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Health: Are supplements a panacea?

As Singapore progressively reopens its economy, we are increasingly aware of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has crystalised Singaporeans’ worries and fears.

A key consequence of the pandemic is how risk-averse we have almost been forced to become. From avoiding crowds, enclosed spaces, surfaces, and any other potential sources of infection, we seem to be a lot more anxious than before. This is also visible in the health and wellness space, which has grown immensely during the pandemic. Not only are we trying to eat better, we are also looking at how else we can protect our health and boost our immunity.

How much are we relying on supplements to fend off the worse of COVID-19?

Blackbox data shows that more than eight in 10 Singaporeans (83%) now take health or dietary supplements. With everybody anxious to shield themselves from the potential impact of COVID-19, 28% of Singaporeans claim to have increased their intake of Western health and dietary supplements since the pandemic began, while 23% say they have increased their intake of traditional Asian supplements (TCM).

Singaporeans are more likely to focus on consuming supplements for full body immunity (42%), pain relief (19%), eyesight (17%), stomach and digestive health (16%), and heart and circulation (15%).

Men are twice as likely than women to take supplements for stress relief and for better circulation, and seven times more likely to take supplements to enhance sexual performance.

While Vitamin C (44%) enjoys the widest consumption, one in four Singaporeans (25%) now consume fish oil/Omega 3 supplements and nearly one in five (19%) consume probiotics. Around one in 10 consume either turmeric, zinc, ginseng or goji berries (which are especially popular with women).

With out-of-home spending opportunities still curtailed, health supplements are one category that has gone from being big to very big business.

As highlighted earlier this year, Singaporeans are now keener to take ownership of their well-being and this will drive further growth in the supplement business as brands continue to look for new ways and better formulas to help us again feel invincible.

Want more information on Singaporeans’ evolving habits and preferences? Contact us at to design a tailor-made study to better understand local consumers.

Author: Blackbox Research Team


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