Annual CRN Consumer Survey Finds Overall Use of Supplements on the Rise—Survey also finds consumer confidence remains steady at 84 percent

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2012—Sixty-nine percent of U.S. adults take dietary supplements according to a survey commissioned by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the dietary supplement industry’s leading trade association. Conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, the survey indicates an upward trend in dietary supplement consumption, as consumer usage is up from 66 percent in 2010, 65 percent in 2009, and 64 percent in 2008. 

Further, consumer confidence in dietary supplements remains steady, as the survey also finds that 84 percent of adults are confident in the safety, quality and effectiveness of supplements, with 82 percent in 2010 and 84 percent in 2009 indicating as such. 

Additional 2011 survey findings:

  • Consumers take a variety of supplements: While most supplement users take “Vitamin/Mineral supplements” (67 percent), sizeable percentages also report taking “Specialty Supplements” (35 percent), “Herbals/Botanicals” (23 percent), and “Sports Nutrition Supplements” 
    (17 percent). 
  • Among “specialty supplements,” fish is first: The use of Omega-3/fish oil supplements increased by two percent, from 21 percent in 2010 to 23 percent in 2011. The next two most popular in the category were Glucosamine and/or Chondroitin (8 percent) and fiber (8 percent). 
  • More consumers take their letter vitamins: Vitamin D (22 percent vs. 19 percent in 2010), vitamin C (22 percent vs. 19 percent in 2010) and vitamin B/B complex (17 percent vs. 14 percent in 2010).
  • Multivitamins are still the most popular: Seventy-one percent of supplement users take a multivitamin; 53 percent report taking a multivitamin daily. Forty-nine percent of all adults reports taking multivitamins. 
  • Part of a healthy lifestyle:  “Overall health/wellness benefits” is the main reason why adults take supplements (40 percent), followed by “fill in nutrient gaps in my diet” (29 percent). 
  • When it comes to supplements, women lead the charge: The survey noted that women are more likely to be supplement users than men (74 percent vs. 64 percent, respectively).
  • Supplement use grows with age:  Generationally, while 60 percent of adults aged 18-34 take supplements, the percentage increases to 69 percent among those aged 35-54, and to 78 percent among those 55 and over.


According to Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN, the steady rise in supplement usage is indicative of a savvier, more health-conscience consumer. “As more consumers are educated about the role vitamins and other supplements play in their overall health and wellness, they are incorporating them into their lives along with other healthy practices such as trying to eat a healthy diet and getting regular exercise,” said Ms. Blatman.  

The 2011 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements was conducted August 25-29, 2011 by Ipsos Public Affairs and funded by CRN.  The survey was conducted online and included a national sample of 2,015 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel.  The survey has been conducted annually since 2000. Weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.

Note to EditorThe Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our 75+ manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit
Ipsos Public Affairs is part of Ipsos, a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens.  Ipsos offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and on-line research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies.