The use of vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements (VMS) among Americans is on the rise. According to new research from Mintel, among the 78 % of Americans who are vitamin1 users, a third (34 %) have increased their usage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including nearly half (47 %) of Millennials. In line with consumers overall, Millennials say supporting their overall physical health (66 %) and immune system (62 %) are the top two reasons for VMS use. However, Millennials (43 %) prioritise VMS use to support their mental well-being more than consumers overall (34 %).
While sales of VMS surged during the pandemic, increasing an impressive 22 % between 2019-20 to reach USD 31.52 billion in 2020, growth leveled out in 2022 when sales grew an estimated 4.1 % to reach USD 35.64 billion. Sales are set to grow a further 5 % in 2023 when the market is expected to hit an estimated USD 37.44 billion.
Dorothy Kotscha, Health and Wellness Analyst, Mintel Reports US, said: “While the pandemic negatively impacted multiple areas of consumers’ lives, the shift it created in how consumers view and approach their health has benefitted health and wellness brands, particularly within the vitamin, mineral, and dietary supplements (VMS) space. Immune health concerns no longer only hold seasonal significance and consumers have a heightened focus on the importance of both physical and mental well-being. As greater attention is placed on one’s mental health, VMS brands can tap into this trend by focusing on formulas that contain brain-boosting and mood-regulating ingredients such as magnesium, vitamin D, curcumin, and L-theanine.
“Our research shows that consumers are taking lessons learned from the pandemic to create health routines around VMS products; however, there are signs of fatigue within the market. Usage of multivitamins, for example, has remained flat over the past year, indicating that interest is being directed elsewhere. Brands will need to focus on innovation and emerging health concerns in order to embrace changing consumer sentiment. Ingredient transparency will be increasingly important as consumers seek to understand the role ingredients play in their VMS products.”
Consumers show interest in single-letter vitamins and supplements
The majority of consumers take some sort of vitamin or supplement: 78 % take a vitamin and 64 % take a supplement. While use of vitamins remained flat over the past two years (77 % in 2021), usage of supplements increased by 13 percentage points, up from 51 % in 2021. Specifically, single-letter vitamins and mineral supplements have seen a gradual uptick in usage over the last five years: single-letter vitamin use increased from 47 % in 2018 to 52 % in 2022, while mineral supplement use increased from 33 % to 42 %. Mintel research shows that consumers are looking to optimise their health by focusing on vitamins and minerals they may be lacking for a more personalised approach, rather than a one-size-fits-all multivitamin.
“Customisation and personalisation are more important than ever as consumers are increasingly interested in broadening their approach to health. Single-letter vitamins may erode the widespread usage of multivitamins as consumers desire greater control over their VMS regimens. Major VMS players should take a close look at ways to offer customised products in a variety of formats and distribution channels in order to optimise the way that they meet their customers’ unique needs,” concluded Kotscha.
1Including multivitamins (products that contain a combination of vitamins in one), and one- and two-letter vitamins (products that contain only one or two specific letter vitamins such as vitamin C tablets)
The estimated revenue generated from the global ready-to-drink shakes market is US$ 9 Bn in 2019, and is projected to reach US$ 16 Bn by 2028. The market is therefore projected to rise at a CAGR of ~6 % between 2020 and 2028.
Globally, functional drinks are sought after for their high protein content and their demand is likely to rise steadily over the forecast period. A key factor resulting in increasing consumption of functional drinks is the increase in the consumer spending power, especially in developing nations. Ready-to-drink shakes which constitute a category of functional drinks are available in various flavours for retail sales in the global market. Some of these flavours are chocolate, banana, strawberry, among others. The global market of ready-to-drink shakes is analyzed on the basis of various flavours. These products are available for sale in different packaging forms, like bottles, tetra packs/cartons, and cans, which offers heightened convenience. Ready-to-drink shakes are meeting the current health and wellness demand in such a way that the drinks offer high protein amount with added specialty health ingredients.
Key takeaways from the ready-to-drink shake market study
- Obesity is one of the strong issues faced by countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, U.K., etc. Ready-to-drink shakes are consumed as a meal replacement to achieve the weight management by restricting the calorie intake.
- Due to the increased prevalence of the diseases and subsequently rising trend of health and wellness, ready-to-drink shakes market is expected to witness positive growth over the forecast period.
- Ready-to-drink shakes are being increasingly opted by fitness enthusiasts and athletes, since it allows avoiding the hassle of the mixing of protein powder in the liquid of choice and also the wait.
- Although, ready-to-drink shakes promise excellent results for gym goers and fitness enthusiasts, the product is still in the introductory phase in developing economies and economies are in transition stage. Therefore, because of the premium nature of the product and its expensive price, the market penetration may get hindered in emerging countries.
“Ready-to-drink shakes market is expected to channel upwards due to the excellent marketing strategies of the key players in the global market, resulting in the positive growth in the emerging markets,” says the report analyst.
Easy availability and increasing penetration of manufacturers and sellers of ready-to-drink shakes to positively Impact growth
Due to the increase in the preference for e-commerce platforms for transaction and shopping, the market reach out of the ready-to-drink shakes is anticipated to increase in the developed and developing economies. The boom in the IT sector has led to the development of the various new and easy ways of the transactions and shopping across various domains. The food and beverage industry is also driven by the increased use of the e-commerce platforms, since consumers have top priority for convenience and ease of doing business. Likewise, e-commerce platforms have enthralled the potential buyers of ready-to-drink shakes due to the easy and increased availability of the products, even in remote areas. Ready-to-drink shakes sales across e-commerce platforms are anticipated to rise over the forecast period and likely to be one of the drivers of the market growth.
