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!
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