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Checking the health of Australia’s vitamin market

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=15,867).

Amid news that the Chinese market cannot get enough Australian-made vitamins and health supplements, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that demand is also skyrocketing for these products in Australia.

In the 12 months to June 2015, 8.1 million Aussies 14+ (or 42% of the population) bought vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in any given six-month period — a substantial increase on the 6.6 million consumers (36%) who bought them in the year to June 2011.

Vitamins are especially popular with women, nearly half of whom (49%) buy them in an average six months, compared with 34% of men. Women aged 35-49 (55%) and 50-64 (53%) are the most likely to purchase these products, while men aged under 25 (14%) are far and away the least likely.

Purchased vitamins in the last 6 months: men vs women

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=15,867).

As the number of Australians purchasing vitamins, minerals and supplements has grown, some striking trends have emerged in terms of where they are buying them.  Most notable has been the increasing tendency to purchase these products from a chemist, rising from 44% of all vitamin-buyers in 2011 to 54% as of June 2015.

In contrast, the proportion of vitamin buyers who make their purchase at a supermarket has fallen from 33% to 28% over the same period, a decline primarily due to fewer people purchasing these products at Woolworths/Safeway.

Health-food stores (9%, down from 14%) and discount stores (2%, down from 3%) are also falling from favour among Aussie vitamin buyers.

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Despite ongoing medical debate about whether vitamins actually work, an increasing number of Australians are buying them, with chemists their favourite place of purchase. Chemists have long been the most popular place to buy vitamins, minerals and supplements, and this popularity is picking up even more as the market grows.

“Although there is no denying the convenience of picking up one’s vitamins at the supermarket with the rest of the groceries, the proportion of consumers doing this has declined in recent years. Of course, supermarkets tend to stock a less diverse range of vitamins, minerals and supplements than chemists, so cannot always cater to consumers with specific needs.

“Our data shows that women are far more likely than men to buy these products, particularly women aged between 35 and 64. However brands wishing to woo this—or any other— demographic need to know more about them than just their age and gender. Factors such as attitudes to health and diet, family circumstances and socio-economic status, exercise participation and education all contribute to a consumer’s vitamin-purchasing decisions, and any brand that tailors its marketing campaigns accordingly will be better placed for success.”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s consumer goods data, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%