woman at table with supplements

5 Lessons Supplement Manufacturers Can Learn from Global Consumers

Glanbia Nutritionals surveyed consumers around the world to gain insights into consumer trends in nutritional supplements. Here we explore five important findings around consumers’ top health priorities, favorite supplement ingredients, and more.

Key Insights into Global Supplement Trends

In Glanbia Nutritionals’ Global Dietary Supplement Survey, supplement consumers in North America, Europe, and Asia were asked a variety of questions about their supplement behaviors and perceptions.1 These questions ranged from their current supplement use to their interest in and awareness of different supplement ingredients. Supplement consumers from the U.S., the UK, and China were surveyed as representative samples, with an equal split of men and women and an age range of 18 to 70 years old.

Here are some of the key findings of our research into global supplement trends:

1. General Health and Heart Health are Top Priorities

Among global supplement consumers, the health benefit most frequently cited as the most important benefit is general health, followed by heart health. In the U.S. and UK, general health ranks first as the most important health benefit. In China, heart health ranks first, just slightly ahead of general health.

Top 2 Health Benefits Most Important to Supplement Consumers by Region

U.S. UK China
General Health (55%) General Health (48%) Heart Health (27%)
Heart Health (37%) Joint Health (33%) General Health (26%)

2. Traditional Vitamins and Minerals Are the Most Popular

Despite ongoing buzz about trendy new functional ingredients, it’s the tried and true that are the most popular in nutritional supplements. The top five supplement ingredients regularly consumed globally are all vitamins and minerals: vitamin C (46%), vitamin D (41%), calcium (34%), B vitamins (32%), and iron (29%). Consumers have a high awareness of these ingredients, and they are all likely to be found in multivitamin-mineral supplements.

person holding supplements

3. Consumer Awareness of Certain Essential Nutrients is Low

Our research into global supplement trends also identified ingredients of which many supplement consumers are not aware. For example, nearly a quarter of supplement users are not familiar with CoQ10 despite its use in supporting heart health, an in-demand health benefit. In addition, supplement users have a relatively low awareness of choline, which is used to support brain health and biotin, which the body uses to convert food into energy. This lack of awareness indicates an opportunity for manufacturers to educate consumers on the multiple benefits of these ingredients. 

4. Consumers Want to Learn More About Supplements for Brain Health

We also asked consumers about health benefits they currently don’t know much about but would like to learn about. Interest is very high in nutritional supplements that can support the brain, either by providing cognitive or mental health benefits. In China, cognitive health is of greater interest, while in the U.S. and UK, consumers are interested in both cognitive and mental health benefits.


5. Low Usage of Curcumin and Collagen May Indicate Low Understanding of Benefits

Another interesting survey finding is the rather low usage of curcumin/turmeric and collagen by global supplement users despite a high awareness of these ingredients. Only 14% regularly use curcumin or turmeric as a supplement ingredient, while 13% use collagen even though awareness levels are 54% and 57%, respectively. Manufacturers may want to focus on linking these well-known ingredients to their health benefits to encourage consumer use, such as curcumin with joint health and collagen with skin health.

Next Steps

Supporting consumer trends with products for general health and heart health will be important ongoing strategies for supplement manufacturers globally, in addition to formulating with the most popular vitamins, minerals and bioactives. Manufacturers can also work to educate consumers on how CoQ10, choline, biotin, turmeric, and collagen can provide the health benefits they’re seeking. Nutritional supplements for brain health is another promising area for manufacturers to consider.

Glanbia Nutritionals can help manufacturers navigate this consumer landscape through their vast catalog of vitamin and minerals along with their knowledge and experience with health beneficial bioactive ingredients. For more information, contact Glanbia Nutritionals.


1. Glanbia Nutritionals Global Dietary Supplement Survey, May 2019. Base: 2,259 consumers who have used a dietary supplement in the last thirty days (U.S. = 753, UK = 750, China = 756).

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