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The rise of ashwagandha: A case study in a growing and evolving category – article

Using a comprehensive approach to both research and marketing, KSM-66 helped shape a distinctive ashwagandha category. But as the segment grows, new formulations are changing the dynamic.

December 1, 2023

4 Min Read
The rise of ashwagandha: A case study in a growing and evolving category

Ashwagandha, a botanical deeply ingrained in traditional ayurveda, has experienced a notable surge worldwide in recent years.

This rapid elevation in recognition is not simply due to global patterns shifting toward comprehensive health; it is considerably credited to the foundational work by industry pioneer branded ingredient provider KSM-66 ashwagandha.

What placed KSM-66 at the forefront of ashwagandha's global surge? The answer might reside in the ingredient supplier’s committed strategy to rigorous research and marketing. Leading the charge in scientific exploration, KSM-66 sets itself apart with a dedication to discovering the true potential of ashwagandha. The company’s commitment is evident in its ceaseless quest to evaluate and clinically validate the safety and effectiveness of its product. KSM-66 ashwagandha distinguishes itself with the highest number of rigorous clinical studies, confirming its unmatched quality and benefits.

The achievements of the KSM-66 team are not confined to laboratories and research institutions. KSM-66 acknowledges the significance of communication and education in the present digital era, using a wide range of marketing tactics that encompass various platforms and channels. By building alliances with global media giants, KSM-66 has ensured that the merits of ashwagandha are communicated worldwide. From educational blogs, informative articles and captivating infographics to white papers, videos and podcasts, KSM-66 content connects with both inquiring newcomers and knowledgeable aficionados.

This comprehensive approach to both research and marketing has fundamentally enabled KSM-66 to shape a distinctive category. Company endeavors have not only disseminated the advantages of ashwagandha but also generated a distinct buzz around it.

The rise in ashwagandha's popularity has prompted many other companies to enter the category. Many of the resulting new extracts have strayed from age-old traditional ashwagandha extract formulations. The fundamental reason is likely an escalating pressure on these nascent suppliers to amplify sales by underscoring new and different benefits. If these declared advantages are not well substantiated it could weaken the spirit of what the industry seeks to offer its users.

Following are some prevalent claims that brands should carefully scrutinize for validity and substantiation:

Low dosage—Numerous companies are launching low-dosage extracts with a heightened withanolide content. While withanolides are certainly a crucial bioactive component discovered in the root, it is essential to acknowledge that they are one element of an entire array of bioactives in ashwagandha. Amplifying the percentage of withanolides to synthetically high levels in an extract can disrupt the natural ratio of advantageous compounds found in the herb. Moreover, changes to this natural equilibrium might diminish the holistic healing attributes that make an herb like ashwagandha genuinely unique.

Adulteration with leaves—Since leaves are more affordable and more readily available than the roots, numerous manufacturers incorporate leaves into their ashwagandha extracts. It is important to recognize that leaf withanolides are distinct from root withanolides. This can result in a product that is inconsistent with the traditionally utilized ashwagandha root. Perhaps due to these concerns, the Government of India recently issued an advisory recommending the use of ashwagandha roots only and advising manufacturers to avoid using ashwagandha leaves.

Claims of enhanced bioavailability—The concept of bioavailability, while pertinent in particular contexts, is classified by some experts as unsuitable when applied to herbs. Consequently, conducting studies to compare new extracts against established formulations like KSM-66, which has a unique profile, can be misleading and nonindicative of long-term effectiveness.

Claims of sustained-release formulations—Innovations like liposomal technology, although groundbreaking in some areas, are perceived by some experts as being incongruent in the realm of herbs and holistic wellness. What’s more, the employment of these technologies may not be well studied for its long-term safety and efficacy in an herbal extract.

Such claims can diminish the perception of value sought by consumers, which is a product with a long history that is recognized as safe, effective, clinically studied and trusted.

KSM-66 ashwagandha is one ingredient that works to fulfill these fundamental consumer values. The company has devoted 14 years to crafting its extract.

It is foreseeable that a burgeoning category like ashwagandha will attract new participants eager to capitalize on escalating consumer demand. It is also predictable that new participants will assert new claims to differentiate from market leaders. This means brand and product managers should maintain caution when assessing ingredient supplier claims.

If these assertions are indeed marketing fanfare rather than demonstrated substantiation, these products might risk consumer trust in not only individual brands but also in ashwagandha itself.

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