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6 Supplement Packaging and Labeling Trends to Watch in 2020

Last updated: March-29,2022

Top Supplement Packaging and Labeling Trends 2020

Let’s start with a question or two.

What’s more important? The ingredients inside your dietary supplement or the outside packaging?

It’s not a trick question. Most supplement business owners put a lot of effort into creating, revising, and finalizing their product formula, but tend to spend little-to-no time thinking about how their product label should look or how their product should be packaged.

While product quality is of the utmost importance, the appearance of your finished product should not be overlooked. In fact, by the end of this article, I promise you'll realize that your label and packaging design can make all the difference when it comes to the success (or failure) of your product.

Moreover, your product's label can make or break your brand if you're selling through online channels. The reason being - offline mediums give the consumers a chance to physically understand the product, which significantly impacts their purchase decisions. On the contrary, online buying decisions solely depend on the consumer's experience while looking at the product's pictures, its label, and the information present on it.

Keeping both – online and offline selling in mind, we’ve brought to you 6 supplement packaging and labeling trends worth watching in 2020!

Chris Bennett Supplement Packaging and Labeling Advice

You Only Have 90 Seconds to Make a First Impression

Quite a few studies [i], [ii], [iii] reveal that consumers make purchase decisions within the first 90 seconds after seeing a product!

So, the question is: Within that time frame of 90 seconds, how will you make a connection with your customers? After looking at your product, will your consumers be excited and curious enough to reach out and grab your package? If you are not confident about this, don’t worry. Just keep reading.

New Trends in Supplement Packaging and Label Design in 2020

Why is the packaging and label design of your dietary supplement so important? Because a visually appealing product can stick with the consumers' subconscious and drive their emotions to purchase a particular product [iv]. Yes, it all depends on how strongly your packaging connects with your consumers on an emotional level! In fact, Harvard professors say that 95% of purchase decisions are subconscious.

Take a look at these figures from L.E.K. Consulting, a global management consulting firm:

  • More than 90% of brand owners across the spectrum believe that packaging plays a vital role in the success of their product/brand [v].
  • About 75% of brand owners expect to invest more money into the packaging of their product in 2020 [vi].

Right about now you may be thinking...I get it, but how do I create an eye-catching packaging and label design for my supplement product that will stand out in retail outlets and online? One idea is to work with a dietary supplement manufacturer that offers in-house packaging and label design capabilities and possesses a proven track record of success.

Another way is to keep abreast of the latest labeling and packaging trends because one thing you can be sure of is that your competitors are already on it. This makes it extremely essential for you to understand how your product would stand out among your competitors!

Trend #1: Transparent and clean label trends

Both these terms hold high value for consumers and are often incorrectly used interchangeably. However, these are two distinct trends that are explained in more detail below since they are related to one another.

Clean label trends

About 50% to 75% of consumers would qualify “clean” labels as those with natural ingredients or fewer ingredients that are familiar and easily recognizable [vii]. Such products usually contain natural ingredients associated with better nutrition, ethical sourcing, and environmental sustainability. These products do not contain artificial or synthetic ingredients.

Transparent label trends

About 86% of consumers say they are more likely to buy products that build trust. A higher sense of trust is built on transparent labels or labels that are complete with ingredients that are easy-to-understand [viii], [ix].

As consumers become more supplement savvy and increasingly aware of health profiles of products, supplement business owners may want to consider partnering with third-party organizations. For example, the Clean Label Project is a non-profit that seeks to empower consumers by providing “clean label” certifications after testing supplements for environmental and industrial contaminants and rates them for ingredient quality.

Trend #2: Big companies will have to follow new FDA label requirements

The new guidelines for Nutrition Facts labels, published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2016, were created to make it easier for consumers to make informed supplement choices [x].

The changes in the new labels include:

  • a modification of the list of required nutrients that must be declared on the label
  • updating size requirements
  • refreshing the label design

Bigger supplement companies with annual sales of $10 million or more were required to adopt the new label guidelines by January 1, 2020. Supplement business owners with annual sales of less than $10 million will be required to switch to new labels by January 1, 2021.

Trend #3: Customized and personalized packaging

The popularity of digital printing has grown phenomenally in the last decade, setting into motion the customization and personalization of labels. What does personalized packaging mean? Think of what Coca-Cola did when they launched their award-winning “Share a Coke” campaign with personalized names printed on their soft-drink containers [xi].

