Subscription supplement market exploding

The business of tailoring supplements to meet individual needs is projected to grow over the next few years. According to Nutrition Business Journal, “The personalized supplement market is expected to grow from an estimated $281 million in 2019 sales to a forecasted $4.3 billion in 2023, representing 6.4% of U.S. supplement sales by the end of that period.” But there are barriers.

Personalized subscription vitamins and supplements are showing up on social media platforms repeatedly.  According to market researcher Euromonitor International’s Global Health and Nutrition consumer survey in 2020, “Just over 46% of consumers would be “extremely comfortable” (19.5%) or “very comfortable” (26.8%) using personalized nutrition online and app-based services.” E-commerce and direct-to-consumer subscription services could add more fuel to the fire, increasing the ease with which consumers can manage their supplements and change their preferences as time goes on. 

Why are there so many players?

  • The global wellness market is worth more than $1.5 trillion and grows 5%to 10% each year, per McKinsey. In the US, UK, and Germany, more than88% of consumers report prioritizing personalization as much as or more than they did two or three years ago.
  • When it comes to personalization as a whole, millennials are most interested in it from brands they are loyal to, with 88% reporting they seek this out, per SurveyMonkey. Gen Z (87%) and Gen X (82%) follow closely behind, while only 77% of baby boomers are interested.
  • Direct-to-consumer (D2C) personalized wellness companies like vitamin service Care/of and sexual health and wellness provider Hims & Hershave begun expanding into brick and mortar. In March, Care/of launched a new line at Target, while Hims & Hers went into more than 7,000Walgreens stores nationwide in November.
  • Kantar predict that the lines between healthcare and retail will blur even faster in 2022. “Consumers are getting more comfortable mixing primary healthcare needs with retail shopping, both in-store and online,” said eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence Lisa Phillips. “The need for COVID-19 booster shots will bring many back to retail pharmacies and health clinics. More healthcare startups will ink partnerships with retail players to tap into new consumer bases.”

Now for those pesky barriers.

1ne: The cost of personalized/subscription supplements can be high. Although COVID has led to more people taking supplements, one must wonder if people are growing tired of monthly subscription payments.

2wo: There is FDA regulation around supplements, so buyers have to use caution when buying new brands and ask, “where are they sourcing their raw materials?” and “is this a brand I can trust?”.

3hree: Consumers usually aren’t compliant when it comes to supplements. With a subscription service, it’s easy to see the bottles piling up.

4our: Subscription supplements have to make it “one-click” easy to unsubscribe.

Marketers are trained to go after big numbers, but in this case, it may be too many going after a share of the pie.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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