Vitamin Advertising: What’s in the Mix?

As the US population ages and becomes more active in safeguarding its health, vitamins are playing an important role in their healthcare regimens. According to the MARS Consumer Health survey, 68% of Proactive Healthcare Consumers believe vitamins and nutritional supplements make a difference in long-term health, while 59% have taken vitamins in the last year. As a result, the vitamin and supplement business has been achieving steady growth of 5-7% per year within the US, reaching over $32 billion in annual sales in 2014 according to Euromonitor.

With numerous well-funded players, the result has been lots of competition – and lots of advertising as companies compete for market share. Indeed, advertising spend for the category totaled $346 million in 2014. Through analyzing ad expenditure trends, we determine which companies are driving the conversation around vitamins – and whether they’re getting the most value for their money.

A Fragmented Landscape

In 2014, One-A-Day spent the greatest amount of dollars on vitamin advertising, pouring $55.4 million into ads for its numerous vitamin brands. However, it is one of a fairly large number of brands making sizable investments in this space, with second-ranked Nature Made spending $36.8 million—around a third less than One-A-Day—and many other competitors not far behind. As a result, the vitamin advertising landscape is relatively fragmented, with no one player dominating share of voice and many companies maintaining a prominent brand presence. Together, the top 10 advertisers make up more than 75% of total category spend.

Vitamin Advertisers

Five different brands have been consistently spending the most over the past several years, although individual spending levels have shifted. One-A-Day has maintained the highest share of voice in the vitamin category over the past four years, wavering between 16% and 20% from 2011 to 2014, ultimately decreasing share to 16% last year. Meanwhile, Centrum has historically been the #2 spender with market share ranging between 11% and 13% through 2014, after which it was surpassed by Nature Made. Shot-B and Bausch & Lomb ramped up their advertising efforts in 2012 and now are responsible for 8.2% and 8.1% of vitamin ad spend, respectively.

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