In the world of dietary supplement manufacturing, being able to recognize the differences between a fad and a trend can help decided whether your company will break even or break out.
3 Dietary Supplement Manufacturing Trends Worth Watching
With the first week of June already underway, we’ve decided to take a step back and evaluate the nutraceutical playing field. Based off of what we’ve seen of 2016 so far, here are three nutraceutical industry trends you should be watching (if you aren’t arleady):
Trend #1: Plant-Based Alternatives
When it comes to the recent uptake in plant-based alternatives for animal-based products, it looks like the nutraceutical industry as fallen into a feedback loop of sorts – but a good one. Over the course of the last few years, consumers have made it clear that whether it’s for ethical, environmental, or personal reasons – there is a growing demand for plant-based alternatives to products that are traditionally manufactured with animal-based ingredients.
Arguably, the most noteworthy nutraceutical category to be affected by this particular shift in consumer demand has been protein supplements. While whey and casein continue to hold their own, the uptake in demand for plant-based proteins has been undeniable.
While only 2-8% of Americans may choose to be “full-time” vegetarians according to a recent survey from the Vegetarian Resource Group, that same survey reported that more than a third of Americans (approximately 39% women and 32% men) avoid meat or eat products for at least one meal a week. That works out to nearly 100 million consumers who are actively seeking out vegetarian/vegan alternatives on a regular basis.
Trend #2: “Clean Label” Nutraceuticals
As we’ve mentioned before, one of the other most popular trends among consumers in 2016 is the desire for minimally processed goods and supplements that have been labeled both accurately and simply.
After choosing to examine US consumer interest in the phrase “clean label” since the mid-2000s (with the help of our friends over at Google Trends), this is what we found:
If we choose to take this graph as any indicator, it becomes apparent that US interest in “clean label” has reached an all time high as of June 2016.
So what does this mean for dietary supplement entrepreneurs and nutraceutical band owners? The value of setting aside the time and resources to work with your manufacturer, graphic/label designers, and ingredient suppliers to craft a supplement that meets the demands of the consumers you’re trying to reach cannot be understated.
Trend #3: Sustainability and Responsibly Sourced
Tying in to both Trend #1 and Trend #2, the global demand for manufacturing practices – across every industry – that are both sustainable and environmentally responsible has started the gain some serious traction – and rightfully so. While having a product that’s organic or gluten-free can be great, having a supplement that relies on sustainably sourced ingredients or packaging can be even better.
With more than 7.4 billion people in the world, the need for humanity to establish sustainable consumption patters is becoming more real each day. Earlier this year, the World Resources Institute released an extensive and impressive report highlighting just how real the need for sustainably sourced human diets and consumables is (you can read “Sustainable Diets: What You Need to Know in 12 Charts” here).
We live in an informed and connected 2016. With the help of the internet, consumers have the ability to be more informed about the purchasing decisions they make than every before. For those on the industry side of things: 1) Pretend that nothing has changed, or 2) Embrace everything.
For those who are open to the possibilities and willing to engage, the Internet and social media have the ability to act as incredible platforms for communication and dialogue between you and your customers.