While supplement fads come and go (Dr. Oz's African mango recommendation, anyone?) it's clear that among regular supplement users, several brands and supplement retailers are anything but a passing trend. In fact, a recent survey of nearly 10,300 vitamin and supplement users by ConsumerLab.com revealed that of the 88 leading brands, two were named tops on consumer satisfaction for some of the most popular supplements.

  • Puritan's Pride for calcium, glucosamine & chondroitin and probiotic
  • Life Extension for coQ10, fish oil and multivitamin

The popularity of these mass, direct-to-you online supplement sellers come as no surprise. Nutrition Business Journal estimates that U.S. consumer sales of dietary supplements through the Internet channel were $1.3 billion in 2010 and will surpass $3 billion by 2017.

Convenience is a big driver of online supplement sales. Life Extension offers convenience with its auto ship option, so consumers never run out of supplements, and invests heavily in education with its magazine—free for Life Extension members. Puritan's Pride—which claims 6 million customers and manufactures more than 1,000 nutritional supplements—has made ConsumerLab.com's list for the past two years as the top catalogue/Internet supplement brand, but this year was inched out by Swanson.

The complete list of top-rated supplement brands on consumer satisfaction:

  • Catalogue/Internet Brand: Swanson
  • Direct Selling (MLM) Brand: Nutrilite
  • Discount/Warehouse Brand: Kirkland (Costco)
  • Grocery Store Brand: Trader Darwin (Trader Joe’s)
  • Healthcare Practitioner Brand: Pure Encapsulations
  • Health Food Store Brand: Nutricology
  • Mass Market Multi-Category Brand: Biotivia
  • Mass Market Single-Category Brand: Citracal
  • Pharmacy Brand: CVS
  • Vitamin Store Brand: Vitamin World
  • Canadian Brand: Webber Naturals

Of note in this list is Biotivia, which also appeared on last year's survey. Biotivia has moved into prominence with resveratrol and antioxidant supplements in the past two years. NBJ's latest data for the market reports that U.S. sales of resveratrol supplements grew 13 percent in 2010 to $35 million. While few breakout ingredients have entered the supplement market, manufacturers that can capitalize on the feeling of ingredient "newness" are capturing more customers.