Health Food & Drink and Natural Supplement Industry

Goals

To provide an overview of the US health food & drink and natural supplement industry, including industry growth, trends, digital marketing and social media strategy (including channels and messaging/content), and publications that are focused on the industry. This information will be used to advise a startup company that markets an adaptogenic mushroom brew/tea.

Early Findings

Natural Supplements Industry

  • The global natural food and drink industry is estimated to reach $192 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 13.7% The segment is dominated by natural drinks.
  • North America (dominated by the United States) comprises the largest share of this industry. According to SPINS data, the United States' natural food and drink market is $47.1 billion (10.5% of the total $448.2 billion food and drink market). The growth rate is projected at 5.0%, representing 29.3% of the total growth of the food and beverage market in the United States.
  • The fortified food US market is estimated at $63 billion.
  • A Kerry Group report found that 65% of Americans are seeking functional benefits in their foods and 25% eat "superfoods."
  • This Beverage Daily article notes the growing demand for food nutritional supplements, using an example of the "algae" nutritional supplements market, which grew by 6% in 2019.
  • The global dietary supplements industry is projected to reach $74 billion by 2026, a CAGR of 6.34%. Food supplements are expected to grow similarly, at 6%.
  • The North American dietary supplements market (led by the US) is projected to grow 4.3% through 2026.
  • Some key market drivers of this industry include awareness and demand for personalized products, technological advances and growing investments in functional foods, and the ability of marketers to leverage digital channels (such as smartphone apps) to provide personal support.
  • Key industry players include Amway, Abbott, Nestle, Herbalife Nutrition, Archer Daniels Midland, and Glanbia Nutritionals.

Trends

Digital Marketing

  • Nutritional supplement messaging should focus on unique experiences, results, ingredients and taste dimensions (for food and drink).
  • Recommended digital strategies include website communication, mobile-friendly email (vitamin supplement emails have an open rate of 15%), and social media.
  • Paid and affiliate marketing is also a recommended channel for supplement brands.
  • Social media strategy should focus on a mix of promotional and useful content. While brands should leverage a variety of formats, video has been shown to motivate sales.
  • Brands should focus on interactive marketing, responding to customer complaints, questions, and even negative comments.
  • Influencers, specifically those who are "real people" with substantial followings, is also a recommended strategy for supplement marketing.
  • This article provides five specific recommendations for marketing a supplement brand on social media. These include getting involvement from "fans" and the community, investing in influencer marketing, identifying and targeting the brand's "niche", followed by identifying broader audiences for the product, ensuring the messaging is "organic" and the tone is upbeat and "fun."

Sample Supplement Marketing

  • On Instagram, Quest Nutrition crowdsourced user pictures and shared them as a way to personalize the brand and driver user engagement.
  • Optimum Nutrition invested in Steve Cook when he was not a prominent influencer, as a way to drive interest and engagement with their brand.
  • Nature Made used targeted advertising to three custom audience segments, coupled with mobile to deliver advertising to consumers on their mobile device once they step into key retailers who offer Nature Made products.

Publications

Summary of Early Findings

  • We were able to uncover a large amount of information surrounding nutritional food and drink and health supplements, including trends, digital and social media tactics and messaging best practices, supplement companies who are leveraging digital campaigns, and industry publications.
  • We also provided some market size and growth information, though pinpointing the exact definition and metrics for the industry, specific to the United States, proved difficult. However, the information uncovered does suggest healthy projected industry growth, along with consumer demand for nutritional supplements, in food, drink, and other forms, as well as healthy and nutritious food and drink in general.
  • We also found some proprietary research from one of our data partners which may be helpful. Specific sections within the global Dietary Supplements Industry report (Mordor Intelligence, LLP) that may be of interest include market opportunities (growing e-commerce and product penetration and herbal supplements and botanicals, $308.83) and US regional segmentation and analysis ($204.55). If you would like us to purchase any of these reports on your behalf, please let us know.
  • Recommendations for further research are described below and are based on information uncovered in early findings.

Proposed next steps:

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