Home News HFMA data reveals rise in supplement use during Covid-19 pandemic

HFMA data reveals rise in supplement use during Covid-19 pandemic

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The preliminary findings of a Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) survey have revealed significant rises in the numbers of adults now taking food supplements.

The HFMA’s Health of the Nation Survey looks into key consumer drivers influencing our sector, with the research conducted by 3gem on its behalf of 10,000 adults in the UK between November 29-December 9, 2020. The survey, one of the largest of its kind, covered a comprehensive gender, geographical and adult age representation.

The early conclusions show significant rises in the number of adults now taking food supplements, particularly those taking them on a daily basis; 71.2 per cent of the adult population are now taking food supplements, almost half (47.6 per cent) of these on a daily basis. This equates to almost 20m people now taking food supplements on a daily basis, compared to 16.5m in the 2019 Health of the Nation Survey, a rise of 19 per cent.

And 23.9 per cent of the 10,000 people surveyed stated that they now take more food supplements than before the pandemic started, and 30.7 per cent have started taking food supplements for the first time in the last year. Asked about their general health, 31.5 per cent felt it had worsened since the start of the pandemic. Significantly, nearly three-quarters of adults, 72.2 per cent, are planning to take more food supplements as they get older. The four most popular food supplements are vitamin D, a multivitamin, vitamin C, and fish oil/cod liver oil.

Commenting in his monthly column for Health Food Business, which can be found on page 58, Executive Director, Graham Keen, said: “The findings from this latest survey confirm what we have always known – that our industry continues to play a vital role in helping our nation to be healthier. And our products have probably never been held in more esteem by consumers, and perhaps more understood by Government and Regulators, than they are right now.

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