Consumers in six European countries, including France, Spain and Germany, are the least interested in supplements, with more than 40 percent of respondents there seeing no need for them.
Consumers in South Africa and the United States who do not use supplements say it is because of their expense, while respondents in Japan and Korea don’t see their value for the money. Respondents in Poland, Russia and the Baltic states said they do not use supplements because “it is too difficult to understand which product to use,” indicating an opportunity for marketers to clarify their message.