Pfizer Consumer introduced the original breakthrough innovation in the nutritional supplements market. What if you could get all your daily recommended vitamins in a single pill?
The Centrum multivitamin family went on to propel two generations of growth for their parent company, and ascend to the top against fast follower One-A-Day.
A funny thing happened on the way to the drugstore.
As if overnight, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and even grocers like Whole Foods began to siphon off multivitamin users in favor of a new offering. Instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, people who really cared about their nutrition were designing their own regimen of supplements. In this new and healthier world, people were no longer using vitamins to fill the gap when they choose French fries over broccoli. As this ripple became a wave, Pfizer was caught wrong-footed. Suddenly the respected science behind Centrum was described by mainstream consumers pejoratively. “It looks like a pharmaceutical product”. Scientists who previously dismissed the organic movement as a remote outlier for “weeds and seeds” found themselves on the periphery.