In the modern-day history of the U.S. dietary supplements business, the two biggest words in nutrition in the last quarter-century have to be “antioxidants” and “omega-3s.”
The curious thing about antioxidants and omega-3s is both of them are chemistry terms—one denotes a compound that fights molecular oxidation from loose single electrons called free radicals, the other denoting the carbon atom furthest from the carboxyl group of a fatty acid molecule.
And yet, both managed to become household words.
The classic antioxidant formula of the 1990s was called ACES—short for vitamins A, C, E and selenium. In the 2000s, a tool was popularized to measure the potency of an antioxidant, called ORAC—short for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. And then the race was on to see which nutritional compound had the highest ORAC. Pomegranates weighed in at 2,860, blueberries at 9,019, astaxanthin at 2.8 million.
Today, antioxidants and omega-3s retain their healthy halos. Consumers still look to antioxidants to support their general health and wellness, and the antioxidant market today is a $3 billion market, according to Allied Market Research.
Supplement marketers are savvy to use the word antioxidants on product labels to differentiate products—consumers may well pay more for a B complex if it also contains “antioxidants” on the label. Other supplement makers are careful to combine water-soluble antioxidants, such as vitamins C and glutathione, with fat-soluble ones, like vitamins E and coQ10.
Other innovations are happening through the targeted use of antioxidants into different health sectors, such as brain, performance, vision health or weight management.
With omega-3s, there is no shortage of innovation going on. Whereas the fish-oil category began with the natural 18:12 ratio of EPA to DHA found in fish, today high concentrations both boost levels of these primary two omega-3s and put them at different ratios in order to target different health concerns.
Other innovations include different forms of omega-3s—from the classic farmed anchovies to wild salmon, krill and algae sources.
What’s the state of your supplement innovation? The 7th annual SupplySide CPG Editor’s Choice Awards recognizes the best finished products launched to the U.S. consumer market between July 2017 and August 2018 in 30 categories across the supplement, food and beverage markets. Enter in either the Antioxidants or the Omega-3s categories.
Products must be submitted by the CPG brands or their representatives, not by ingredient suppliers. The submission deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018.
Winners are selected by the editors based on market innovation, consumer need, scientific substantiation, integrity, and the “cool” factor. Finalists will be showcased through the SupplySide Health & Nutrition Network brands, and winners announced at SupplySide West in Las Vegas, Nov. 6-10, 2018.