Supplement business owners are not far behind in the personalized packaging trend. The Vitamin Shoppe offers customized supplement plans through their “Only Me” program. Persona is another company that offers customized nutrition in the form of supplements. Both these companies offer personalized packaging in sachets based on a customer’s answers to a questionnaire on their website. Persona goes a step further by offering doctor-approved supplement recommendations for their customers.

The image below pictures Dominique’s morning dose of supplements. On-the-go, single-use, travel-friendly – packaging like these provide the much-needed convenience to the consumers. You can take this idea further with customized packaging for bags, boxes, bottles, etc.

Persona Nutrition Supplement Packaging Example
Source: PersonaNutrition.com

Trend #4: Flexible packaging trends are gaining new ground

In 2019, flexible packaging accounted for 19% of the total packaging materials in the United States [xii].

What is flexible packaging? The general definition describes this as packaging that does not have a rigid structure and can change shape.

Because of the many benefits of flexible packaging, such as environment-friendly features and end-of-life recycling initiatives, NutraScience Labs believes the popularity of this type of packaging will rise in 2020, especially with the additional features it possesses like:

  • Easier storage because of its flexible structure
  • Easy for customers to open and reseal
  • Extended shelf life
  • Can be stacked easily for shipping
  • Weighs less than conventional packaging
  • More cost-effective packaging compared to other packaging types

Chris Bennett Supplement Packaging and Label Design Advice

Trend #5: The use of colors, designs and gradients

Packaging design is used to grab the attention of consumers. According to Emerald Insights, 62% to 90% of a consumer’s purchase decision is based on the color alone [xiii]!

So, which colors or gradients have the strongest attraction? Try colors like neon green, bright yellow, or use packaging effects such as a metallic sheen or a reflective surface. The bright, bold, and sustainable packaging design of the stackable sports supplements produced by Motion Nutrition is a great example.

Trend #6: Sustainable packaging is here to stay

Consumers are becoming more aware of sustainability issues and are making purchasing decisions they perceive will be less harmful to our planet. In 2020, NutraScience Labs predicts more brands will use sustainable packaging designs such as biodegradable packing instead of non-recyclable plastics. Sustainable packaging for supplements can include convenient recycling options for customers allowing them to do their bit in helping to save the planet.

Colorful Supplement Packaging Example
Source: FoodAndDrinkTechnology.com

Another way of showing customers your commitment to improving the environment is by using less packaging material. This can leave less of a carbon footprint as it leads to lighter weight packaging and less energy required to transport products [xiv].


Innovative packaging and labeling is an excellent way to use the 90-second window your product has before a purchase decision is made! With over 120 years of nutraceutical industry experience, the team at NutraScience Labs can help you create a high-quality dietary supplement that's packaged and labeled to stand out in today's competitive market!

For more information about our award-winning contract supplement manufacturing, packaging and labeling services, call (855) 492-7388 to speak with one of our friendly representatives or send us your request for a free price quote.


[i] https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00251740610673332/full/html

[ii] https://www.iqmetrix.com/blog/how-do-visuals-influence-consumer-behavior

[iii] ttps://www.tourolaw.edu/lawreview/uploads/pdfs/27_2/9.pdf

[iv] https://www.inc.com/logan-chierotti/harvard-professor-says-95-of-purchasing-decisions-are-subconscious.html

[v] https://www.lek.com/insights/ei/2019-brand-packaging-study

[vi] https://www.lek.com/insights/ei/2019-brand-packaging-study

[vii] https://www.grandecig.com/blog/clean-labels-vs.-ingredient-transparency-whats-the-difference

[viii] https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2019/09/13/The-clean-label-trend-and-what-it-means-to-supplement-consumers

[ix] https://www.cleanlabelproject.org/our-mission/

[x] https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/changes-nutrition-facts-label

[xi] https://www.cokestore.com/personalized-bottle

[xii] https://www.yorksaw.com/packaging-industry-trends/

[xiii] https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00251740610673332/full/html

[xiv] https://www.yorksaw.com/packaging-industry-trends/

April 17th, 2020

About the Author:

Vincent Tricarico

Vincent Tricarico is currently the Vice President of Contract Manufacturing at NutraScience Labs. With nearly 20 years of direct-to-consumer and business-to-business experience, Mr. Tricarico is a respected executive in the dietary supplement industry and is well-known for his ability to consistently build and grow successful teams that produce results. Over the years, his work has been published in many industry trade publications, such as Natural Products Insider, Nutritional Outlook, and WholeFoods Magazine.