Consumer Confidence in Supplements Remains at Two-Year High—New Survey Results Confirm: Two-thirds of U.S. Adults Take Supplements

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2013—At 85 percent, the vast majority of U.S. adults stand confident in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements, according to the 2013 Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CRN, also found more than two-thirds of U.S. adults take dietary supplements, with 68 percent reporting that they take dietary supplements. Consistent with last year’s survey, the multivitamin, an affordable insurance policy for good health, is still the most popular supplement, with 52 percent of U.S. adults reporting having taken it in the past 12 months, followed by vitamin D (20 percent), omega-3/fish oil (19 percent), calcium (18 percent), and vitamin C (17 percent).

“The fact that confidence in dietary supplements remains high may be a testament to consumers’ understanding that the overwhelming majority of companies in this industry are dedicated to looking out for their customers, and manufacturing and marketing safe dietary supplement products that provide health benefits,” said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN. “But as an industry, we can’t get complacent. We need to continue to improve our track record when it comes to following the law, including good manufacturing practices. We also need to find more ways to help consumers identify those companies that are in compliance with the myriad of regulations, versus those companies that give the industry a bad name.” 

The survey identified both similarities and differences between genders when it comes to dietary supplement usage and reasons for usage. While a greater proportion of women (72 percent) take dietary supplements than men (64 percent), both women and men share the same top reason for taking the dietary supplements they do take: for overall health and wellness benefits, selected by 54 percent of supplement users overall.

CRN’s consumer survey, in its 14th consecutive year, this year added several questions to garner new insights into consumer usage and behaviors surrounding dietary supplements. For instance, one of the new questions asked supplement users, “When did you first begin taking supplements overall?” According to the survey, 73 percent of supplement users reported starting their supplement use in adulthood. Additional survey results, specifically those from the “never been asked before” questions, will be released later this year and early into 2014.

Said Ms. Blatman, “Our data has shown enormous consistency for the past 14 years, and there is no question that the majority of American adults value dietary supplements for their health.”  

The 2013 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements was conducted August 12-15, 2013 by Ipsos Public Affairs and funded by CRN. The survey was conducted on-line and included a national sample of 2,013 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. on-line 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 the editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 100+ dietary supplement manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and 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 manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit and Follow us on Twitter @crn_supplements and @wannabewell and on Facebook.

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.