Smoothie Diet

The Vitamin Shoppe’s leading supplement trends: Weight loss, lifespan

As one of the largest retailers in the world for supplements, vitamins and sports nutrition products, The Vitamin Shoppe engages constantly with health and wellness trends. When consumer interest in a health product spikes, the chain of roughly 700 shops is among the first in the world to catch wind of it. And then it works fast to meet surging demand.

The company recently dropped its annual Health & Wellness Trend Report, a data-rich examination of trends shaping the sprawling industry, a commercial landscape of protein powders and vitamin E gelcaps, of rhodiola gummies, probiotic shots, refrigerated electrolyte-spiked sodas, saw palmetto tinctures and much more.

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What’s trending today in this dynamic, lively marketplace today? Individual stores can attest to their own aisles and shelves. But trends the retailer identifies can represent industry-wide movements—and offer bright insights to retailers across the natural and organic products industry.

The Vitamin Shoppe CEO Lee Wright will talk in depth about these trends and more, at New Hope Network’s Newtopia Now, Aug. 25-28 in Denver, Colorado.

Trend No.1: Nutritional Support for GLP-1 Users

The new wave of GLP-1 pharmaceutical weight-loss drugs—led by semaglutide (the active ingredient in Ozempic and more) and tirzepatide (the active ingredient in Mounjaro and others)—are impacting more than body weight. By diminishing appetite among patients taking the drugs, they also are impacting huge industries. Physicians performing bariatric surgeries are witnessing steep declines in demand. Multinational food corporations are sounding the alarms for declining sales—and potentially shrinking stock prices. Even airlines could witness a ripple: less weight onboard jets might save them money.

Related:New condition-specific supplements address shifting consumer needs

The Vitamin Shoppe anticipates sales upsides from the emergence of these revolutionary drugs. As people eat less, they still need to gain vital vitamins, minerals, protein and other hallmarks of nutrition. And TVS offers all the above in its stores.

Last year, The Vitamin Shoppe saw a 10% sales increase in ready-to-drink protein beverages, according to the report. During the first four months of this year, meal replacement products shot up 13% compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, during the first four months of this year, unflavored protein powder sales rose by 12%. The report attributes some of this growth to the GLP-1 drugs.

Market advantages extend beyond replacing nutrients lost due to smaller meals. These drugs’ efficacy revolves, in part, around the management of blood sugar, and The Vitamin Shoppe’s sugar control category experienced 40% growth last year, driven by berberine, a botanical that some think helps with weight management in a similar fashion to the GLP-1 drugs.

Related:Monitor: Dietary supplement sales nearly even in 3 biggest channels

The GLP-1 trend compelled The Vitamin Shoppe to launch set-aside GLP-1 Nutrient Support spaces in its stores. In addition, it launched its own telehealth service that offers prescription medications, starting with GLP-1.

Trend No.2: Quest for Longevity

What used to be called lifespan has had a makeover in recent years. Now the trending term is healthspan—and it’s all about thriving with health for longer durations, rather than just living for more years. And this trend is informing rising interest in nutrition, including supplements.

The eruption of lifespan interest persuaded The Vitamin Shoppe to create a new Longevity merchandise set, where cognitive support products drive the most sales by volume, the report said. Favored ingredients include L-theanine, alpha GPC, Huperzia serrata extract, Bacopa monnieri, Alpinia galanga and Ginkgo biloba. 

Another area of lifespan interest? Cellular health support. There, specific products such as Life Extension’s NAD+ Cell Regenerator, Vthrive Bioactive B-Complex, and Jarrow Formulas’ L-Carnitine enjoyed robust sales gains last year—up 45% overall from the previous year.

Probiotics, omega-3s and multivitamins will be added to the retailer’s Longevity set this summer, too. While multivitamins overall inched up just 3% during the first four months of 2024, new offerings in liquid formats with high bioavailability experienced a sales boost of 25% during the same period. And now, they’ll live in the new Longevity category as well.

Trend No.3: Gut Health Gets Fashionable 

It wasn’t long ago that pursuit of a gut health supplement led inexorably to one category of products: probiotics. They remain popular today, but now other gut health tonics such as prebiotics, psyllium husk and digestive enzymes vie for consumers’ attention.

The Vitamin Shoppe’s sales data illustrates demand for the full range of gut-health products: Its best-selling line of digestive health products saw a sales boost of 24% in 2023. During the first quarter of this year, sales rocketed up 44%.

“Your gut is like the command center of your body; there’s so much more to it than just digestion. Your gut plays a starring role in practically every aspect of your health and well-being,” said Dr. Maya Shetreat in the Trend Report. Shetreat, who is a member of The Vitamin Shoppe’s Wellness Council, is a neurologist, herbalist, urban farmer, and author

Consumer interest in gut health receives more data-backed insights, thanks to a broad consumer survey The Vitamin Shoppe conducted. In the survey, 23% of respondents said they are “a lot more aware” of how gut health can impact overall wellbeing. Another 38% declared they are “a little more aware.” Only 5% of respondents say they are less aware.

Trend No.4: Women’s Health for Ages 40+

The Vitamin Shoppe this year introduced three new brands and more than 40 new products to its Women’s Health product displays—a significant expansion of this store zone, according to the Trend Report. 

The reason for an even sharper pivot toward women’s health? Upped demand and awareness. Grand View Research concludes that the global market for all menopause-related products will vault to $24.4 billion in 2025, from $17.8 billion in 2024, according to the Trend Report. And within this market, supplements are growing rapidly, stoked at least in part, by celebrity engagement: Naomi Watts, Halle Berry and Serena Williams, for example, have launched or invested in menopause-related startups. And they’re broadcasting their passion for the category. 

According to the TVS consumer survey, 58% of women said they were very or somewhat knowledgeable about potential challenges related to menopause and perimenopause. And SPINS data tapped by TVS for the Trend Report shows that women increasingly seek case-specific supplements for conditions such as PMS and prenatal health, rather than just overall wellness supplements, like multivitamins. Sales of PMS formulas shot up by 12% for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 8, 2023, according to SPINS.

Trend No.5: Functional Beverages

L-theanine. Ashwagandha. Cordyceps. These represent the most popular functional ingredients in The Vitamin Shoppe today, according to the Trend Report—and they’re showing up in force in beverages. According to SPINS data used in the report, ready-to-drink functional beverages grew by 20% in the natural channel for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 5.

To capitalize on mounting interest in the category, TVS launched functional beverage endcaps in 100 stores in November, featuring products like Kin Euphorics, De Soi and Hiyo. All of them, the report said, include functional ingredients like L-theanine, ashwagandha and lion’s mane mushrooms. 

“We started with a focus on mocktail brands that are growing in popularity as part of the sober-curious movement. We saw such a strong reception from customers that we’ve doubled the size of the displays to showcase a larger range of products and ingredients, while expanding the set to over 500 stores,” Jack Gayton, vice-president and general merchandise manager at TVS, said in the report.

The flood of interest in functional beverages led to the retailer’s embracing a broad range of products this year, including Gym Weed energy drinks with adaptogens, Ryl Tea with antioxidant superblends, Parch agave mocktails with ashwagandha and L-theanine, and Zyn turmeric-based beverages. 

The TVS consumer survey reveals a bit more about consumer interest in the category: 42% of respondents said when they turn to functional beverages, they seek anxiety and stress relief. Other sought-after benefits include energy boost (39%), immunity (33%), enhanced sleep or rest (32%) and cognitive enhancement (20%).




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