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Dietary Supplement Industry Tends for Q1 2018

Last updated: December-20,2019

Industry: Dietary Supplement Trends for Q1 2018

Spring is in the air and the time has come for the first official industry recap of the year! From the latest and greatest to show at this years Expo West to the latest industry research and trend reports - here are some of the nutraceutical and nutritional supplement trends shaping 2018.

January to March 2018: Dietary Supplement & Nutraceutical Highlights

Anyone who knows the world of dietary supplements knows that this industry never stops looking (and moving forward).

The Council for Responsible Nutrition's 2017 Consumer Survey

Recognized as one of the foremost institutions in supplement quality, regulations, and standards, The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) is the leading trade organization for manufacturers, suppliers, and organizations within the dietary supplement and functional food industries.

For nearly 50 years, CRN has established a reputation as one of the top advocates for industry transparency and the implementation and evolution of the state and federal regulations responsible for ensuring that consumers receive the safest and most effective products possible.

Along with everything that they do as an industry advocate, CRN also publishes one of the most comprehensive dietary supplement consumer surveys around.


Since 2013, CRN has released it's Annual Survey on Dietary Supplements every year (usually between December and January). Conducted with by Ipso Public Affairs on the association's behalf, the annual survey strives to provide both industry insiders and consumers with a 30,000 foot overview of the dietary supplement marketplace.

Here are some of our favorite highlights from this year's report:

  • 76% of U.S. adults report taking dietary supplements. That's up nearly 10% (from 64% of all Americans) a decade ago.
  • In 2017 - Supplement use increased among all ages. All three age brackets, 18-34, 35-54, and 55+ saw user growth of 4% or more.
  • Multivitamins remain the most popular category. Despite reports of wavering market demand in recent years, an impressive 98% of supplement users report taking a vitamin or mineral supplement, with 73% of users reporting that they take a multivitamin.

Along with providing a broad strokes understanding of the industry and market, the survey also offers some excellent insights into the top performing supplement categories and trends, consumer habits, and the tendencies of specific user demographics.

Natural Products Expo West

Every year (usually during the first or second week of March), thousands of natural product and nutraceutical enthusiast, entrepreneurs, businesses and experts descend upon Anaheim, CA and the Anaheim Convention Center for what may be one of the industry's best known trade shows - Natural Products Expo West.

Between the thousands of attendees and upwards of 3,000 exhibitors, the trade show has earned it's place as the place for experiencing the latest and greatest in health and nutritional products.

Top Expo Trends: What Caught Our Attention During Expo West 2018

One of our favorite things about sending our team out the Expo West is the post-show breakdown. While out on the trade floor, here we some of the top dietary supplement and nutritional product trends that caught our attention:Gut Health, Mitochondrial Energy, and Ketogenics were three trends we saw at Natural Products Expo West.

  • Gut Health - More than Probiotics. While probiotics remain the undisputed kinds of gut health, this year's show featured some extra focus on other paths to gut health including prebiotics/fibers and other herbal ingredients.
  • Energy On the Cellular Level. Energy and sports nutrition supplements have continued to be one of the most popular markets. This year's show featured a surprising number of supplements and formulas dedicated to supporting the mitochondria (the "power house" of our cells).
  • Ketogenics. It looks like the ketogenic (or "keto") diet has continued to make the transition from potential fad to a well-established nutritional lifestyle. The high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet has been tied to several other sports nutrition trends including the increased popularity of bone broth proteins.

These were just a few of the trends and product types that stood out to us during this year's show (be sure to stay tuned for more relevant, Expo West-inspired insights as the year goes on).

Top Expo Trends: What Others Noticed During Expo West 2018

Expo West is the kind of show where, post-show, there is never a shortage of blog posts and insights. Published by a wide range of industry players ranging from consumers to the top industry experts - Expo West recaps are one of our favorite ways to learn from our peers and gain key insights for the nutraceutical year ahead.


That said, here were some of our favorite takeaways...

  • Ginger for Gut Health, Nutritional Outlook - Aligning with our own takeaway about the growing gut health market, the magazine points out that an increasing number of brands are developing ginger-based or derived ingredients capable of supporting gut and digestive health. Similar to turmeric (a botanical cousin of sorts), it looks like ginger has the potential to be one of 2018 (or even 2019's) breakout stars.
  • Amazon Continues to be a Key for Brand Growth, NetRush. As much as Expo West is about products and breakthroughs, it's about the best ways to get those products and breakthroughs to the right customer. In the world of 2018, Amazon plays a key role in the process. According to NetRush, has continued to demonstrate value as part of a supplement company's overall strategy. In a statement made last year, the firm's CEO, Brian Gonsalves pointed out, "Ultimately, what you learn from Amazon should be applied to your other e-commerce channels, which could also help with brick-and-mortar locations — which play a big role by providing customers with an opportunity to see and touch products, and to speak with someone in person."
  • Sustainability and Traceability Aren't Going Away, Natural Products INSIDER - From transparent supply chains to responsibly sourced ingredients, consumer demand for supplements and nutritional products capable of meeting these needs. One of the shinning stars of this years show, according to INSIDER, were plant-based proteins. Compared to year's past, the plant proteins featured this year consistently pushed the bounds in terms of process and potential benefits. Some of the more interesting innovations included plant proteins that included sprouting or fermentation as key components of their sourcing or formulation processes.

We want to know...

What were your favorite Expo West trends and takeaways? What about Q1 of 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Related Reading: Top Supplement Types According to Users - Infographic

April 20th, 2018

About the Author:

Vincent Tricarico

Vincent Tricarico is currently the Vice President of Contract Manufacturing at NutraScience Labs. With nearly 20 years of direct-to-consumer and business-to-business experience, Mr. Tricarico is a respected executive in the dietary supplement industry and is well-known for his ability to consistently build and grow successful teams that produce results. Over the years, his work has been published in many industry trade publications, such as Natural Products Insider, Nutritional Outlook, and WholeFoods Magazine.