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How Does Flavor Impact Supplement Sales v1.1

Last updated: May-1,2023

How Does Flavor Impact Supplement Sales?

Since the evolution of humanity, flavor has been one of the primary drivers of eating behavior. Even today, consumers' flavor preferences significantly drive their purchasing decisions that span across food, beverages, and even supplements. So, if you wish to deliver a supplement that your consumers love, you must pay attention to its flavoring and formulation. In this article, I aim at covering the “why” of flavors and their importance in the world of powder, liquid and chewable supplements. Keep reading for more![i]

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Why Is Flavor in Vogue?

Flavor is a primary driver of the food industry that is worth $8,049 billion. Most consumers prefer trying innovative flavors. Powder manufacturers continuously look for the changing flavor trends and try developing state-of-the-art flavors to satiate consumer demands.[ii] [iii]

Flavor has always been one of the highest motivators for consuming food. However, this is not the only reason you should consider it while creating your supplement business strategy.

Why Is Flavor Important in Supplements?

Flavor is no longer an afterthought in the supplement market. Yes, your formulation is important for your brand, but flavoring carries equal importance, too. It gets associated with your brand’s identity, and you wouldn’t want to risk that. Think about it: once the supplement is off the shelf, the taste is the next thing your customer will notice. If they aren’t satisfied with the taste, it'll do irreparable damage to your brand.[iv] [v]

To illustrate this point further, listen to the advice our Vice President of Product Innovation (Gene Bruno) and New Business Development Manager (Ryan Gillen) have for brand owners that are thinking about creating a plant-based protein powder:

What Is the Purpose of Flavor?

Every supplement contains active ingredients as its base. These base ingredients have their characteristic taste that varies from slightly off to awfully unacceptable, including bitter, chalky, or metallic taste.[vi]

Flavors help mask such base ingredients' taste, making them more acceptable and appealing to consumers. It’s especially true for powders, liquids, and chewable supplements.

Taste, aroma, and color together influence an individual’s senses when they experience new nutritional products. Flavor-masking technology is critical during the supplement manufacturing process to impress consumers right from its first use.

Such aspects make it extremely necessary for you, as a supplement brand owner, to partner with experts who have experience dealing with diverse flavor requirements.

Flavors in Supplements

Your customer segmentation and preference, current trends, and other essential factors drive the type of flavors you can shortlist for your supplements. While finalizing your supplement flavors, you need to pay close attention to the following aspects:

  • The segment of customers you are targeting and any specific information about them that can help you narrow down to any particular flavor.
  • Latest trends in supplement flavoring.
  • What your competitors are doing, and can you derive any inspiration from them to create a profitable, flavorful supplement.

While fruit flavors are more popular when it comes to chewable supplements, for protein powders, the list of popular flavors includes chocolate, coffee, peanut butter, cookies & cream, and a mix of peanut butter and chocolate that have a dessert-like sweetness.

What Are the Types of Flavorings in the Supplement Market?

There are primarily two types of flavors used in creating supplements.[vii] [viii]

Natural Flavors

They have flavor compounds or aroma derived from plant or animal sources, such as fruits, herbs, leaves, spices, bark, buds, or roots that are fermented, distilled, or manipulated in a lab. Due to consumer awareness, natural flavors are more in demand. However, they can be expensive.[ix]

Artificial Flavors

These flavors encompass all those flavors that aren’t natural. They are generally less expensive than their natural counterparts and offer better stability. In some cases, they can be safer than the natural flavors as they omit specific components present in the natural flavors that can be slightly toxic. At the same time, they may not provide the natural taste experience.[x]

How Flavors in Supplement Can Help to Build Business Sale

Here are a few ways that can help you boost your supplement sales.

Distinct Flavors Can Offer A Competitive Advantage

Unique proprietary flavors can give your supplement product line a competitive advantage by boosting your sales.

Specific Flavors Can Generate Demand Spikes

Seasonal or occasion-specific flavors can help increase your supplement demand during a specific time of the year. For example, you can think of introducing tropical fruits for summer, apple and pumpkin flavors for fall, and mint flavors around the holiday season.

Unique Flavors Can Provide Repeat Business

A unique and compelling combination of flavors can make your consumers buy your products, again and again, helping you build brand loyalty.

It Can Offer Higher Price Points

Highly differentiated flavors allow you higher price points resulting in increased customer value.

It May Offer You Cross-Selling Opportunity

Unique and popular supplement flavors can generate opportunities for cross-selling your other products with proprietary flavors.

Supplement Market Flavor Trends in 2021

Besides traditional flavors, today’s consumers prefer a combination of flavors that offer a superior and unique taste. Some of the well-established trending flavors in 2021 are the varieties like strawberry hibiscus, pomegranate paired with apples, raspberries, and black tea, and apricot paired with coconut, peach, rose, and herbs like basil and thyme.

Some of the emerging flavors include alternative citrus flavors such as Bergamot complemented with grapefruit, rosemary, or tangerine and savory flavors such as feta cheese with tomato, apple, or olives. Another one is fig with cinnamon, guava, or cardamom. Besides these popular flavors, honey, rum and raisin, and carob are the emerging flavor heroes. Moreover, other trendy winter flavors include peppermint and chocolate peppermint.

There’s more demand for natural sweeteners such as monk fruit and stevia than artificial ones. Further, by pairing the citrus flavor with acerola, a natural vitamin C source, or other red fruits, including acai and blueberries, you can offer consumers enhanced health benefits and value.

Flavoring with Industry Experts

Flavor is an integral property of any nutraceutical and can affect your supplement’s sales. NutraScience Labs can help you devise a unique and appealing flavor for your supplement. We have 120+ years of contract supplement manufacturing experience and unmatched flavoring capabilities. We offer natural, artificial, or a combination of readily available or customized flavoring options. Call us at 855-492-7388 to know how our experienced account managers and in-house certified food scientist can help you distinguish your supplement in the nutraceutical marketplace, or send us your request to receive a free nutraceutical manufacturing quote.



[i] https://www.preparedfoods.com/articles/105350-flavor-as-a-business-building-strategy

[ii] https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/food/worldwide

[iii] https://www.fooddive.com/news/5-trends-fueling-food-and-beverage-innovation-in-2021/592588/

[iv] https://www.nutritioninsight.com/news/deliciously-functional-limited-edition-festive-flavors-break-into-nutraceutical-sphere.html

[v] https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2018-09/view_columns/flavor-the-new-frontier/

[vi] https://www.nowfoods.com/now/nowledge/flavoring-our-liquid-supplements

[vii] https://www.nutraceuticalsworld.com/issues/2015-07/view_features/nutrition-is-key-but-taste-is-king/

[viii] https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/food-flavor-market

[ix] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/01/well/eat/are-natural-flavors-really-natural.html

[x] https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/food-safety/avoid-artificial-flavors

April 5th, 2021

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.