Public Health England (PHE) advises everyone in the UK to consider taking a vitamin D supplement in autumn and winter if they do not get enough foods that naturally contain the vitamin.

Vitamin D is especially important during winter time in the UK, as people may not get enough due to a lack of sun. The vitamin plays a major role in supporting immune, brain and nervous systems, and helping to maintain the health of bones and teeth. 

PHE suggests the needed amount – an average daily intake of 10 micrograms for adults – should be derived either from foods, or supplements. 

Supplements are often considered as a go-to category for vitamins. However, food and beverage manufacturers have the potential to divert consumer interest from tablets and capsules towards their products.

Producers of foods naturally-rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish and eggs, need to attract consumer attention to a presence of vitamin D. This could be done through packaging claims, such as share of the vitamins’ RDA in a single-serve portion. 

Meanwhile, items that are not known for their content of the vitamin, can also capitalize on consumer need for vitamin D. For example, in 2015, Marks & Spencer started adding Vitamin D to its packaged bread in response to customer concerns of not getting the recommended daily amount.
Bread isn’t the only food item that can have extra nutrients added – other staple foods such as milk, breakfast cereals, and flour are also a base for adding vitamin D to ensure the daily intake.  Fairlife, the US milk brand, and private label Trader Joe have recently launched dairy products that emphasize their vitamin D content.

According to GlobalData’s 2015 Q2 survey, 42% of UK consumers associate vitamin D with general wellbeing and 32% with bone health. This points to opportunities for manufacturers to increase awareness about the vitamin’s importance, such as through packaging, advertising campaigns or promotions, which in turn, will grow sales of vitamin D rich foods.