Supplement Sales Outpaced Overall OTC Sales in 2015, Says Market Researcher


Kline Market Research reports that the market for natural OTC products, including dietary supplements, grew by 11.4% last year.

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The market for dietary supplements and other natural over-the-counter (OTC) health and wellness products is growing at a faster rate than the OTC market overall, according to a new report from Kline Market Research (Parsippany, NJ). While the entire OTC market-including OTC drugs-grew by 4.2% in 2015, sales of natural OTC products increased by 11.4% last year, Kline says.

For the purposes of its report, Kline defines natural OTCs as “products that consumers use either to prevent or treat minor ailments that are generally drug-free, may contain natural, plant, or herb-based ingredients or vitamins and minerals, can be homeopathic, and often make claims of support, prevention, maintenance, and/or treatment of minor conditions.” That includes analgesics, topical products, sleep aids, and dietary supplement for immunity, digestive, heart health, and more.

Within that broad category, natural nutritional products, including dietary supplements for brain and heart health, experienced the fastest 2015 growth rate of more than 30%, Kline reports. But the largest portion of the natural OTC market belongs to natural cough/cold/immunity products, which accounted for approximately 40% of the total natural OTC market last year and posted growth in the high single digits, according to Kline.

In particular, Kline notes, the “immune-boosting claims” of many probiotic brands have made probiotics a standout growth segment of natural OTCs.

“Probiotic brands are sold at relatively high retail price points and most consumers take them daily, which deliver strong sales gains for retailers and the manufacturers of these brands,” said Laura Mahecha, healthcare industry manager for Kline Market Research.

Kline’s market research report also includes a consumer survey, which finds that more than 50% of consumers used natural OTCs at higher rates in 2015 than they did in 2014. And compared to five years ago, nearly two-thirds of consumers indicated they use natural OTCs more now than they did then.

“Natural OTCs will continue to be important to consumers and therefore are expected to grow at strong rates in the future,” Mahecha said. “They will also continue to offer competition to traditional OTC brands over the next few years.”

Kline’s entire report, titled “Natural OTCs: Impact of Non-drug Products on the U.S. OTC Market,” is available for purchase here.


Read more:

The Dietary Supplements Market in 2015: Business Is Good

Vegetarian Launches Surged by 60% over Past Five Years


Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook Magazine

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