call to action section background image

The Healthy Goodness of Yummy Gummies?

The market is witnessing significant growth in the gummy supplement market. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global gummy market size is expected to reach USD 42.06 billion by 2028. This growth is influenced by an increased consumer demand for nutrition with taste, flavor, and convenience. The convenience of supplements in gummy format make it easier for consumers with busy lifestyles to take their supplements with them on the go.

What started in the U.S. as a delivery format focused on children’s nutrition has expanded to all age groups. According to Mintel (1), gummy supplements are popular among younger consumers, appealing to 67% of U.S. consumers aged 18 to 34 who currently take or plan to take vitamins, minerals, or supplements. Gummies are easy to chew and can be consumed on the go, which provides an easy supplementation solution during busy lifestyles for adult consumers.

For consumers finding it difficult to swallow pills or who may have pill fatigue, the delivery format of a gummy is a favorable alternative. Gummy supplements are chewable and similar to gummy candies. The availability of flavors, colors, and attractive shapes help make gummies a more convenient delivery format for children, who are reluctant to consume supplements in other forms.

Formulation Challenges

As the gummy market thrives, there are a few challenges faced by manufacturers. One of the major challenges comes at formulation. Gummies are produced with the help of corn starch, gelatin, sugar, water, and added colorings. Others can also have ingredients like beeswax, acacia gum, and coconut oil. Sugar content has definitely been a concern for consumers and gummies have more sugar content than any other form of dietary supplements, resulting in increased calorie intake. The sugar and high fructose corn syrup work as both a sweetener and a way to mask the unpleasant taste of minerals. For health-conscious customers, this becomes a concern since they prefer supplements that are either sugar-free or low in sugar.

Fillers, such as carrageenan and gelatin, are used to bind and bulk up gummy supplements to reach a candy-like thick consistency. For consumers who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, gelatin becomes a problem as this ingredient is sourced from certain animal parts. Carrageenan, on the other hand, is a common food additive that is derived from seaweed and is added to gummies as a vegan alternative to gelatin. However, according to research, it comes with its own health risks.

Some manufacturers add artificial coloring to their products, which if the saying is true, ‘you first eat with your eyes,’ this is understandable. The visual appeal of brightly colored gummies is much more enticing than the colorless, murky white or brown alternatives. However, when the health risks associated with food coloring is weighed in, an ugly gummy doesn’t seem like a bad option.

Many consumers require a multi-vitamin simply because they are not consuming the necessary nutrients in their daily diet. However, minerals, like iron, are often not included in a gummy due[NM1]  to difficulty incorporating it into gummy format and masking its distinct taste. For iron deficient consumers, taking a multi-vitamin gummy may not provide the nutrients needed to potentially avoid health problems down the road.

The stability issue in a gummy delivery system plays another challenging role for manufacturers. Unlike tablets or capsules, gummies are not protected by films. By the time it has reached the mouth of the consumer, the nutrient content has the possibility of degradation.

The Flexibility of LBiome™

On a positive note, one ingredient gaining traction is postbiotics. According to Lumina Intelligence, postbiotics have become the fastest growing area in terms of gut health related Google searches, with a nearly 1,300% increase in the last two years.

Researched in a postbiotic form for over 100 years, LBiome™ is backed by an impressive research portfolio that includes support for its use as a digestive aid in both adults and children of all ages. In over 12 published human trials, most subjects experienced benefits in 7 days or less. It is a human strain-derived, heat-treated postbiotic (Lactobacillus LB) that provides the digestive benefits of a probiotic and the formulation flexibility of a spore, with none of the stability or manufacturing concerns. Since they are not live microorganisms, they are not susceptible to decreases in their efficacy resulting from poor storage conditions or gastric transit, nor do they[NM2]  present manufacturing challenges of spore-formers.

Conclusion

Gummies present an exciting opportunity to supplement manufacturers not currently in this space. As demand for gummy alternatives continue to grow, more and more manufacturers will be left with the challenge to create a clean label option.

 

 

Reference

Mintel, Support immune health in new ways, June 2020.