Supplement Perspectives

To Secure a Consumer's "Wellness Investment," Focus on R&D

<p>S&eacute;bastien Bornet, director of global marketing at Horphag Research, explains this key aspect behind consumer confidence. </p>

In every industry, vitamins and supplements, there has always been controversy about how companies best ensure consumers’ access to premium quality, safe, and efficient products. When people go shopping, they do not only expect distributors to ensure their favorite product is available and nicely packaged. They expect manufacturers to have checked its origin, efficacy, the quality of the raw materials, and whether it respects the environment. It is a matter of trust. These attributes are what consumers expect from manufacturers of finished products and their sourcing teams.

This is precisely why, within our industry, there is a need to conduct independent clinical trials on both ingredients and products. It is not only to have evidentiary support but to ensure that nutritional claims are valid. This research must meet vigorous scientific standards in participants and protocol and be conducted by independent laboratories so credibility is not in question.

In our industry, research is sometimes more important than traditional marketing in protecting brands and gaining third-party recognition of product benefits. The story of the science behind the product makes it more effective to illustrate the deliverables to consumers as they search through pharmacy shelves looking for products that are worthy of their investment and time..  

This level of credibility and consumer education is a key motivating factor in why Horphag Research has attained pioneer status in research and development on its trademarked extract Pycnogenol® – a standardized natural extract from French maritime pine bark. Through decades of independent research – most of it peer-reviewed and published – Pycnogenol® is one of the most well researched ingredients available on the market.

To-date, more than 90 percent of research worldwide on pine bark extract is on Pycnogenol® and Pycnogenol®. Pycnogenol® is truly unique, not only because of its unique botanical source and highest standard manufacturing process, but also thanks to its 40+ years of research, 340 scientific publications including more than 130 clinical trials on more than 10,000 patients. Our reputation is not based on coincidence, but  years of dedication to research and, ultimately, consumer’s satisfaction.

This being said, such research would go unnoticed if it were not properly communicated to consumers. At Horphag Research we have recognized the need to present this research to consumers and communicate the real-life benefits for them across consumer news media, blogs, and social media.

We’ve invited outside experts to review and discuss these findings. And we’ve welcomed consumer questions on our social platforms to explain the research in-depth and gain a greater understanding of other information they want to have access to on Pycnogenol®.

Frost & Sullivan’s analyst team has even dubbed the research portfolio of Pycnogenol® an “undisputed industry standard,” adding to how we have achieved bigger recognition than the category that we’re part of through continued investments in product development. In addition to decades of scientific research that demonstrate efficacy of the ingredient, products including Pycnogenol® are subject to rigorous testing to ensure valid claims are made by the companies that produce them.

As the nutritional supplement industry expands, it is imperative that manufacturers continue to invest in further research and development of products to ensure consumers can be confident in their wellness investment. This kind of research shows effectiveness, real-life benefits, and refutes studies that seek attention by pushing consumers away from the assets that can help contribute to their greater health and wellness.

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