Companies in this industry sell vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements from physical retail locations. Major companies include GNC Holdings, Vitamin Shoppe, and Vitamin World (all based in the US), along with Holland & Barrett (UK).
Health and nutrition trends, aging populations, and consumer spending drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on product innovation, effective merchandising, and competitive pricing. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, distribution, finance, and marketing. Small companies can compete effectively by providing superior customer service, offering unique products, serving a local market, or leveraging online sales. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies generate about 55% of sales.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products sold in health supplement stores include vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements (about 80% of US industry sales) and grocery items. The vitamin, mineral, and health supplement (VMHS) category includes "alphabet" vitamins, multi-vitamins, aromatherapy, herbal extracts, and macrobiotic, homeopathic, herbal and botanical remedies. Sports nutrition products, which include protein and weight gain supplements, sports drinks and bars, and high-potency vitamins, represent a major product category for retailers such as GNC and Vitamin Shoppe. Weight loss products include diet pills, shakes, bars, and teas; meal replacements; and low-carb items. Other categories include beauty care, pet care, books, and magazines.