Marketing Vitamin C Complex

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High-End Whole Food Nutritional Supplements - Demographic Profile

A demographic profile of high-end, whole food nutritional supplement consumers couldn’t be reliably built. In order to paint a demographic picture of non-artificial, whole food nutritional supplement consumers, we provided available demographic information on American dietary supplement consumers in general, along with information on American consumers who prefer no artificial ingredients in products.

US Nutritional Supplement Consumers — Demographic Profile

  • The typical American dietary supplement consumer is aged over 55, female, married, has graduated from college and earns between $50,000 and $100,000 yearly.
  • According to a 2018 study by CRN, 78% of adults aged over 55 take dietary supplements. 77% of those aged 35-54 and 69% of those aged 18-34, respectively, do the same.
  • In a study from 2003, it was found that across all age groups, the female gender takes more supplements than men, ranging from 59% to 71.8%.
  • The same study found that the most dietary supplement consumers are married (around 50%). The most of the studied individuals had an income between $50,000 and $100,000 (around 30%), while the vast majority had graduate degrees in 2003.

US Non-artificial Product Consumers — Demographic Profile

  • Women aged 50-64 who don't have children, have higher education and earn over $75,000 a year are most likely to buy products with no artificial ingredients.
  • A 2018 study by The International Food Information Council found that women are 7% more likely to buy non-artificial products in-store. The study found that there is a 73% chance that the consumers don't have children under 18, compared to a 57% chance that the consumer has children. A 76% chance that the consumer earns more than $75,000 yearly is around 12% higher than the chance that the consumer earns less than $75,000 (either between $35,000 and $74,000, or less than $35,000).
  • The chance that the consumer is between 18 and 34 years old equals 52%, while the chance that he/she is between 35 and 49 years old equals 66%. According to the study, there are 83% and 81% chances that the consumer is 50-64 or 65-80, respectively. The study also found that the consumer is most likely to have higher education and to be non-Hispanic white.


A demographic profile of high-end, whole food nutritional supplement consumers couldn’t be reliably built. Reasons for this have been outlined below.

As the first attempt, the research team examined a range of credible sources, including but not limited to market research publications such as Allied Market Research, scholarly databases such as ResearchGate, consumer research institutes such as McKinsey, as well as various industry-specific publications such as Healthline. There, we aimed to find expert-written reports, charts or surveys that specifically focus on demographics of whole food nutritional supplement consumers, but search suggested no demographic analysis specifically on this topic has been previously compiled. Available demographic information focused on nutritional supplement consumers in general. Some demographic information surrounding organic supplement consumers was available, but this couldn’t be used in the search because it encompassed other supplement types, such as protein supplements. Furthermore, most available demographic information was outdated, dating as far back as the 1980s.

We shifted our focus to identifying specific whole food nutritional supplement brands. Our goal was to identify customer demographic information surrounding at least 4-5 individual whole food supplement brands. This information would then be examined to determine whether demographic information remains similar across brands, and if not, the approximate averages would be extracted to triangulate the demographic data for natural food supplements. During our search, we realized non-artificial supplement brands usually sell a wide range of products apart from supplements, so we tailored our search to specifically locate demographic information that focuses on their whole food supplement product lines, but didn’t succeed in obtaining relevant information. Furthermore, we were not able to find demographic information pertaining to the brands in general, without focusing on their non-artificial nutritional supplements. We were confident this information would be available because several independent research sources such as Marketing91 and Numerator, as well as specific university scholarly databases, often publish demographic information tailored to customers of specific brands and products.

Lastly, we decided to find information we could use to provide a demographic profile using assumptions. We specifically searched for reasons Americans take premium, whole food dietary supplements. Our reasoning behind this strategy was that we could use demographic information on individuals who have a specific value or opinion as a proxy for natural nutritional supplement consumers, but only if it was found that the vast majority of consumers consider these values. For instance, if it had been found that 95% of high-end natural nutritional supplement consumers use these because they dislike artificial ingredients, demographic information on Americans who prefer non-artificial products could have been used as a proxy for Americans who take natural, high-end dietary supplements. To find this information, we searched various consumer insight sources, such as Ipsos and PwC, but relevant psychographic information pertaining to consumers of expensive nutritional supplements couldn’t be uncovered. Even for dietary supplement consumers in general, there was no prevailing value among consumers, that is, the most prevalent concern was overall health, at 42% of responders.
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High-End Whole Food Nutritional Supplements - Psychographic Profile

A typical consumer of high-end whole food nutritional supplements values trust, reliability and relies on word-to-mouth promotions. The typical consumer is health-conscious and engaged in healthcare. More details have been outlined below.

