The Coronavirus Run on Supplements

Gina Acosta
a woman smiling for the camera
A Coronavirus Run on Supplements
Gaia Herbs' Immune Shine, made with elderberry, astragalus and ginger, supports immune health.

It’s not just toilet paper and ground beef flying off supermarket shelves.

The COVID-19 outbreak is prompting a big spike in sales of supplements as consumers look to support their health and well-being during what has turned out to be a long and stressful global crisis.

Supplements that focus on immune health (such as elderberry and zinc) and stress management (such as passionflower and hemp) are particularly selling well, according to suppliers. 

“Our immune product sales on average have grown over 150% compared to this same time period last year,” said Stacey Gillespie, brand director at Gaia Herbs. “This is a higher rate of growth as compared to some of our other top categories. 

According to SPINS data, the supplement industry in general saw double-digit increases in week-to-week sales unit percentages during each week in the entire month of March. Supplement brands with immunity SKUs are seeing an unprecedented spike in sales and interest has spread into adjacent categories.

During the four-week period ending March 29, 2020, the total vitamins category was up 56.7% year over year, according to IRI. Even more impressive, mineral supplement sales were up 22%, multivitamins were up 78%, single letter vitamins were up 92%, and liquid supplement sales were up an incredible 119%.

Gaia Herbs says it is currently looking to ramp up development of products tied to immunity and mood as consumers demand more of these items in the coming months.

“Two of our newest products that people have turned to during these times include our Immune Shine Mushrooms & Herbs powder and our Hemp & Herbs Calm Phyto-Caps,” Gillespie said. Immune Shine, made with elderberry, astragalus and ginger, supports immune health. Hemp & Herbs Calm, made with passionflower and milky oats, supports mood health and relaxation.

The COVID-19 outbreak is poised to boost sales in the vitamin category for a long time as consumers may make long-lasting shifts toward supporting good health with supplements.

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