Online Vitamin & Supplement Sales in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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Recessionary drops in employment levels and the resulting decrease in access to health insurance led consumers to purchase vitamins and supplements as alternatives to expensive prescription drugs over the past five years, and over the five years to 2019, the industry is forecast to continue to strongly grow as the health-conscious trend persists. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Online Vitamin and Supplement Sales industry to its growing industry report collection.

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An aging and increasingly health-conscious population will industry drive demand.

The Online Vitamin and Supplement Sales industry grew consistently each year for the past five years due to the steadily increasing popularity of industry products. During the recession, consumers had less disposable income and partially cut back on discretionary vitamin purchases, however, the pace of online vitamin sales growth did not slow. In addition, as healthcare costs increased, Americans have turned to vitamins to prevent illness as an alternative to expensive prescription drugs, boosting demand. In particular, baby boomers, who wield strong purchasing power, depended on industry products to help prevent their physical conditions from weakening with age. The convenience afforded by online shopping further benefited sales. Consequently, Online Vitamin and Supplement Sales industry revenue grew an annualized 13.0% to $2.7 billion in the five years to 2014, including 12.1% growth in 2014.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Antal Neville, “Despite this growth, some operators were far less profitable than others.” Vitacost, for example, has operated at a loss since 2010 when it took on additional inventory to expand sales. The industry relies on human labor to operate, but technological developments, such as computer programs, made stock purchases more efficient and inventory management more accurate, leading to reduced labor costs. Capital costs are low because companies are not required to lease storefronts; in fact, many operate out of an owner's residence. Additionally, as the economy recovered and consumers became more willing to pay higher prices for vitamins and supplements, operators were able to raise product prices leading to higher profit.

“In the next five years, the industry is forecast to consistently grow as Americans become increasingly health-conscious and use vitamins to augment the nutritional value of their diets,” says Neville. Disposable incomes will also grow in line with economic recovery, enabling consumers to buy higher-priced items and larger quantities of vitamins. However, as unemployment falls, more people will gain access to health insurance through their jobs. More insurance coverage is a double-edged sword; some individuals may consume more vitamins if their health plans cover them, while those motivated to consume vitamins as a preventative measure when they do not have coverage may demand fewer industry products. Nonetheless, the number of people aged 50 years and older will continue to be a major source of demand.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Online Vitamin and Supplement Sales industry in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

The Online Vitamin and Supplement Sales industry sells vitamins, minerals, herbs and other dietary supplements on the internet. The industry excludes operators that primarily sell pharmaceutical drugs.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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