Industry Trends and Opportunities in Single Vitamins

Euromonitor International announces its latest global briefing about trends and opportunities for single vitamins. This report examines the global market growth potential for single vitamins, based on scientific claims and demographic and positioning trends. The briefing also highlights key trends in the most dynamic and best-selling single vitamin categories, and explores the use of single vitamins as ingredients in food and beauty products.

Each single vitamin presents unique advantages and disadvantages in terms of its medical value, drug interactions, regional preferences and popular beliefs. Local cultural beliefs and government regulations often drive consumer appetites for single vitamins.

Some countries have single vitamins as prescription products. Some consumers prefer to get their nutritional need met via food, not pills.

Consumers across the globe believe that vitamin C boosts their immune systems – keeping them healthy during cold and flu season. During influenza pandemics, consumers have turned to vitamin C as a preventative measure. The most successful single vitamins are linked to specific health issues: A for vision, B for anaemia and foetal development, C for colds and D for bone/joint health.


Single vitamins grew faster than multivitamins in 2009, due to greater innovation and strong sales of vitamin D. The category grew 7% and achieved retail sales of US$10 billion in 2009. Populations prone to specific single vitamin deficiencies are one of the reasons for that expansion.

The elderly are avid consumers of vitamins and prefer to take products that treat specific health concerns, eg vision (vitamin A) or bone/joint health (vitamin D). Vegetarians tend to have deficiencies in vitamin A and vitamin E. They recognise that they do need to take extra vitamins and other dietary supplements to ensure that they are ingesting all the proper nutrients. Companies have been slow to promote single vitamins to these groups and are potentially missing a profitable opportunity.


Innovation in single vitamins comes in three forms: delivery mechanisms, medical claims and use as an ingredient. Like multivitamins, single vitamins are becoming available in different forms than the classic pill. Sprays and chewable gummies are growing in popularity. Liquid versions of vitamin D are available.
The science behind single vitamins is also expanding.

With regulatory agencies across the globe requiring stricter proof of medical claims for vitamin and dietary supplement products, single vitamins are already being studied for a variety of uses. Studies currently underway include: employing vitamin D to improve muscle function in the elderly, combining vitamin C and fish oils to reduce airway inflammation for asthma sufferers and consuming vitamin E and co-enzyme Q10 to slow the effects of early stage Parkinson’s disease.

If these claims can be proven, single vitamin companies will have a marketing/positioning advantage over other supplement products.
The use of single vitamins as ingredients is also an important market. Vitamins are both a natural and a scientific product. Consumers readily accept the medical value of vitamins and base their products selection on that value. Single vitamins can be used in food, beverage, and beauty products.

For food fortification, vitamin C and the B vitamins are the most important categories, and are also the fastest growing, with projected CAGRs of 4.9% and 3.0%, respectively, between 2009 and 2014.
Particularly popular in the personal care arena are pro-vitamin B (panthenol), which is used widely in hair care and accounts for three quarters of total vitamin use in the beauty and personal care market, and vitamin E, which is finding increasing favour as an antioxidant, anti-ageing ingredient in a wide range of personal care products, including most notably skin care and sun protection products.

In fact, vitamin E is now used as a standard ingredient in a number of major sun and skin care brands.


Single vitamins present niche, double-digit growth opportunities for savvy companies. Cultural preferences, local laws and regulations, and the scientific boundaries of the individual single vitamins must be observed. Companies must also be prepared to invest in educational materials to reinforce the health benefits of single vitamins in the minds of consumers.

For an in-depth analysis on the current trends and opportunities in single vitamins, please consult our new global briefing highlighting the latest analysis and prospects for this complex industry.