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Natural Foods Merchandiser

What's next in clean supplements

We caught up with 14 brands to find out where they believe the future of supplements is headed.

As ever, supplements remain a category of innovation and evolution. It seems as if there is always something new inside our beloved bottle of pills. Since the passage of the landmark DSHEA 25 years ago, the hot new thing continues to change—echinacea and St. John’s wort in the ’90s, coral calcium and omega-3s in the aughts, vitamin D and probiotics here in the teens, and can anyone doubt that hemp-derived CBD is not going anywhere going forward?

Whether driven by nutrition science or an exotic story, nutritional ingredients pave the way for a public keen on keeping themselves healthy—to avoid the Made in the USA conceit that pharma drugs and their nettlesome side effects are in everyone’s future.

A significant shift occurring in the market the last few years is innovations that address pill fatigue. Gummies are not just for kids anymore and occupy a significant amount of shelf space for anyone. Other non-pill formats are blurring the lines between supplements, foods and beverages—drugs, even.

And technologies to boost bioavailability are bringing to the public the ability to get more for less—to get therapeutic doses of nutrients without having to choke down horse pills.

The next great horizon appears to be the promise of personalized nutrition. Thanks to diagnostic testing that’s accessible for all, we can support optimal health tailored specifically to our own personal bodies. The idea of optimizing and increasing our healthspan through natural bioactives is what’s next. And we’re only getting started.

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