Who are dietary supplement consumers? What do non-consumers think? Do they have a positive outlook on the products? If taking dietary supplements is becoming more widespread, it is necessary to understand who the products we make are for.

Who are dietary supplement consumers?

Every second French person has taken dietary supplements during the course of the past twelve months. Encouraging figures. If the majority of consumers are indeed female, family context and socio-professional category should also be taken into account. Findings show that 63% of regular consumers have children under 18 and that 60% of them also give dietary supplements to their children.

What is the typical profile of a dietary supplement consumer? A woman between 18 and 34, from a high socio-professional category, who takes care of her health. Dietary supplements are generally included in a global way of life: consumers tend to avoid overindulging, or more generally use natural products in their daily lives. They also have a natural and positive vision of dietary supplements.

Who are the non-consumers?

In contrast with typical dietary supplement consumers, we find two kinds of non-consumers: one is retired and the other is in a couple without children.

These non-consumers lack regard for dietary supplements: they don’t see the use and think that a balanced diet is enough. They also have a more ‘chemical’ vision of dietary supplements. However they see the interest of taking dietary supplements. Three principles: bridging dietary gaps, ageing well and fighting against fatigue and stress.

What are the levers to work on?

For a dietary supplement laboratory, there are three levers to work on in order to convince and reassure consumers and non-consumers.

  1. Efficiency

Only 59% of non-consumers agree with the claim that ‘dietary supplements are efficient’. Everyone needs proof of efficiency either through scientific studies or health professionals’ opinions. Laboratories must convince people that they are efficient by extending the use of dietary supplements. Some educational elements about dietary supplements could help to counteract negative remarks.

  1. The Price

65% of consumers consider that dietary supplements are too expensive. Price is also a deterrent for 20% of non-consumers. Price is therefore a major issue for the dietary supplement market. Consumers would like these products to be part of their covered health costs.

  1. Prescriptions

Health professionals are key for dietary supplement purchasing. For 52% of non-consumers, doctors could convince them to buy, followed by chemists 21%. For consumers, the chemist’s guidance is a number one key in purchasing, followed by advice from friends and next of kin.


If dietary supplements are spontaneously described as comfort or preventative products, laboratories still have to make an effort to improve the image of their products with consumers.


Source : Harris Interactive France, Les challenges et opportunités des compléments alimentaires (The Challenges and Opportunities of Dietary Supplements) conference presented at the Nutriform Business Days 2019.


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