The Booming UK Supplements Market: Media Planning and Buying Insights
by Smithfield Agency

In the UK, the revenue generated in the supplements market reached a staggering US$0.78bn in 2024. Looking ahead, the market is projected to experience steady growth with an annual increase of 6.53% between 2024- 2029. This growth is driven by several factors, including an increasing public focus on health and wellness, a growing ageing population, and heightened interest in fitness and sports nutrition among younger generations.  

With over two thirds of UK consumers using VMS (vitamins, minerals and supplements) to address nutritional deficiencies and manage specific health conditions, plus a rising demand for immune-boosting products in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding these trends and consumer behaviour is crucial for effectively promoting supplement brands.

Who Buys Supplements?

Supplement consumers in the UK are diverse. Demographically, the market spans all age groups, with a notable increase in usage among millennials and older adults. Millennials are drawn to fitness and wellness trends, while older adults focus on maintaining health and managing age-related conditions. Broadly speaking, the market can be split in three:

 Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins are essential nutrients the body needs to function correctly, often taken to prevent deficiencies. Popular vitamins include vitamin D (particularly crucial given the UK’s limited sunlight!), vitamin C for immune support, and B vitamins for energy and metabolic health. Minerals such as calcium and iron are also commonly taken to support bone health. Adults aged 30 to 65 are the primary consumers.

 Herbal Supplements: Popular for their natural benefits, herbal supplements are products made from botanicals, or plants, used to support health and treat various conditions. They come in various forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, teas, and extracts. Common examples include echinacea for immune support, St. John’s Wort for mood enhancement, and turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties. Key demographics for herbal supplements are middle-aged and older adults, particularly women, with higher education levels and disposable income.

 Protein and Fitness Supplements: Protein and fitness supplement use in the UK has surged, particularly among those engaged in regular physical activity and sports. Key products include whey protein, for muscle recovery and growth, creatine for enhanced athletic performance, and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) for reducing muscle fatigue. 

How to successfully market supplements

Trust is the single most important factor when advertising supplements because consumers are ingesting these products with the expectation of improving their health, which necessitates a high level of confidence in their safety, efficacy, and quality. Satisfied patients are 28% less likely to switch providers, highlighting the importance of customer retention.

Trust ensures customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and long-term success in a competitive market. Without trust, even the most effective supplements will struggle to gain and retain a dedicated consumer base.

McKinsey emphasises the need for healthcare providers to enhance the consumer experience through better marketing strategies. Marketing supplement brands require a strategic approach that integrates content marketing and social media.

Data-Driven Media Planning: 

At Smithfield, we use advanced tools to gather and analyse audience data, ensuring our strategies are grounded in real insights. We identify key demographics and psychographics, focusing on millennials and older adults who are the primary consumers of supplements. We dig deep into data to understand who our audience is and what they care about. This helps us tailor our strategies to meet their needs.By looking at historical data, we can forecast future trends and consumer behaviours. This helps us stay ahead of the curve and optimise our media planning. We create personalised media experiences based on individual preferences and behaviours, making our campaigns more engaging and effective.

Innovative Creative Strategies:

Engaging your audience requires more than just traditional ad formats. We focus on innovative and interactive strategies to capture attention and drive engagement.We use eye-catching ad formats like interactive videos and shoppable posts to grab attention and drive conversions.We tailor our content to fit each media channel. For example, we create quick, engaging posts for social media and in-depth articles for blogs and websites.Using AR and VR, we create immersive ad experiences that draw people in. Imagine a virtual tour showing how supplements can fit into a daily wellness routine.

AR and VR examples:

  • Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH): Health and supplement brands can leverage DOOH advertising with AR experiences. For example, customers could scan a QR code on a billboard or digital screen to access an AR experience related to the brand or product.
  • Ingredient Visualisation: AR can be used to visualise the ingredients and nutritional information of products in an interactive and engaging way. Customers could scan a product’s packaging to see 3D models of the ingredients or get detailed information about their benefits.
  • ¬†¬†Educational Experiences: VR can create educational experiences that teach customers about nutrition, healthy living, or the benefits of specific supplements or ingredients.

Want to see how Smithfield can help your supplement brand grow and achieve positive ROI? Get in touch with us today.

June 12, 2024

If our Performance results have piqued your interest, get in touchto see how we can help your business growth.