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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Kleinstreuer

How Dietary Supplements Are Changing in Form and Function

A growing percentage of the general public is paying closer attention to their health, driving the increasing demand for dietary supplements and shaping how the industry produces them.

While all age demographics benefit from access to proper vitamins and minerals, those who receive the greatest health benefit most are in the 50+ age category—this accounts for 25% of the world’s population.

The geriatric demographic is known for consuming increasingly large numbers of dietary supplements to try and combat the effects of aging while maintaining health and wellbeing. A concept known as “pill fatigue” recently made its way into the dietary supplements market as consumers yearn to reduce the size and number of the pills that they take daily.

Consumers of all ages have driven the demand for alternative forms of dietary supplements aside from the standard, hard pill. The antiquated delivery method also presents a choking hazard and inconvenience.

Manufacturers of dietary supplements were quick to cater to the cravings and requirements of their customer base. Vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements which were once only attainable in pill form are now widely consumed via softgels, semi-hard capsules, and most of all gummies.

In fact, gummy vitamins have emerged as a popular delivery method for adults, who make up more than 80% of the market. Originally, vitamin gummies were developed to target children in an effort to encourage psychological enjoyment associated with taking vitamins daily that are necessary for proper growth and development. The market for gummy vitamins skyrocketed in a relatively short period of time to become a mainstream market.

Gummies offer an opportunity for manufacturers to make their products as unique as possible with various textures, flavors, shapes, and sizes—all while optimizing nutritional value and health benefits for the consumer regardless of the age demographic.

Another example that showcases how the voice of the consumer shaped the dietary supplement industry is the shift to improve formulations and use natural, plant-based ingredients.

For decades, gelatin was the standard base to create a gummi product, dating back to the 1920’s when the original gummy bear was born in Germany. While a majority of candy gummi products are produced with gelatin, dietary supplement formulations are making the switch to plant-based alternatives. Gelatin is made from the skins, tendons, and bones of cows and pigs—which contain large amounts of collagen. After the edible portions of the animal are separated, the remaining pieces of the animal are placed in acid or they are boiled in order to solubilize the collagen.

Taking that into consideration, a growing number of consumers are seeking out plant-based alternatives to gelatin, for ethical and health reasons. Gelatin-free, non-GMO gummy vitamins offer a favorable circumstance for market expansion in the present, and for the future.

The manufacturing solution is pectin. Unlike gelatin, pectin is entirely plant based and is easy to produce. Pectin is a carbohydrate derived from the pulp and skins of fruits and vegetables.

Common sources of pectin are:

  • Citrus fruits

  • Carrots

  • Apples

  • Plums

  • Apricots

Pectin has its own health benefits which make it an ideal base for a dietary supplement due to its high amount of soluble fiber. Fiber slows digestion, stabilizes blood sugar and reduces cholesterol levels

The shift in the manufacturing process from gelatin (animal based) to pectin (plant-based), is not a simple switch of ingredients. Recipe development and formulation are a tough balancing act between meeting consumer demands for mouthfeel and health benefits without negatively impacting the final production capacity and manufacturing process.

Nonetheless, some of the leading dietary supplement manufacturers accomplished this feat by using quality ingredients and culinary expertise. The end result has proven beneficial for manufacturers in more ways than one. While satisfying market demands for a plant-based gummi, product fulfillment became easier as well.

Gelatin has a low-enough melting point that gummi dietary supplements with a gelatin base begin to melt or clump together in hot conditions—creating shipping and storage complications.

In summary, gummy dietary supplements with a pectin base make products suitable for all age demographics, encourages consumption of vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements, appeal to those with a plant-based lifestyle, while aligning with best practices for sustainability.

Create your own custom, plant-based gummi vitamin:

With such a variety of dietary supplement ingredients to choose from, it takes industry professionals to know dosage levels and ingredients for proper formulation with a great taste. You have the opportunity to steer the train and create the next gummi vitamin supplement everyone talks about, and we are here to help.

Gummi World has a medical doctor, Pharm.D., nutritionist, and food scientist involved with every product we manufacture so that we can make sure that our clients and their customers can be fully assured that their product is backed by science.

Contact Us: Call our Partner Satisfaction Expert at 830-358-9770 today to learn more about how you can create a custom gummi vitamin, soft gel, or hard capsule with some of the newest ingredients in the dietary supplement space.


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