Whole Food Nutritional Supplements — Consumer Values

  • Baby boomer women spend the most of their money on food, vacations, home purchases and over-the-counter medications.
  • 92% of boomer women use word-to-mouth to pass information about shopping deals and findings. Baby boomer women often want to be part of a special panel (76%) and are big fans of deals, special offers and bargains, when it comes to shopping. Regardless, boomer women statistically have the highest disposable income, across all age groups.
  • Boomer women value brands that support women-owned businesses, as well as brands that are environmentally conscious. They also value trust, reliability and one-on-one interactions, when it comes to shopping.
  • Bone health, heart health and healthy aging are the top 3 reasons why most of the US population aged over 55 takes nutritional supplements.

Likes & Dislikes

Beliefs Surrounding Health


In order to build a psychographic profile of a typical high-end whole foods nutritional supplement consumer, we relied on the previous research findings, which indicated the typical whole food nutritional supplement consumer is a female aged above 50. We analyzed this particular demographic segment in the US, but still, we were not able to reliably determine the specific types of shows/events it attends, or the fondness of the age group for wellness centers in particular. We included some information that applies to nutritional supplement consumers in general, in lack of more relevant findings. Here is how we conducted this research:

First, in order to locate pre-compiled relevant information, consumer research sources such as Deloitte and Mintel were consulted, but it was evident relevant psychographic information hasn’t been previously compiled. Available psychographic information focused on general nutrition supplement consumers, regardless of supplement type. In addition to this, information specifically surrounding what they dislike and shows or places they attend wasn’t readily available, even for nutrition supplement consumers in general.

Since previous research determined nutritional supplement consumers and non-artificial product consumers are both typically female and aged over 50, we decided to search specifically for habits, values, beliefs and other psychographic information surrounding this particular demographic segment. Even though lot of relevant information was uncovered this way, there was no information on whether female baby boomers attend wellness centers, or the specific shows/events they attend, which is why we continued with the research focusing on these two missing points.

We decided to identify marketplaces or websites that offer premium whole food nutritional supplements exclusively, assuming these marketplaces are visited by high-end, whole food dietary supplement consumers. Our plan was to examine them using SimilarWeb, as this tool provides psychographic insights focusing on visitors of a specific website. This strategy wasn’t successful because we were not able to find marketplaces, websites or brands that are exclusively dedicated to whole food, non-artificial nutrition supplements. Some marketplaces traded whole food supplements along with other products such as sport supplements and medical foods. This couldn’t be used in the research because it would be unclear which insights would apply to nutrition supplements in particular.

Lastly, we aimed to manually examine customer reviews to find relevant information. To do this, we identified several premium whole food supplement products, such as Naturelo Whole Food Multivitamin and MegaFood Vitamin D3 2000 IU and examined reviews of such products on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Walmart. What we hoped to accomplish this way was to find recurring mentions of specific places or activities by whole food supplement consumers, but even though specific places and activities, such as keto associations, were available, the mentions weren’t recurring and there was no way to apply the findings across a broader range of people.
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High-End Whole Food Nutritional Supplements - Best Practices

Direct-to-Customer (DTC) marketing and hands-on supplements' traceability marketing are two best practices identified with Amazon Essentials and Gaia Herbs in the findings below. For each best practice, the description, reasons for consideration, how the two companies are using it, and the success metrics are also provided.

