US consumers increasingly choosing functional foods over dietary supplements, research finds

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd April 2012

New research by US-based consumer research company Sloan Trends Inc has found that US consumers are increasingly choosing foods for their inherent nutritional value, rather than using dietary supplements.

Sloan Trends’ research found a six per cent increase in the number of people making an effort to serve meals that are naturally higher in vitamins and nutrition from 2009 to 2011 (36 to 42 per cent).

At the same time, according to Sloan Trends, vitamin and supplement users in the US have reported cutting back significantly on their use, citing three reasons:

  • A belief that the quality and benefits of nutrition in foods is best
  • Pervasive doubts about the bio-availability of even the highest quality supplements
  • Concerns about the long-term effects on the digestive system

Sloan Trends’ president, Dr Elizabeth Sloan said, “Consumers are preferring to get their nutrients naturally and their health benefits naturally rather than from fortified foods or vitamin and mineral supplements. This has been going on for 20 years. What’s new is that it is now being put into action.”

Dr Sloan also said that, rather than making drastic dietary changes, consumers are still buying the same staples, such as bread and pasta, but they are seeking healthier versions of those products.