In May 2013, the respected Sweeney Research company – commissioned by krill supplier Aker BioMarine – initially contacted 2,260 respondents online to uncover krill oil usage. Of those, 74% said they took some sort of supplement, with multivitamins the most common followed by fish oil and krill oil.
Final findings of the study, presented at the annual conference of the Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia in Sydney on September 4, were based on reports from 300 krill oil users and 100 supplement users who did not take krill oil.
The Sweeney study found most krill oil users have been taking krill oil for a year or less (80%), with the (average) mean duration of taking krill oil being nine months.
This result is not entirely surprising and points to the recent surge in popularity of the supplement, the report said.
Users said they were happy with the krill oil brand they currently took and 89% said they would continue taking the supplement.
The vast majority of krill oil users (80%) say krill oil is their preferred omega-3 supplement, the report said. A broad range of reasons is cited as to why krill oil is a preferred oomega-3 supplement – interestingly, ‘no aftertaste’ tops the list. Elsewhere, we note the prominence of ‘more efficient’/‘better absorption’ and also ‘less amount/one per day/don't need so many/small capsule’ – the implication here is that efficiency and convenience are important.
Swisse Wellness CEO Radek Sali said the study accurately reflected the growth in krill oil sales as Australians embraced the benefits of the product.
He also said it was important to know that krill oil was a sustainable resource and not affecting the food supply for whales.
"Krill oil has been one of the fastest growing categories in the Australian market as people embrace the amazing benefits of this sustainable product," Mr Sali said.
Sweeney Research found two in every three krill oil users (67%) claim they switched from another omega-3 supplement to krill oil, while one in every four (25%) indicate they essentially are new omega-3 supplement takers (i.e. they currently take krill oil but didn't previously take an omega-3 supplement). This shows krill oil appears to have substantially broadened the entire omega-3 supplement market.
The older one's age, the more likely they are to have switched and now only take krill oil, whereas those aged under 30 are more likely than those aged over 30 to have switched and now take krill oil in addition to other omega-3 supplements including fish oil, the report said.
Respondents said they switched to krill oil from another omega-3 supplement for better arthritis benefits (33%); better at increasing omega-3 (32%). No after-taste was also frequently mentioned, particularly among females (32%). Half of all respondents (51%) said they knew krill was a sustainable resource, with 77% of all respondents saying sustainability with important and 43% saying it was very important.