Beeta Little

June 14, 2012

2 Min Read
Want Kids to Take Your Supplements? Piggyback Onto Their Favorite Foods

Back in my formulator days, I spent several years working with a wonderful team of professionals on a children's supplement line and had the time to study the industry. It was as frustrating as it is fascinating. It was a challenge to satisfy all interested parties: the kids, the parents, R&D, the marketing and sales teams, and upper management. The kids were the hardest to please, no question. Honestly, I think ultimately on these types of projects you arrive at the best possible compromise to hit the masses. And beautiful colorful characters in the marketing and pretty animal shaped tablets never hurt! 

There is no question that the dietary supplement industry of has begun to focus more and more on children. Now, there is a myriad of choices of children's dietary supplements. Children tend to be picky eaters and therefore even with a relatively well balanced diet can suffer from nutritional deficiencies. These nutrient gaps can contribute to issues in their growth and development. There are products focused on gender, age groups, as well as many delivery options. The traditional primary delivery vehicle for kids' supplements has been the chewable tablet. Honestly, it evolved more out of convenience to the vitamin companies.

Most vitamin supplement manufacturers possess tableting equipment and have a lot of expertise in this delivery form. The primary issue for them is aesthetics and taste. However, with the right colors, flavors, and sweeteners, the problem is solved to a certain extent. But children probably have the least compliance with this delivery system. Why? Because of the taste! And with the move to lower sugar, the taste just got worse. And no amount of slick packaging and marketing can overcome a product that kids hate. In fact, may of these products are actually taken by the adults.

So then the gummy vitamins came along. Filled with sugar and with more in common with candy than a supplement, children literally ate them up. Thankfully, more options came along, like powders. Powders, when formulated with just the right level of nutrients and low in sugar, can be added to delicious smoothies and go virtually detected by the kids. Likewise liquids can be added to beverages. Basically if you can incorporate into a delicious food, children will take it! 

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