Alternative supplement delivery formats such as gummies, soft chews and liquids are becoming increasingly popular.

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

June 26, 2019

2 Min Read
Pills are dead! Long live nutrition!_0.jpg

Health supplement alternative delivery formats, such as gummies, soft chews and liquids, are becoming increasingly popular. Gummies, for example, saw a 109 percent growth in preference over a seven-year period dating to 2018, according to Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) research from 2018. Ready-to-drink and functional beverages are also increasing in popularity, with NMI data showing growth rates of 13 percent and 28 percent, respectively, for these supplement formats in the last 10 years.

Here, growth is coming from the younger generations primarily, namely iGen, Millennials and Gen X. While consumers still value the convenience and ease of use provided by the traditional big three dosage forms—capsules, tablets and softgels—alternative delivery formats are growing in popularity.

Gummies and soft chews appeal to adults just as much as they do to children. Sure, these candyceuticals can come with more sugar content than some consumers feel comfortable consuming; the flip side of that argument is the old saw that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. In other words, a little sugar won’t kill you, but the rampant nutrient holes in Americans’ diets just might.

Powders could be responsible for the flat sales rates of multivitamins over the last few years as Smoothie Nation puts aside traditional multi-pill formats in lieu of nutrient-dense powders that give them a jolt of vitality, whether for a morning buzz or afternoon wakeup.

Liquid formats are also finding favor as a means of escaping the fatigue of swallowing pills. It also includes shots, which are finally escaping the gravitational pull of the landmark caffeine-forward energy shots and are bleeding out to a range of health conditions.

All this innovation in supplements is effectively reaching different consumers in new ways with better nutrient solutions. We’ll drink to that!

For more, download our Contract Manufacturing for Supplements digitial magazine.  

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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