Ashwagandha products are progressively appearing in the natural products market for many compelling reasons, including increasing public interest in Ayurveda, widespread consumer education and rising demand for stress-lowering therapies. Supplements are an effective delivery vehicle to harness the botanical’s potential benefits.
Ashwagandha can be delivered on its own or integrated into formulations with synergistic ingredients. Both options have their advocates.
“Historically, Garden of Life has not formulated stand-alone ashwagandha products,” said Jeffrey Brahms, general counsel and vice president of science and international at Garden of Life in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “Instead, we use the ingredient for its clinically studied value in combination with other ingredients in our formulas. We start with Ayurvedic traditional medicinal uses for ashwagandha as a guide for formulating with this ingredient. But we also study emerging science—including the multiple human clinical studies performed by our suppliers—to inform our uses and the dosing. Our consumers recognize that ashwagandha is very versatile and beneficial, and it always adds value to our formulations.”
However, combination products aren’t the only game in town. “Innovation in an ashwagandha product can happen through how the ingredient is combined with other synergistic ingredients to provide a comprehensive suite of benefits,” said Terry Papadopoulos, MSH, RD, senior manager of product development, corporate brands at Vitacost in Boca Raton, Florida, “but it can also be achieved by providing just ashwagandha as a stand-alone product by itself without any other ingredients … When you take a product with multiple ingredients, it’s difficult to determine which ingredient is providing the benefits you’re experiencing. As such, taking finished products with multiple ingredients can remove consumers’ ability to control and tweak their supplement regimens. Our go-to-market strategy was along the lines of introducing a product with doses that matched the research and wasn’t combined with other ingredients. We wanted to provide the isolated, stand-alone ingredient that would allow consumers access to the ingredient as it was studied in clinical research where it was administered alone rather than in combination with other ingredients. We wanted to offer a quality source of ashwagandha extract in its pure form, by itself, so people could use it as they saw fit for their personal regimens. And if they elected to take other ingredients with it, they could take them separately.”
Choosing a delivery method is another consideration, as ashwagandha is a relatively easy ingredient to formulate with. Free-flowing or encapsulated powders, tablets and softgels, to name a few, all accommodate the botanical with minimal concern for unpleasant flavors or shelf-life issues.
To read more about this niche, visit Ashwagandha Advantage to download “Supplements Deliver Ashwagandha’s Benefits.”