What’s driving the omega-3 market? Combo products & higher concentrations
The retail space for omega-3s is continuing to see a move towards higher concentrations and combination products, says Adam Ismail, chief strategy officer of the KD Pharma Group.
Ismail, who was the first director of the Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED), says the move toward higher concentrations reflects a deeper understanding of the science behind the ingredients and an increased sophistication among production managers at the major retailers.
“Walmart has completely revamped their omega-3s shelf,” noted Ismail. “Their minimum product now provides 500 mg of EPA and DHA per serving, whereas before it might have had 280 mg or 300 mg. And they have managed to do it without pushing up the price. Just that step alone is dramatically changing intakes.”
There is also a move toward more combination products, he said. This is not only because of differentiation, but because more is known about the pharmacology of the ingredients, meaning a more cogent case can be made for potential synergistic effects.
Combination products include omega-3s with ingredients like eggshell membrane for joint health, or curcumin ingredients or with vitamin K2.
But the really transformative combination opportunity, both in terms of health and in terms of sales, revolves around the endocannabinoid system, and using CBD in combination with omega-3s, he said.
“Omega-3s have already been shown to affect the endocannabinoid system. The science is still developing there.”
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Tom Oliver Nutrition’s new easy-to-swallow premium vitamins
British supplement brand Tom Oliver Nutrition is hoping to fill a knowledge and nutrition gap around dosage and format in the APAC market with a new range of vitamins.
Launched recently at Holland & Barrett stores in Singapore, the vegan-friendly line of capsules, tablets and soft-gels include vitamin D and K2, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, probiotics, magnesium and curcumin, as well as a repackaged version of the brand's signature omega-3 herring caviar.
“What we've learnt from our research is that customers still don't want to take their vitamins because many companies are still making them too large and inconvenient to consume,” founder Tom Oliver told NutraIngredients-Asia.
“We've also learnt from our omega-3 herring caviar product that customers like it because it's smaller and easy to swallow, and they only have to take one a day, so we produced a range of products that are exactly that, making them accessible to all populations, including younger children and older adults.
“We're not trying to compete with the mass market — we are a premium brand, so we have to provide consumers with high-quality vitamins they can rely on.”
Looking beyond Singapore, Oliver added that the company is in the process of registering its products in China, and hopes they will be available within the next three months on Tmall. The company is also eying opportunities in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Ayanda granted patent for long-life softgel capsule for probiotics and oil
A new European patent covers an advance for softgel capsules, with the development creating opportunities for active probiotic bacteria to be formulated alongside oil.
The patent was filed by Ayanda, the European HQ of the Sirio Group, which claims to have spent 10 years perfecting its gentle method, whereby the survival rate of probiotics is "vastly increased".
Because of the high temperature and humidity levels used in traditional softgel manufacture, probiotic softgel formulations were unviable.
According to the patent, uncoated probiotic bacteria can be used alongside at least one oil – e.g. fish oil with DHA and EPA, and vitamins.
“The industry has spent a long time trying to develop a product like this, and using this new production method we are able to balance the survival of probiotics and the formation of an intact softgel capsule – so it is a big achievement,” said Dr. Dominique Baum, managing director at Ayanda, ahead of the innovation unveiling at Vitafoods Europe
“It will enable Ayanda to offer unique softgel probiotics coupled with an additional oil – crucially reducing the number of dosages consumers need to get their supplement needs. With this new technology, we expect to see a large interest from nutraceutical brand owners, as it opens up many possibilities for truly novel products.”
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