Italy 2019 Supplement/OTC/Rx Report


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90+ pages of NMI research, study supported, providing current consumer insights with data and analysis, including charts, graphs, illustrations!

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Introduction Overview

Since 2005, NMI’s Global Dietary Supplements/OTC/Rx Consumer Studies are devoted to understanding consumer attitudes and behaviors and their impact on market dynamics!

Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) is pleased to present its Italy 2019 Supplements/OTC/Rx Report. This comprehensive report analyzes the dietary supplement market from the consumer perspective with 90+ pages of consumer attitudes, behaviors and product usage patterns surrounding dietary supplements, over-the-counter medication and pharmaceuticals.

This research uncovers how consumers integrate this mix of self-care methods into their current lifestyle and reveals the motivations and the challenges they encounter in their pursuit of health. Many factors are driving multiple categories across Italy. For example, aging drives condition-specific needs, and increased consumer knowledge and desire for specific product features and benefits drive sustainable, organic, and plant-based options. The need for education and an understanding of the drivers that affect consumer behavior patterns has never been stronger.

The overall objectives of the report are to develop unique and specific consumer insight to maximize client learnings and opportunities in terms of attracting new consumers, increasing compliance and developing compelling messaging and communications strategies.


Some of the topics covered in the report:

Top “White Space” Opportunity areas

The size and demographic composition of Consumer groups

Highly engaged consumer segments in supplement use

Health and Wellness composition of various supplement user groups

‘Likely User’ groups to buy supplements –Condition management

Understanding NMI’s Health & Wellness consumer segmentation

Demographic Profile of the Health & Wellness Segments

and much more!


Background and Methodology

background and methodology italy imageCountry: Italy

Background: In Quarter 1 of 2019, NMI conducted an online quantitative survey to understand Italian attitudes and usage patterns with regard to dietary supplements in order to assist companies with their health and wellness initiatives on a global basis.

Methodology: Online

Sample size: 1,000 +/- general population respondents

Data collection: March 2019 – April 2019

Report Published: July 2019


Definitions of Consumer Groups within the Report

definitions cponsumer group italy imageGP – General Population Adults 18+

Millennials – born 1977-1997 (Ages 21-41)

Young Millennials – born 1991-1997 (Ages 21-27)

Older Millennials – born 1977-1990 (Ages 28-41)

Gen X – born 1965-1976 (Ages 42-53)

Boomers – born 1946-1964 (Ages 54-72)

Matures – born 1900-1945 (Ages 73+)

Understanding NMI’s consumer segmentation within the Italian general population allows marketers to optimize their target products and messages


Executive Summary

Italian consumers are engaged in supplement use

  • 66% of Supplement Users use supplements over concern of the lack of nutrition in food
  • Approximately 80% of consumers have used supplements in the past 30 days
  • The top perceived nutrient deficiencies include Omega 3, Vitamin D, Magnesium and Iron
  • Italian Supplement Users are using an average of 1.4 supplements a day

34% of supplement users have increased supplement usage over the past few years

  • Multi-Vitamins and Magnesium are the top supplements used
  • 11% of Supplement Users are using probiotics
  • Only 3% are using collagen; as well 15% are using L-Carnitine
  • Cost and quality uncertainty are primary reason for lower usage amongst users

Italian Supplement Users are growing more savvy about the characteristics of supplements

  • Proof of efficacy and Unquestionable safety are the most important attributes toward supplement purchase with Clean label a distant second concern
  • Many supplement users feel it is important for their supplements to be plant-based, vegetarian, and to contain sustainable, organic and natural ingredients.
  • Nutrient bioavailability and absorption are also necessary attributes and provide a strong supplement brand platform

Personalization will provide future opportunities for the Italian supplement industry

  • Over 70% of Supplement Users would be interested in a personalized supplement; consumers under 55 show significantly more interest than those over 55 years of age
  • Approximately 66% of Supplement Users would also be willing to take a blood test, a DNA test (56%) and share personal health data to get a personalized supplement plan (65%)


NMI’s Consumer Segmentation

NMI’s Global Health and Wellness consumer segmentation reveals five well-defined segments with distinctive paths toward health and wellness

This proprietary global health and wellness segmentation, based on more than 40 variables, measures commonalities and differences between five distinct consumer groups using k-means cluster analysis. The comprehensive statistical modeling process used to derive NMI’s Health and Wellness consumer segmentation is based on the following techniques and methodologies:

    • Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of nearly 200 measures of consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding health and wellness, organic products, supplements, exercise, and many other topics. The analysis identified more than 25 potential factors.
    • The identification of 31 measures from the factor analysis that best represented each of the potential factors and maintained consistency with the previous years’ segmentation solution.
    • K-means cluster analysis which examined numerous potential solutions to determine which segmentation model provided the optimal solution, based on the following criteria:
      • Maximum differentiation between consumer groups
      • Maximum homogeneity within each consumer group
    • NMI’s Health and Wellness Segmentation tool has 92% accuracy in predicting segment membership.

