Supplements are ... fun?

Shoot it. Melt it. Slurp it. Stir it. Chew it. Buzz it. Let's make supplementation fun, people!

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

May 22, 2024

3 Min Read

At a Glance

  • Get your softgels, capsules, tablets, gummies and chewables here!
  • Gummies — fun. But what price paradise?
  • Don't just salivate — nutritionate!

Softgels have long been my favorite supplement delivery format. Those seamless slippery suckers are the perfect way to down horse pill-size dosages like a gram of fish oil or a solid dose of CoQ10. Besides looking cool, softgels can enhance bioavailability, and they work particularly well with ingredients that are difficult to absorb, difficult to encapsulate or are fragile to work with.  

As recently as 2020, softgels were the top-selling delivery format — besting capsules, tablets, gummies, chewables, powders, you name it, according to the Nutrition Business Journal delivery format report.  

Since then, gummies and powders have overtaken softgels.  

Powders have the advantage of being excipient-free, though they often use sweetener sources and other masking agents because the taste of bioactives can sometimes be less than palatable.  

Gummies are the new kings, but I’ve got to admit, I’m not a fan. For one, I like to choke down a handful of pills in one fell gulp. And, mind you, I was not even that guy in college who could shotgun a can of beer!  

Gummies also have payload problems — you can get more nutrients in pretty much any other type of delivery format compared to a gummy. But as the gummy folks will tell you, the smallest dose is the supplement that does not get taken. The compliance point is a point well taken — people love them some gummies! It was the way to get kids to take a supplement, and now it’s the way for children after they grow up.  

Related:Chew on this! Delightful delivery formats – digital magazine

Making supplementation fun is a leg up on pharmaceuticals. High five! 

Oral thin strips are another fun way to get your nutrition on. ThinSol has patents on its thin strips with nanoencapsulated iron, with so-called ayurceuticals, with probiotics. These are also fast-acting and bioavailable, what with the strips melting in your mouth and the nutrients hence being absorbed through the buccal cavity or sublingually.  

Looking for more fun? Mid-Day Squares are 1-ounce, single-serve chocolate treats but with 4 grams fiber and 6 grams protein a serving. I’m waiting for them to put a little capsaicin in there for a real functional supplement treat.  

I thought I was hip 20 years ago when I first started making protein shakes. These morning wake-up calls have since evolved to what I call “biosludge,” accommodating a range of powders in my fruit-and-veggie bolus. Give me the powders! 

We’re now seeing powder companies like Ghost, BuckedUp and C4 (in the sports nutrition space) move to RTD (ready-to-drink) products, while Prime RTD just launched a single-serve satchel powder.  

Related:Supplement delivery format evolution: Gels, chews, liquids and shots take over

An important aspect is these products are all nutrition-forward — the world has enough sugar water, and the younger generations are looking beyond such ho-hum products. If you’re going to salivate, might as well nutrition-ate while you’re at it.  

For your complete toolbox to all things delivery format, download the free Natural Products Insider digital magazine, "Chew on this! Delightful delivery formats." Learn how to make a better gummy, journey through the entire gamut of delivery format options, and we even praise the good old-fashioned medicated pill — capsules and tablets still rule!

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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