How Supplement Business Owners Can Reach Generation Y

How Supplement Business Owners Can Reach Generation Y

How Supplement Business Owners Can Reach Generation Y

Pills and capsules? Not for Generation Y. According to the Natural Marketing Institute, based in Pennsylvania, nearly 30 percent of Generation Y prefer to get their supplements in new, more exciting delivery formats, as opposed to traditional mediums like capsules, tablets, and powders. 1

Getting the attention of Generation Y is the goal of many a marketer. Fortunately for supplement business owners, there are a number of different options in supplement delivery forms for this highly potential, but hard-to-attract consumer segment. But before we jump into that, let’s define exactly what Generation Y is.

Who is Generation Y?

Generation Yers are also called echo boomers or millennials. Exact birth dates for Generation Y have not been defined as there is no clear consensus. Most consider the oldest members of Generation Y to be the children of baby boomers; younger members, the children of Generation X. Although Generation Y can be as young as age 10, marketers are focused on the age group between 15 and 30 years. It is estimated that there are 80 million Generation Yers in the United States making up about one-third of the population. By 2020, the number of Generation Yers is expected to grow to 90 million. 2 The sheer size of this consumer group creates a crucial opportunity for all kinds of businesses, the supplement industry not excluding.

Marketers trying to reach this generation need to recognize that this is a uniquely different generation. It is the fastest growing work force today. Generation Y is generally family-centric, team-oriented and want to achieve results. They prefer emails, text messaging, webinars and online technology as opposed to traditional methods of communication, so trying to reach this generation is uniquely challenging. For Generation Y, being “plugged into” a laptop, tablet or gadget is a mere extension of life, and therefore they are asking questions like, “Why go to work?” “Why wear decent clothes”, “Why own a car?” and even “Why take pills and capsules?”

Another question: Why spend money on dates and expensive dinners when virtual romance blooms quickly? Unlike Generation X or the baby boomer generation, who saw a driver’s license and car as a means of liberation from their parents and face-to-face dates as the only way to win a woman’s heart, Generation Y is the “smart” phone generation. Armed with their iPhones, iPads and Android devices, they no longer need face-to-face contact. Intimacy and trust are fast exchanged online, and so are breakups. Marketers will need to find creative, innovative ways to strike a chord with this extremely tech-savvy, trendy and possibly fickle audience.

What Do They Want?

When it comes to supplements, Generation Y is the largest consumer segment to say they want their supplements in forms other than pills and capsules. What are they looking for? Drink shots, gummies, chewable tablets, fast-melt tablets and nutritional bars. The survey by NMI also noted a higher use of energy supplements, herbal supplements and homeopathic products amongst Generation Y.

Not only does Generation Y want innovative delivery formats, they also have differing views about the safety and efficacy of herbal supplements.

  • About 33 percent of Generation Y feels that herbals are safe; whereas only 17 percent of matures (baby boomers) think herbals are safe.
  • About 20 percent of Generation Y and only 10 percent matures think that herbal products are very effective.

On a separate note, many doctors and healthcare professionals are recommending multi-vitamins and even herbal supplements to their patients and as a result, increasing supplement usage among Generation Y.

How Should Supplement Business Owners Target Generation Y?

Data from NMI show that innovative products are creating interest in the Gen Y consumer group. Products that have fruit flavors reminiscent of the candies Generation Yers used to eat just a few years ago is just one way marketers have been successful in reaching this consumer market. Offering a product in delivery formats like shots or sticks is more likely to attract Generation Y to supplement usage.

The number of supplements Gen Y is taking is on the upswing, though currently still far from the number that baby boomers are taking. According to NMI, since 2009 the increase in different types of supplement usage is as follows:

  • Generation Y – an increase from 1.8 to 2.8 a day
  • Generation X – an increase from 2.5 to 3.3 a day
  • Matures (baby boomers) showed no increase, remaining stable at 3.9

NutraScience Labs Can Help You Reach This Crucial Consumer Market

Contact one of our Production Specialists today to see how NutraScience Labs can help you create nutraceutical products in a variety of delivery forms to capture the interest of the Generation Y market!

For more information, call (855) 492-7388 to speak with one of our knowledgeable product advisors or submit your request to receive a free quote in 48 hours.


1. September 26, 2012, NutraIngredients.

2. Marketing to Generation Y

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