Who is winning?
Some of the key players operating in the Ready to Drink Shake market are Nestlé S.A, Starbucks Corporation, PepsiCo Inc., Monster beverage Co., Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co., The Coca-Cola Company, The J.M Smucker Company, Bolthouse Farms, Inc., Arla Foods amba, Atkin Nutritionals Inc. and others.
These insights are based on a report on Ready to Drink Shake Market by Future Market Insights.
Consumers usually prefer food and drink formats over pills or tablets for the delivery of health enhancing ingredients. However, this preference for formats is not consistent across all age groups. Therefore, functional food and drink brands should carefully study the differences between the generations of consumers in more detail for their successful product launches, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
An analysis of the company’s Q4 2017 global consumer survey reveals that even though food is the most preferred format among all formats across all age groups, the majority of the Silent Generation chooses food as the preferred consumption format (89 %) compared to Millennials (85 %).
The gap between generations is conspicuous when it comes to drink format. According to the survey, younger consumers are more likely to opt for drinkable formats over pills or tablets for the delivery of health enhancing ingredients. The survey showed that drinks are favored by 60 % of Millennials and 58 % of Generation X consumers but only 52 % of Boomers and 48 % of Silent Generation consumers.
On the other hand, preferences for food and supplements (in the form of pills or tablets) that deliver health enhancing ingredients are relatively consistent across all age groups.
Aleksandrina Yotova, Consumer Markets Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Functional drinks brands should therefore target Millennials and Gen X-ers specifically with innovative launches that respond to younger generations’ requirements for convenience, simplicity and effectiveness.”
Millennials have had their time in the spotlight; now, companies are looking to the next generation to see how they will impact the future of the food and drink industry. Generation Z*, who are also known as the iGeneration, has the potential to reset expectations for health and wellness, increase the reach of international cuisine and heighten creativity in the kitchen, according to the latest research from Mintel. Mintel reveals how the diverse and tech-savvy Generation Z is set to transform food and beverage formulation in the coming years.
Head start on a healthy lifestyle
Regardless of age, sugar is at the top of parents’ watchlists when it comes to what their kids eat and drink. In fact, 60 % of parents with kids aged 12-17 and 55 % of parents with kids aged 18+ in the household report saying “no” to their kids’ food and drink choices based on sugar content. But while sugar is a key concern for parents, just 11 % of US food and drink launches aimed at children (ages 5-12) from June 2017-May 2018 had low, no or reduced sugar claims, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
With parents on the lookout, America’s youngest consumers are increasingly growing health-conscious themselves. In fact, one quarter (25 %) of teens aged 15-17 say they worry about staying healthy, with another 49 % agreeing that they think drinking soda is unhealthy.
“Generation Z has come of age at a time when health and wellness is a major consideration. Many younger members of Generation Z follow their parents’ healthy ways and it seems health-consciousness only gets stronger as they approach adulthood. However, health is multi-faceted for this group, suggesting that better-for-you formulations, such as craveable fruits and vegetables, can be expanded to give this generation options that fit with their ever-changing diet priorities,” said Dana Macke, Associate Director, Lifestyles and Leisure Reports, at Mintel.
Gen Z goes international
Today’s younger generations are the most diverse in US history and in addition to their varied racial and ethnic backgrounds, parents are raising their children to have broader palates. Gen Z seems to be cultivating an appreciation for international cuisine from a young age as 36 % of US parents of children under age 18 agree that their kids enjoy eating international foods.
Interest in international cuisine goes well beyond the more commonplace varieties such as Italian, Mexican and Chinese as Gen Z consumers are driving consumption of more emerging international food and drink. In addition to interest in eating at international restaurants such as Indian (36 %), Middle Eastern (38 %) or African (27 %), adult Gen Z consumers are also much more likely than other generations to find culinary inspiration from social media: 62 % of young adults aged 18-22 say they cook international cuisines at home from social media, compared to 46 % of Millennials (aged 23-40) and 23 % of Generation X consumers (aged 41-52) who cook at home.
“Generation Z is America’s most diverse generation yet. With exposure to international foods starting at an early age, whether in restaurants or at home, Generation Z is more likely to be open to the latest international food trend or innovative fusion creation. These adventurous habits are creating opportunities across categories, presenting potential for products such as tikka masala meal kits or Chinese Peking duck-flavored potato chips. While restaurants remain the most common points of discovery for international cuisine, younger consumers’ exposure to a range of cuisine types creates opportunities for brands to offer more authentic and hybrid flavors,” said Jenny Zegler, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink.
Digitally native upbringing leads to DIY mentality
Raised in an era where consumers have access to information at their fingertips 24/7, younger generations have grown up with the ability to thoroughly research their hobbies and interests, resulting in 80 % of Gen Z consumers under age 18 saying their hobbies/interests are just as important as their school work. What’s more, 36 % of consumers aged 10-17 and 31 % of those aged 18-22 believe that being creative is an important factor to being successful as an adult. This highlights an opportunity for food and drink brands to offer do-it-yourself experiences that help tweens, teens and young adults be creative and, eventually, confident in the kitchen.
“The wide range of food media, whether MasterChef Junior or YouTube videos, has piqued an interest in food and drink among some members of Generation Z. This younger generation’s easy access to technology and interest in being creative presents an opening for interactive products that encourage Gen Z to safely experiment and extend their passion for food and drink, such as chips that allow consumers to make their own flavor or kits to make more complex recipes or international meals at home,” concluded Zegler.
*Aged 11-23 in 2018