3 Ways to Stand Out in the Dietary Supplement Market

Jun 23

FrieslandCampina Ingredients’ Market Segment Manager, Linda Bentert, and Technical Sales Specialist, Katherine Burke, were joined by Tessa Schoones of Innova Market Insights recently for a webinar as they shared their best insights on how brands can stand out in the competitive dietary supplement market.

If you weren’t able to watch the webinar, here is a summary of the biggest takeaways they shared on how your brand can grab the opportunity in this growing market.

1. Connect claims and consider multi-purpose supplements

To understand more about how and why consumers take supplements, Innova asked consumers in the U.S. and Europe how often they consume supplements. 63% of consumers in the U.S. take supplements at least once a week, including 20% of women and 22% of men who take them every day.1 In Europe, 58% of consumers take supplements at least once a week, with 21% of women and 14% of men taking them every day.1

In the U.S., over 80% of consumers feel it is important to take supplements to stay healthy. In Europe, the highest results were seen in Germany at approximately 70%.2

And, supplement use is rising. 27% of users in the U.S. have increased their use of supplements in the last 12 months.2 Increased supplement usage is also seen in Europe, with the U.K. leading the way with 23% of consumers increasing their use.2

Supplement use is on the rise

Source: Innova Nutrition & Health Survey 2021


Crucially, almost have of the consumers in the U.S., and around 40% in Europe, prefer multi-purpose supplements,1 with benefits such as ageing healthily, supporting immunity and supporting digestion and gut health standing out.2

multipurpose supplements are preferred

Source: Innova Category Survey 2021


The importance of multi-purpose supplements is seen in the market when looking at new product launches. Over the last five years, the number of claims per product has increased, with the top claim combinations made with immune health, brain-mood health and energy and stamina.3

This creates the opportunity to formulate supplements with emerging ingredients, like prebiotics,4 combined with back-to-basic ingredients like vitamins and minerals as it may allow for multiple health benefits to be delivered in one product while also possibly allowing for additional claims to be made.

Innova research has shown that the more familiar consumers are with ingredients, the more effective they believe they are. Therefore, for emerging ingredients, brands need to make their communication as simple as possible so they can build that familiarity and understanding with consumers. This means it is crucial to explain the full potential of the ingredients to consumers to build trust and transparency.


The takeaway:

  • With most consumers preferring multi-purpose supplements, combining health benefits provides an opportunity for more personalized formulas.
  • The future will centre around understanding the full potential of ingredients and their health benefits. Informing consumers with clear explanations will remain key.
  • Explaining how health claims may be connected, can increase trust for the beneficial effects of the entire product.

2. Focus on trending formats and position supplements more towards premium food and drink and less like medicine

When looking at formats, capsules were the most popular format for launches in 2021.3 However, gummies are the fastest-growing delivery format as the number of launches in the U.S. grew by 87% from 2017 – 2021 and by 180% in Europe.3

When asked which type of supplements they use, tablets were still the most commonly used format in the U.S. and Europe at 43%.1

However, there are new preferences emerging, which is especially important when it comes to attracting younger consumers. 34% of consumers in the U.S. usually take gummies, with the highest usage of gummies seen with consumers 18-24 years old (46%).1

increase in gummy supplements

Source: Innova Category Survey 2021


The takeaway

  • With many players entering the supplement market, growth is seen for a diverse range of supplements: gummy types, offering plant-based and organic options with clean and premium packaging. Aspects that make the supplements market merge more towards the food and beverage market.
  • It is expected that gummies will continue to grow as they are seen as a more convenient, easier-to-consumer option.
  • Positioning supplements less as medicine but more towards premium food and drink, like gummies or liquid, can especially attract younger consumers.

3. The gut microbiome is a potential game-changer

Gut health is one of the top ten trends identified by Innova in 2022.  And it’s not only for women, but there are also an increasing number of solutions targeting men to support their gut health and overall well-being.

But, why gut health? Consumers are increasingly taking a holistic approach to health as they understand that all elements of health, both mentally and physically, are interlinked. And, because of COVID-19, consumers are even more aware of their overall health and well-being, and they have the intention to do something about it:

  • 6 in 10 say they are more conscious about their overall health and well-being as a result of COVID-195
  • 77% of consumers say that they will make greater attempts to stay healthier in the future as a result of COVID-195

Crucially, this intent is combined with consumer understanding6 and scientific research that overall health and well-being is founded on good gut health.7 A healthy gut is not only associated with protection against infections7 but it is also linked to sleep and mood via the gut-brain axis.8

Good gut health can support better digestive health, and now more than ever consumers around the world are interested in addressing their digestive health problems9:

Gut health problems

Source: FMCG Gurus, Understanding Digestive Health, 2021


And consumers are taking action. In 2020, 85% of consumers stated they have taken steps to improve their digestive health, compared to 67% in 2018.9

But how? There is an increased preference for more natural ways, including prebiotics, probiotics and supplements, rather than visiting a doctor or taking medicine.5

Products that can offer more than one health benefit via the gut and illustrate the link between physical and mental health will complement the movement to holistic health.


The takeaway

  • Consumers are aware of the strong link between gut health and immune health. The microbiome has the potential to be a game-changer in how consumers manage their health.
  • Ingredients that can boost both gut health and mood are a growing opportunity. Especially products that can boost sleep and mind function/concentration are ones to watch out for.

Prebiotic supplements, reimagined

To help you turn these takeaways into action, we are excited that we have developed a prebiotic ingredient, Biotis™ GOS-OP High Purity, which is designed to drive innovation in the gut health supplement market.

Biotis™ GOS OP High-Purity uses a patent-pending process to deliver a higher concentration of available galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), ensuring a typical GOS content of 94%. Thanks to this high concentration of GOS, combined with recent research showing the efficacy of GOS at doses as low as 2g, Biotis™ GOS OP High-Purity is ideal for usage in small and popular formats like tablets and gummies. Plus, it supports low lactose formulations popular with health-conscious consumers.

Here is a closer look at one inspirational concept to help you stand out and to show you what’s possible with our Biotis™ GOS-OP High Purity:

Good to Gut Prebiotic Gummies

  • Complete and multi-purpose concept with high purity GOS, together with vitamins and minerals
  • Can target consumers that want to use a preventative approach or are used to using dietary supplements for digestive health
  • Gummies are the fastest-growing category in supplements

Gut health gummies supplement concept


> Learn more about Good to Gut Prebiotic Gummies

Interested in more concepts? Then check out our Good to Gut Prebiotic Tablets and Good to Gut Prebiotic Powder Sticks.


  1. Innova Category Survey 2021
  2. Innova Nutrition & Health Survey 2021
  3. Innova Database
  4. Gibson et al., 2017
  5. FMCG Gurus, 2021
  6. Innova Top Ten Trends 2022
  7. Mousa et al., 2022
  8. Montiel-Castro et al., 2013
  9. FMCG Gurus, Understanding Digestive Health, 2021
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