The usage pattern of nutritional supplements amongst University of KwaZulu-Natal master of business administration (MBA) students.
Nutritional supplements are a combination of complementary medicines and functional foods. While research suggests that the usage of nutritional supplements is increasing worldwide, the growth of the industry is being hampered by a lack of understanding on the part of consumers. The main aim of this study was to determine the usage pattern of nutritional supplements amongst University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Masters of Business Administration (MBA) students registered in 2011. Research data for this study was obtained by surveying UKZN MBA students. From a population of 250, a probability sample of 152 responses was statistically analysed for the research. Quantitative data obtained from a questionnaire was used and analysed to meet the study’s objectives. A salient finding of the study was that there is an “uptapped” market amongst Black consumers that the nutritional supplement businesses should target. The study revealed that the majority of the respondents did not fully understand the benefits of nutritional supplements. The overall results of the study revealed the usage patterns of nutritional supplements amongst UKZN MBA students. The results also identified which population group and which gender consumed nutritional supplements. This study could assist nutritional supplement businesses to gain market share. The results can be used to formulate marketing strategies and to provide businesses with a competitive advantage. The recommendations of the study were that growth in the nutritional supplement industry could be achieved by targeting the Black market and that additional marketing campaigns were needed to educate and inform consumers about the benefits of nutritional supplements.