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Vitamin sales drop online, rebound at brick-and-mortar retailers
Vitamins have made a comeback. The category was in a major lull, according to Kurt Jetta, CEO of TABS Group, but has since rebounded to historical growth rates of between 5% and 7% in brick-and-mortar stores.
(To view the full Category Review, click here.)
A lot of that has to do with the fact that many of the broad-based players — Pharmavite, Nature’s Bounty and Natrol — have started promoting heavily again and are driving incremental purchases.
And brick-and-mortar outlets are gaining ground on online VMS vendors, according to TABS Group’s Eighth Vitamin and Sports Nutrition Study released earlier this year. Although the total of all online VMS sales continue to outstrip all specific brick-and-mortar outlets, Amazon and other online retailers saw a share drop in category sales for the first time in eight years.
TABS Group found overall VMS sales were up 3% versus 2014 levels, and were being driven by gains in mass market outlets particularly from Walmart, Costco and Rite Aid.
According to the TABS Group, there are several reasons for consumers to gravitate toward mass market outlets for their vitamin purchase. First, these outlets are much more convenient and accessible than specialty outlets. The survey also points to some heavy buyers (defined as purchasing three to five types of vitamins) dropping down to being light buyers (defined as purchasing one to two types of vitamins), who are more likely to shop at mass market outlets.