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How to beat The Dr. Oz Effect: Sell a good product

How to beat The Dr. Oz Effect: Sell a good product
This letter from the editor prefaces Nutrition Business Journal's 2012 Raw Material & Ingredient Supply Issue. It considers the profound—and what some might call deleterious—effect that The Dr. Oz Show has on the nutrition industry, and how companies can best anticipate new trends. 

“I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," spoke the Beast, in a voice that was one great roar.

Indeed. If you’re a businessperson in the nutrition industry, no doubt the good doctor has at some point given you fits. Be they fits of joy or fits of rage depends on your portfolio. Were you first to market with andrographis? Apple pectin? Shirataki miracle noo­dles? If not, you know the frustration of being in a business where a single two-minute segment on The Dr. Oz Show can reshape the competitive landscape. It’s become increasingly apparent that suppliers across the industry are beholden to his suggestions—high­lighted by the mad scramble for green coffee bean and raspberry ketones.

If you want to gamble, you might try distributing every ingredi­ent from double-zero to 36 and hope the ball lands at least once, but I think there’s a smarter game to be played. So what can we learn from past fads to predict his future picks? A whole cottage industry has popped up to help businesses navigate the Dr. Oz Effect, so I won’t delve too deep here. Suffice it to say that I want you all to be the ones who build the trends, not the ones who stalk them like starving foxes. From what I can tell, Oz uses a pretty simple equa­tion. It has two variables:

1. Documented clinical evidence.

Well, this is the muddy one. The clinical evidence could be on humans, and it could be on nema­todes. Credibility here runs on a sliding scale, especially in weight loss, with 7-Keto on one end and raspberry ketones on the other. Clinical science is good with or without Dr. Oz, but it sweetens the deal if you want to be on his show.

2. A good story.

Remember—it’s TV. Do South African mothers use this herb to help sick children sleep? Have South Koreans used these botanicals for centuries to ward off hot flashes? What one ingredient in this common fruit holds the secret to longer life?

I could see Dr. Oz selecting any number of promising ingredi­ents in the current marketplace: Sceletium tortuosum (PLThomas has it now), Estro-G (from Helios), or even pterostilbene (Pteropure from ChromaDex). New varieties of medical mushroom may win too. In other words, pick an ingredient that has a life outside of Oz, and one day he may grace you with a roar of approval.

DISCLAIMER: NBJ does not endorse any product fea­tured in the Journal. This Journal is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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