DTC Marketing

Hands-On Supplements Traceability Marketing

  • Hands-on supplements' traceability marketing is a tech-based innovation that allows customers to "get more information about a product’s batch number, certificate of analysis, where the ingredients were sourced when the supplement was made, and how it was tested."
  • In other words, this marketing strategy provides the customer with every vital piece of information about the product.
  • This tech-based innovation is usually done through the use of a mobile application to access the QR code on a product's packaging.
  • The marketing strategy is considered a best practice because it is already applied in other industries. It is also considered a best practice when it becomes essential to follow the lead of a big market disruptor that has adapted this strategy in its marketing planning.
  • Two companies using this marketing strategy are Amazon Elements and Gaia Herbs.
  • Both companies are using it to establish trust with their customers by being transparent and open about their products in terms of quality and due process.
  • Using Gaia Herbs as a brand example for the success metrics, the brand grew from a tiny farm to a $50 million supplement business in 2016 after introducing the traceability marketing program in 2010.
  • Currently, Gaia Herbs generates between $50 million-$100 million in revenue every year.
  • Also, Amazon Elements is poised for continued growth based on L.E.K. Consulting's brand growth matrix for VMS, and this is supported by the introduction of the brand's traceability marketing program in 2017. The e-commerce platform announced a net product sales of $70.139 billion in its 2019 second-quarter report against $63.468 billion in 2018. The company's marketing cost also shows $7.955 billion in the 2019 report as against $5.600 billion in 2018.

Research Strategy

We started our findings by identifying companies involved in the sales of whole foods nutritional supplements. We found two, Amazon Elements and Gaia Herbs. We then focused on their marketing strategies for these products by analyzing their websites, marketing campaigns, and experts' analysis. After concise analysis, we were able to determine two best practices, DTC marketing, and hands-on supplements' traceability marketing, that are similar between the two brands.

For each best practice, we were able to describe it, include reasons for its consideration, provide the two companies as examples and how they are using each, and indicate the success metrics for each. However, we used Gaia Herbs to measure the success metrics for each best practice because the specific metrics for Amazon Essentials, like all other Amazon brands, are not segmented in the Amazon 2019 report, nor reported by the company.

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High-End Whole Food Nutritional Supplements - Media Consumption Habits

Based on findings from previous research, the typical U.S. consumer of dietary supplements female, age 55 or over, married, has a college degree, and earns between $50,000 and $100,000 yearly. Based on this demographic, we located data concerning media consumption habits in Social Media Channels (Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube are the most popular), Radio (Country, Talk/News/Adult Contemporary/Pop Contemporary Hits were top radio formats), Podcasts (women 55 or older listen more frequently to podcasts than men), Television (Live TV is more viewed than Connected-TV) and Websites (lifestyle and health blogs, entertainment and shopping sites).

Social Media Channels

  • 68% of U.S. adults between the ages of 50-64 and 50% of U.S. adults 65 and over use Facebook. 74% of U.S. Facebook users visit the site daily and 51% visit multiple times a day. Facebook and YouTube are the most frequently used social media channels among these age groups.
  • Consumers are most likely to make a decision to purchase a brand from Facebook--52% of all decisions are made from Facebook, which is more than all other social media channels combined.
  • 70% of U.S. adults between the ages of 50-64 and 38% of U.S. adults 65 and older use YouTube. 32% of U.S. YouTube users go on several times a day and 19% use YouTube about once a day.
  • 79% of U.S. citizens with a college degree or higher use YouTube. 75% of this same demographic use Facebook.
  • 75% of U.S. citizens who earned between $30,000-$74,999 and 83% of U.S. citizens who earn more than $75,000 a year use YouTube. 72% and 74%, respectively, of these same demographic categories use Facebook.
  • Pinterest reaches 83% of U.S. women between the ages of 25-54--a group they call "the deciders" because they are responsible for 80% of household buying. The deciders also control 5% of U.S. wealth. 58% of deciders say that Pinterest helps them make purchasing decisions.
  • 78% of all U.S. Pinterest users find that brand content on the site is useful.
  • Data analysis of different social media platforms demonstrates that some topics are more likely to be taken up on some sites versus others. Notably, Health and Fitness topics are taken up most frequently on Facebook.
  • Brands marketing themselves on Facebook should design emotion-driven content and focus their message as "tell me how you feel about what you're doing."

