Event Insights: 2016 Vitamin, Diet & Sports Nutrition EPPS  2/20/2016

[This article was originally published in the February 15 issue of MMR magazine]

Consumers are taking better care of themselves, and their wellness regimens have evolved from mere diet and exercise to the incorporation of vitamins, minerals and supplements that deliver a myriad of health benefits from the inside-out. And manufacturers and marketers have evolved with them, according to buyers and sellers at ECRM’s Vitamin, Diet and Sports Nutrition EPPS event, held in Las Vegas this past January.

During ECRM’s Event Debriefings – one on one interviews between ECRM staff and buyer/seller attendees of the event – several key trends were noted as particularly prevalent in the category.

Innovative delivery forms
Suppliers have developed a variety of delivery methods to address “pill fatigue,” including spray vitamins, effervescents, dissolving tabs, and gummies – which continue to explode in the category, according to Norm Adams, Regional Sales Director – East for Nature Made Vitamins, which recently had four gummy products verified through USP.

One new delivery platform is via kinesiology tape, such as XEP’s Clean Energy Patch. “It’s an alternative for consumers looking to get an extra boost of energy throughout the day, but who don’t necessarily want to have an energy shot or drink,” says Anthony Raissen, who represented the brand at the event. “You can get 8-hours of steady energy using the Energy Patch, which has 35 mg of caffeine which has been micronized and coated onto the back of kinesiology tape, combined with cacao and guarana.”

According to several buyers interviewed at the event, there is a need for more portability in products. Fortunately, plenty of suppliers at the event have addressed this challenge. “The biggest trend we saw at this show were that brands are creating individual packets or ‘to-go’ versions of their product,” said Paul Jarrett, CEO and Co-Founder of Bulu Box, an e-commerce site and subscription box program for health-related products including vitamins, supplements and sports nutrition.

“However, by digging into our shopper data, we’ve seen that our customers are interested in ‘portability’ that doesn't necessarily mean packets. Many brands can teach consumers how to make their existing product portable. For example, baking with protein powder to make cookies. Or including a pill holder along with the sale of a large bottle would accomplish this, as well, without the need for the manufacturers to develop a new product line.”

Natural/organic and clean ingredients
As with food and beauty products, consumers are looking for cleaner ingredients and more transparency with the products they are using, and vendors are getting better at letting them know what’s inside the package, and are including more natural, organic, and free-from ingredients in their products.

Vitamin Friends, for example, showcased a line of pectin-based gummies that don’t stick to the teeth, are gluten-, dairy-, and gelatin-free, as well as vegetarian and kosher, and include vitamins as well as probiotics, flax, and appetite-boosting gummies for picky eaters.

Beauty from within
Supplements that provide anti-aging, or skin and hair benefits are also increasingly popular, such as Minerva Pure Gold Collagen, which makes flavored one-ounce shots that include 5,000 mg of hydrolyzed collagen, with biotin and Hyaluronic acid.

Other key trends noted at the event included:
  • Proteins, particularly plant-based proteins
  • Less-intense, slow-release energy products
  • Omega 3 oils
  • Probiotics
  • Supplements aimed at boosting cognitive function

Contact Lisa Carrillo, SVP of HBC at 440-528-0427

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Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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