As a nutraceuticals expert, you know that to maximize brand loyalty - products must be as efficacious, convenient, and comfortable as possible to take.
If you are seeking to develop or enhance a nutraceutical product targeting a specific consumer group or application area, read on to find out how you can create preferred formulations that are highly accepted and strongly preferred.
1. Tapping into the reasons people take nutraceuticals
Getting a clear understanding of the trends and aspirations that drive the decisions of different consumer groups will help you perfectly calibrate your target audience to the target health and lifestyle outcomes of your next product.
Once a target consumer group has been defined, you’ll then need to dig deeper into their specific preferences. It’s complex, but age, geography and lifestyle are just some of the signposts that you’ll need to look out for.
Increasingly, consumers are seeking specific health outcomes from dietary supplements or functional foods and beverages. In terms of market growth potential and the ability to establish a premium brand, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, joint and eye health are amongst some of the most attractive and fastest-growing therapeutic areas in the dietary supplement space. And, of course, supplements that support the immune system are hot property since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Trends are always evolving, so work with a partner who can supply ingredients that have the flexibility to keep you ahead of the curve.
2. Understanding trends in consumer preferences
Consumers have a wide range of drivers for the purchasing choices they make. To build ongoing brand loyalty and trust, you need to be sure that any claims such as clean label or ‘free from’ can be backed up. That’s why it is important to work with an ingredients supplier that has the certifications to guarantee your labelling claims are true, as well as a manufacturing process and supply chain that will never let you down.
3. Understanding why customers switch brands
The convenience and acceptability of a formulation is one of the most common reasons why consumers will choose to stop taking a nutraceutical product as recommended, or to switch to another brand. Factors that can affect levels of formulation acceptability include:
- The frequency or timing of dose administration
- Ease of swallowability
- The taste and smell of the product
- Unwanted side-effects such as gassy burps
Even more importantly, consumers are likely to switch brands if they feel that they are not getting a sustained health benefit. Factors to improve efficacy are therefore an essential consideration and should include:
- High quality ingredients with proven health benefits
- Targeted or sustained release for maximum bioavailability
- Protection of the active ingredient against degradation during processing and transit through the gastrointestinal system
- Well-designed dosage forms with functional coating systems to protect the active ingredients, improve performance and drive customer preference
These factors are at the heart of Evonik Health Care’s portfolio of health ingredients and functional coatings. So regardless of which ingredient or formulation solution that you choose from us, you can be sure of their scientific credentials.
4. Smell and taste preferences
A product’s smell and taste creates a first impression that can strongly influence rates of product acceptability and preference. How we experience flavor comes from a complex interaction between taste and smell. There is also a strong link between the appearance of a food item and our expectations as to what it contains.1
The taste, smell and color of a nutraceutical should ideally match with the ingredients to fulfill the expectations of the consumer. And when you have an active ingredient that has an undesirable taste or smell, coating solutions can provide the answer. Indeed, with increasing negative awareness on food additives, including artificial flavorings and sweeteners,2 aiming for a neutral flavor and smell can often be the best option.
And when it comes to natural ingredients such as fish oils, the possibility of a fishy aftertaste or burp is not an attractive proposition. Consumers may try such a product once, but will think twice before purchasing it again. That’s where specialist functional coating systems can really make a difference. Masking unpleasant taste and odors and delivering natural ingredients to the right part of the digestive system where they will be absorbed and not burped up.
Evonik Health Care harnesses the most powerful of nature’s offerings and makes them not just palatable, but desirable to consumers.
Look out for our next email and blog, which will tell you all about the Evonik Health Care ingredient options that can help build or strengthen your brand.
5. The opportunities around dosing forms
The dosage form has a high influence on user convenience as well as handling, safety, and storage of the supplement.
Let’s take omega-3 as an example. Evonik Health Care has developed an innovative powder form of omega-3 with the highest load of omega-3 in the industry. With superior bioavailability and compressibility, brand owners can develop single, small tablets with high omega-3 content, or combine with other ingredients into a single dosage form. Just imagine, how much more convenient it is to swallow one small tablet instead of two large capsules.
… and don’t forget to register for our webinar series here.
1. Shankar MU, Levitan C, Spence C. Grape expectations: the role of cognitive influences in color-flavor interactions. Conscious Cognit. 2010;19:380–90.
2. Bearth A, Cousin ME, Siegrist M. The consumer’s perception of artificial food additives: Influences on acceptance, risk and benefit perceptions. Food Quality and Preference. 2014;38:14-23.