Focus on benefits, social mission attracts younger supplement users / KP offers new packaging, ideal for gummy formats / Ongoing D-fense of an essential nutrient


Self-empowerment, social mission resonate with new generation of supplement users

“With our social mission focused on mental health, we are weaving more ‘real talk’ into our content to help consumers feel seen,” said Jessica Heitz, chief marketing officer of Olly, in a Fast Company article exploring how to sell health and wellness when consumers are sick and tired of hearing about it. “Gen Z cares about brands that make a difference and we amplify our social mission in our marketing.”

“Many millennial-minded consumers didn’t find the vitamin and supplement category was relevant to them,” Heitz explained. “While traditional vitamin brands talk about the problems people face, Olly focuses on the benefit—and that approach brought an entirely new consumer into the vitamin aisle who had never shopped there before.”

By the numbers: According to the 2021 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, among U.S. adults 18–34 years old:

  • 14% do not take supplements and have never taken supplements

  • 13% have taken supplements in the past but no longer consider themselves a supplement user

  • 11% consider themselves a seasonal user of supplements, taking supplements only during part of the year such as the winter cold and flu season or the spring allergy season

  • 15% consider themselves an occasional user of supplements, taking them throughout the year when they think of it or when the need arises

  • 18% take a supplement regularly, but take only a multivitamin

  • 29% take supplements regularly and take a variety of vitamins, minerals and/or herbal products or specialty supplements

Older adults are more likely to regularly take multiple supplements, with:

  • 42% of 35–54 year olds and

  • 57% of adults 55 and older in this category.

Overall, Heitz noted, “We’ve found that benefit-driven ads (e.g., sleep) and the feeling (e.g., well-rested), as opposed to ingredient-led messaging (e.g., melatonin) resonate best with consumers.”

Associate Member Spotlight: Demand for gummy format calls for advanced packaging technology

The gummy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% by 2026. Advancements in blister films need to keep pace in manufacturing functionality and consumer experience. 

kpEnhance QRF blister film from CRN associate member Klöckner Pentaplast (KP) features a proprietary coating that provides a clean release from the package every time. 

“Clawing and scraping the gummy from the blister film is now a thing of the past,” KP Pharma, Health & Protection and Durables Director of Marketing Communications Jeff Cole explained.

kpEnhance QRF also provides superior product protection that will preserve a product’s unique flavor and aroma profile in a crystal-clear package. “And of course, our films are compliant with FDA food contact CFR21 guidelines,” said Cole. 

Check KP’s short video and additional product details.

Dr. Huber: Vitamin D still valuable in protecting against COVID-19

CRN’s response to recently published studies on vitamin D and COVID-19 and an accompanying editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) translated the science into actionable information for consumers.

NutraIngredients-USA included comments from CRN VP Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Luke Huber, N.D., who explained that the studies should be read cautiously, despite some overly simplistic early media coverage.

Dr. Huber said, “Reporting on this research that suggests vitamin D levels are not relevant to COVID-19 outcomes ignores the large body of research on this connection and downplays critical limitations of these studies.”

“This isn’t an either/or situation. It’s a both/and—and those who suggest otherwise are doing the public a disservice,” Dr. Huber admonished.

Nutrition Insight included additional commentary from Dr. Huber in its coverage, pointing to the editorial accompanying the studies, which highlights some of the limitations of each study and notes that they “aren’t the final word” on vitamin D’s role in protecting against COVID-19.

“These new trials remain compatible with the two large meta-analyses suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial for vitamin D deficient individuals,” Dr. Huber noted from the BMJ editorial.

Meta-analyses of studies conducted since the beginning of COVID-19 “largely demonstrate a positive role for higher vitamin D levels in reducing the incidence, severity and mortality from the disease,” added Dr. Huber.

“The editorial makes clear, ‘For those with inadequate vitamin D levels (<50 nmol/L), supplementation with 1000–2000 IU/day could be a safe, simple and affordable way to restore vitamin D levels, improve bone health and take advantage of any possible protective effect against respiratory tract infections,’” Dr. Huber emphasized.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans indicate that vitamin D supplementation may be appropriate in many cases, “especially when sunlight exposure is limited due to climate or the use of sunscreen.” The guidelines also specifically call out vitamin D’s importance to many women, noting, “Most healthcare providers recommend women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant take a daily prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement in addition to consuming a healthy dietary pattern. This may be especially important to meet folate/folic acid, iron, iodine, and vitamin D needs during pregnancy.”

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