Highlight: Supplement Usage in Canada and the U.S.


Survey data from 2015 in both the United States and Canada indicate the dietary supplement industry continues to earn high marks in both reach and consumer confidence. Below are some comparative details from surveys conducted with representative adult sample populations in each country. [1][2]


How many take supplements?

Data show some striking numbers in both the U.S. and Canada where 71 percent of American adults — nearly 170 million Americans – and 82 percent of Canadian adults or children – nearly 30 million Canadians – are taking dietary supplements. Among the most noteworthy of up-ticks this year, is that supplement use among American young adults aged 18-34, has climbed five percent over the prior survey year. As one of the fastest growing segments, the American survey also reports that 66 percent in this category anticipate that their use of supplements will increase over the next five years.


What are they taking?

Vitamins and minerals (e.g., multivitamins, single-entity vitamin C, D, B, B-Complex, calcium, etc.) are shown to have the highest usage, followed by specialty supplements (e.g., omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, probiotics, melatonin, glucosamine and/or chondroitin, Co-Q10, digestive enzymes, etc.) and then sports nutrition (e.g., protein, energy drinks, creatine, etc.) and weight management products (e.g. garcinia combogia, green coffee, etc.). The table below shows both U.S. and Canadian figures.

Most Common Supplements United States Canada
Multivitamins 78% 52%
Vitamin D 32% 46%
Vitamin C 27% 44%
Calcium 24% See “Other”
Vitamin B/B-Complex 18% See “Other”
Fish oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids 19% 28%
Probiotics 12% 23%
Protein Powder 14% 20%
Other * N/A 28%



What are the reasons people seek out supplements?  

When asked why people take their dietary supplements, “energy” is a relatively new reason coming up on the list in the U.S. Other reasons remain common to years prior, including “filling in nutrient gaps in their diet.” In fact, three of the top five supplements taken in America (vitamins D and C and calcium) are among the list of “shortfall nutrients,” or nutrients Americans are not getting enough of in their diet, as identified by the United States Department of Agriculture.  See these top reasons identified below.

 Top Reasons Why People Take Supplements United States Canada
Improve health and wellness 51% 69%
Help prevent illness, immune health 27% 64%
Replace missing nutrients in the diet 30% 56%
Energy 29% N/A



Do you think that supplement usage will continue to rise?

If consumer confidence is any indication, the data certainly indicates that they will. More than 80 percent of Americans and more than half of Canadians report overall confidence in dietary supplements, whether in the overall safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements or in their potential benefit.

Neptune is excited about the future of this industry and is eager not to just live up to, but to surpass, consumers’ expectations. Let’s do it together!


* As measured in Canada, the “other” category includes calcium, vitamin B, B12, E, magnesium, glucosamine, iron, folic acid.

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[1] Council for Responsible Nutrition. 2015 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Available at http://www.crnusa.org/CRNconsumersurvey/2015/.

[2] CBC Research Toronto. Marketplace Vitamins & Supplements Survey; September 2015.