There are shops crammed with them up and down the walls and spilling on to the floor, even your local supermarket shelf is stuffed full of them. Vitamins, there are apparently millions of them we were never taught about when we were kids, and they come in supplements and syrups and just about any form you want. Not to mention the muscle builders and protein powder buckets that burly men stack on their bulging shoulders by the kilogram. Despite all of these options, however, Australians prefer what they know best: the basic alphabet of vitamins.

A new global study conducted by Ipsos has reported consumers value Vitamins A, B, C and D as part of a healthy diet more than any other type of nutritional supplement.

Further, Australians showed a particular fascination with fibre, with almost double the number of Australians valuing dietary fibre compared with the global average. It’s a trend you’ll see on the supermarket shelves, with cereals, muesli bars and dried fruits boasting of high fibre on their packaging.

“With many manufacturers actively promoting the benefits of whole grains, consumers of all ages are actively seeking fibre rich foods.” Ipsos marketing director Gillian O’Sullivan says. “Fibre rich foods are relevant to all, not just the 50+ group.”

In the Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods Global Consumer Views study, consumers from around the world were given a list of vitamins, minerals and supplements that could be found in food and beverage products and asked to rank which ones were most important for them to include in their diets.

Vitamins were ranked highest in importance among global consumers – with protein, minerals, fibre, Omega 3 and antioxidants lagging behind. Probiotics, soy and folic acid were least important among the general population.


O’Sullivan said while at first glance it may seem that the health benefits of vitamins are old news, recent discoveries about vitamins and the potential of vitamins to prevent and alleviate serious health conditions creates new opportunities for food and beverage marketers.

“For example, while consumers may traditionally have linked Vitamin D to bone health, there is growing awareness of the positive impact of Vitamin D for a wide range of health conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. 

“It is therefore imperative for food and beverage marketers to stay on top of the latest breakthroughs in health and wellness from the scientific community, and then find ways of translating these into viable innovation and communication platforms,” O’Sullivan said.

Ipsos data indicates that there are opportunities to market different nutrients and supplements to different consumer segments. For example, the perceived importance of vitamins and protein in one’s diet decreases with age; on the contrary, the perceived importance of Omega 3 and antioxidants increases with age.