The analysis determined that a five-cluster solution was optimal. The five segments listed below are mutually exclusive. Within each segment, the key attitudinal drivers of health and wellness exert unique levels of influence.


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Table of Contents

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health maintenance itlay

Italian consumer’s use of supplements in the past 30 days

Consumer confidence in supplementation to maintain their health

Supplement Users feel they are not getting enough nutrition from the foods they eat

Consumers’ perception about the foods they eat

Italian consumers are managing an array of conditions

Top health conditions Supplement Users are currently managing

Over 33% of Supplement Users are using supplements for energy support

Use of condition specific supplements for fitness, brain, skin health, and appearance are growing

Consumers show high likelihood to use supplements to manage and prevent a whole host of conditions. (Top and Second Tiers)

Strong opportunities for Preventative positioning and messaging

Messaging - proof or tangibility of effectiveness to boost consumer confidence

Consumers show lower confidence in specific supplements effectiveness


specific supplement italy

% of Italian consumers currently using supplements

% of consumers exhibiting lapsed usage

Looking at more specific supplement use by the largest % of the population

Most used supplement categories trend Multi's/single vitamins/single minerals showing the growth

Supplement User profile- from Light to Heavy each day

Reasons for lowered usage

Primary supplements used by Italian consumers

Emerging supplements are still showing very low usage, Need for education

The top supplements showing strong growth over the past few years

Variations in generational use of supplements revelations

% of Supplement Users using probiotics and are understanding the role of prebiotics

Plant-based protein is growing in many forms

Muscle building, Exercise recovery, Digestion, Body fat/Weight loss

14% of supplement users are sourcing Fiber daily through diet


supplement dynamics italy

Unquestionable Safety and Effectiveness are the leading Italian trends in purchase decision

Clinical proof and Bioavailability/absorption attributes are showing strong positive growth

The second tier of important attributes measured by supplement categories by Italian users

Prescription medications perceptions and credibility vs. Supplements

Supplement Users’ decision to purchase supplements, other influencers

Leading Social media websites and influences on supplement purchase decisions

Advice and Confidence in Practitioner knowledge of Supplements

A ‘need state’ for personalized supplements

Supplement Users willingness to get a personalized supplement plan

Assurance of ingredient content, absorption and health benefit claims

Preferred Country of origin impact on purchase

Levels of confusion regarding supplements side effects

Consumers willingness to pay premium pricing


supplement formats and content italy

Innovative formats solutions to “pill adverse” Italian consumers

Which Delivery system is by far driving the growth of preferred supplement formats?

Alternative delivery formats showing both preference and most growth in past 4 years

Italian consumer majority preference for plant-based supplements

Increasing demand for sustainable and e-friendly ingredients

Segments showing strong orientation toward natural and organic

Certifications also garner a level of importance


barriers to supplement use italy

Primary reasons Italian consumers cite for lapsed usage

Opportunities to boost perceptions of effectiveness in improving health

The main barrier and brand options to supplement use among non-users

Demographic Profile of Supplement Users and Lapsed Users


supplement purchasing behavior italy

Where do most Italian consumers shop for supplements?

Internet is showing the most growth and will continue to have greater impact

Channel shopping growth now and future

Leading Italian retailers where Supplement users are buying

Top brands dominating the Market

Average Monthly spend on supplements among Supplement Users

Consumers understanding of a quality brand diminishes price sensitivity


otc rx italy

Why do Italian consumers report that their doctor’s usual solution to their health issues is to prescribe a prescription medication?

The overall conditions for which Italian Supplement Users are taking prescription medications do not align with the top conditions they are managing

Generations show variations in the conditions vs. prescription medication use in the past 6 months

Consumer dilemma regarding prescription medication side effects

Consumers high concern with prescription medication interaction and nutrient depletion

Supplement Users monthly spending on their supplements

Segments showing concern about nutrient depletion due to prescription use

Supplement Users spending monthly on over-the-counter medications


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For more information kindly contact your NMI rep or Steve French, NMI Managing Partner, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 215-513-7300, ext. 214.

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