A consistent percentage of U.S. adults label themselves as supplement users, with 66 percent classifying themselves as such, according to a new survey conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). In 2009, 65 percent identified themselves as supplement users compared with 64 percent in 2008; 68 percent in 2007; and 66 percent in 2006.

According to the results from the 2010 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, regular supplement usage also remains steady—the on-line survey showed that nearly three-quarters of supplement users (74 percent) classify themselves as “regular” users, as opposed to occasional users (21 percent) or seasonal users (5 percent).  In 2009, 73 percent of supplement users indicated they took supplements regularly; in 2008, 75 percent, and in 2007, 77 percent indicated similarly.

“It’s encouraging that during these tough economic times, consumers are maintaining their supplement regimens; it’s clear that year over year they still place value on these products,” said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN. “While we’d like to see these numbers grow over time, the fact that usage has remained steady reinforces the importance consumers place on dietary supplements.”

Notably, it seems that more consumers are taking vitamin D than in previous years. Findings from the 2010 survey indicated that 27 percent of supplement users take a vitamin D supplement—up from 19 percent and 16 percent in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

“The ever-growing body of research on the benefits of vitamin D has been widely circulated in scientific journals, among healthcare practitioners and within popular press, so it’s no surprise that we are seeing more consumers adding it to their existing supplement routines,” continued Ms. Blatman. “Given that optimal levels of vitamin D are difficult to get from diet and adequate sun exposure alone, a vitamin D supplement is the right option for many people.”

Consumer confidence in dietary supplements has also remained consistent in 2010, with 82 percent of American adults indicating that they are confident in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements. Confidence in supplements has remained fairly consistent over the last several years with 84 percent of American adults indicating a favorable level of confidence in dietary supplements in 2009, 81 percent in 2008, and 80 percent in 2007.

The 2010 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements was conducted August 17-September 22, 2010 by Ipsos Public Affairs and funded by CRN. The survey was conducted on-line and included a national sample of 1,989 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. on-line panel. The survey has been conducted annually since 2000. Weighting was employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.