Radio and Online Streaming of Radio Content

  • AM/FM radio reaches 95% of all U.S. adults between the ages of 35-49 and 92% of U.S. adults age 50 and older.
  • In 2019, 40% of U.S. adults age 55 or older and U.S. adults between the ages of 25-54 listen to radio online and/or as streamed content.
  • For U.S. adults between ages 35-54 (Generation X), the top three radio formats are Country (12.6%), News/Talk (9.4%) and Adult Contemporary (7.9%).
  • For U.S. adults between 55-64 (Boomers), the top three radio formats are News/Talk (15.0%), Country (12.8%), and Classic Rock (9.1%).
  • The top three formats for women between the ages of 25-49 is Country (14.5%), Pop Contemporary Hits (11.1%), and Adult Contemporary (9.6%).
  • 94% of U.S. adults between the ages of 25-54 listen to a Network-Affiliate station (e.g., CBS Sports or NBC News Radio).
  • 51% of U.S. adults between the ages of 33-54 land 24% of U.S. adults age 55 and older listen to YouTube Music in 2019


  • 14.2 % of U.S. adults who listen to Adult Contemporary radio also listen to podcasts.
  • 15.4% of U.S. adults who listen to New/Talk radio also listen to podcasts.
  • 12.1% of U.S. adults who listen to Country radio also listen to podcasts.
  • 16.7% of U.S. adults who listen to Pop Contemporary Hits listen to podcasts.
  • 39% of U.S. adults between the ages of 25-54 and 17% of U.S. adults 55 or older listen to a podcast in the past month.
  • Women age 55 or older are more likely to listen to podcasts than men in the same age category.
  • ranks the top 2019, 15 podcasts for women (not broken into age categories), which are: Encyclopedia Womannica, Unladylike, Call Your Girlfriend, TBD with Tina Brown, My Favorite Murder, Oprah's Super Soul Conversations, 2 Dope Queens, Anna Faris is Unqualified, Where Should We Begin?, The High Low, Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Dear Joan and Jericah, Side Hustle Pro, Dare I Say, and Friends Like Us.


  • U.S. adults between the ages of 35-49 watched traditional TV (live) 3.5 hours a day, and U.S. adults the ages between 50-64 watched 5.5 hours a day of traditional TV.
  • U.S. adults in the same age brackets above watched non-traditional TV (streaming devices/Blu-ray devices/Game Consoles/Smart TVs) about 1 hour per day and a half-hour a day, respectively.
  • IMDB publishes the top 200 shows rated by women--some currently airing on live TV or streaming devices. This data is not broken out by age category. However, potentially relevant and currently airing shows include Stranger Things (Netflix), This Is Us (NBC), Black Mirror (Netflix), The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu/Amazon Prime), Peaky Blinders (Netflix) and Outlander (Netflix). This is just a sample.
  • A new category of "MSNBC Moms" has been created to account for the growth of MSNBC viewership, driven in large part by women age 55 or older.


  • Feedspot ranked the top global 60 Women's Lifestyle Blogs and websites (however the data was not broken into age categories). Among the top relevant sites are Corporette (NYC), The Skinny Confidential (CA), Over 50 Feeling 40 (San Antonio, TX).
  • Among the top 20 blogs in 2019 (again, not broken down by age categories) that discuss women's health, fitness, and lifestyle, relevant to this project are,,,
  • According to Forbes, among the websites in 2017 with the most female traffic (not broken out into age categories) are: (95.8%), (95.2%), (91.9%), (89.9%), (89.8%), and (89.6%).
  • In the same reporting, Forbes noted that among the top 25 websites with the most educated visitors (not broken out by age or gender) are (85.5%), celebitchy (83.3%), (80.4%). And, among the top 25 websites with the wealthiest visitors (not broken out by age or gender) are (23.8%), (20.7%), (17.7%), and (17.2%).

Research Strategy

Building on previous research that the typical U.S. consumer of dietary supplements female, age 55 or over, married, has a college degree, and earns between $50,000 and $100,000 yearly, the research team focused on finding sources with demographic data related to social media channels, TV consumption, Radio/Online music streaming consumption, and websites visited. In the course of our searches, we also unearthed the importance of podcasts as a new form of media consumption habits of women age 55 or older.

To find the above demographic data, we located reports and surveys from companies such as Nielsen, Pew Research, and Edison Research. The Nielsen report we used was free after inputting an email and some other information. Some data in the above media reports did not specifically address the demographic relevant to this project so we reported on related data, i.e., college education, adult age categories, and income.

In addition to search industry reports, we located sources on industry blogs and other news websites, such as, Forbes,, and Feedspot. Here we were able to access data that ranked the most popular TV shows, blogs, websites, and podcasts among women. Unfortunately, many of these sources do not break out this information into age categories. In some cases, we made some assumptions about relevant content to the demographic that is specific to this report and selected examples of blogs, TV shows, and websites after reviewing the descriptions.

From Part 04