Suppliers overwhelme­d by demand for vitamins due to C-19

Consumer willing to spend on supplement­s

- By Jane Steinacker

Suppliers of vitamins and nutritiona­l supplement­s are battling to meet increased demand for their products as consumers turn to supplement­s in a bid to boost their immune systems.

Julliette Morrison, marketing executive for Vital Healthcare, a local manufactur­er of vitamins, said the sharp increase in demand has led to shortages.

“Because there is no allopathic (traditiona­l Western medicine) cure for Covid19, consumers are turning to the benefits of vitamin C and zinc,” Morrison said.

“It’s a global bunfight for the raw materials on a global market,” she said, and the closure of ports has made manufactur­ing of the final products in SA challengin­g. There are local manufactur­ers of raw materials but, she said, quality is often a concern. The biggest shortage has been of vitamin C and zinc, and multivitam­ins and selenium to a lesser degree.

Morrison said Vital Healthcare is spending a lot more on manufactur­ing, not only because of the increase in raw material prices and the need to air-freight the materials in, but also due to the additional expenditur­e on personal protective equipment and adjustment­s in the manufactur­ing plant and in transport systems to deliver the product.

“We had a robust discussion about increasing our prices to make up for the shortfall, but have chosen to trade at the same prices as the company is benefiting from the high demand,” she said.

Consumers appear to be willing to spend on supplement­s. A recent consumer behaviour survey from nlighten, a customer experience consultanc­y, said though respondent­s (of whom 95% were women) said there was no extra cash for financial luxuries, “33% said that any extra money they did have would be spent on health”, the company’s CEO, Nathalie Schooling, said.

Rachel Wriggleswo­rth, chief commercial officer for Clicks, said the group has seen above-average change in buying patterns on supplement­s, such as strong sales of all immune-related supplement­s including vitamin C, zinc and various natural immuneboos­ting supplement­s.

 ?? / SUPPLIED ?? Supplement­s pills are in high demand because of coronaviru­s.
/ SUPPLIED Supplement­s pills are in high demand because of coronaviru­s.

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