The omega-3 sector has experienced something of a decline in recent years, with some observers suggesting this is due to negative headlines linked to a couple of negative studies. However, speaking with us at SupplySide West, Ismail said: “It wasn’t the increase in negative headlines, it wasn’t one particular study that was driving this decline, it was a lack of positive messaging reaching the consumer.
“We think about omega-3s all the time, but the normal consumer doesn’t, and if they don’t receive that prompt then they don’t have a reminder to go and buy another bottle when they run out, or to take the product every day… so we have started a campaign to fill that gap and give that prompt.”
Unfortunately, such campaigns cost a lot of money, he said. The association has been raising funds to allow the campaign to go ahead at a national level, having rolled it out in one market. The current total is around $4 million, he said, but GOED needs to raise between $5-10 million to have the national roll-out.
Lessons for multi-vitamins and supplements in general?
The campaign also has lessons for the wider supplements industry, particularly for sectors of the market where dips are occurring. “I think there are lessons, but at the end of the day you have to clearly understand why these dips are happening and address that.”
“For omega-3s, what was clear was that, once we got into the numbers, it was the reminder that was needed.”
On the topic of the potential health claim for blood pressure (click here for our earlier coverage), Ismail noted that the public comment period has been extended by 45 days.
“We definitely encourage the industry to file comments to let the FDA know that, if this claims was available, it would be used, there is a demand for this, and that consumers want to know these types of messages.”
“We’re pretty confident that the FDA will come back with a positive claim for the industry.”