Supplements continue to be an easy pill for consumers to swallow. In 2009, the category grew 6 percent, to $26.9 billion, according to Nutrition Business Journal. If Natural Products Expo East is any indication, supplements will continue to hold their ground. “Perhaps due to the rising costs of health care and an increased emphasis on supplements as a way to complement a healthy diet, the supplements pavilion at Expo East continues to be the largest non-food pavilion,” says Erica Stone, Expo East show manager. Supplements trends likely to pop up at the show include detox, digestion, children’s varieties, novel delivery forms and, of course, omega-3s. Get ready for the show by checking out the following stories on these trends.
Detox. Last year, consumers spent more than $100 million on cleansing and detox products, according to Schaumburg, Ill.-based market research firm SPINS. Learn more about detoxifying herbs and supplements that target top health concerns, such as losing weight, gaining energy and improving digestion, at the Expo East education session Call of the Cleanse on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 1 to 2:15 p.m., Level 2, Room 252B.
Digestion. Digestive aids, which include probiotics, enzymes, colon cleansers and herbal laxatives, topped $255 million in sales in 2009, up almost 16 percent over the previous year—outperforming nearly every other major vitamin and supplements category, according to SPINS. These products will continue to have a strong showing at Expo East. “The digestive-health category at Expo East has grown 10 percent from 2009 to 2010, so this shows that there are more new products in this category coming to market,” says Stone. Find out what’s in store for the future of digestive health in the vitamins and supplements section of NFM’s 2010 Market Overview.
Children’s supplements. Nearly one-third of children ages 2 to 17 now take a vitamin or mineral supplement, according to a 2009 study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. “Parents and physicians are embracing the idea that we all need to do something more to shore up kids’ nutrition,” says San Francisco-based pediatrician Alan Greene, MD. “Supplements are one of the fastest ways for kids to get the building blocks they need to build up their bodies and prevent illness.” Check out “Top supplements for children” for experts’ picks for different age groups.
Novel delivery formats. From Pixy Stix to gummy worms, supplements manufacturers offer an array of delivery systems beyond pills. “Consumers want good taste and convenience, and the dietary supplement industry is recognizing that,” says Joy Dubost, PhD, RD, a New York–based consultant for the nutrition industry. “People don’t have to pop a pill anymore.” For an update on new supplements forms, read “It’s all in the delivery.”
Omega-3s. Now, even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says people can consume 2 out of 3 daily grams of omega-3s from supplements. At Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim this year, an exhibitor had a ticker tracking the number of fish-oil servings consumed worldwide. At 10:30 a.m. on March 12, the count was up to 77,451,966,961, with an additional 536 servings tallied every second afterward. But fish oil is just one component of a big omega-3 sea. Learn about three types in “Comparing omega-3s”: the fish oil standard, the up-and-coming krill source and vegetarian options.