“We are targeting the 86 million people in the US that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have identified as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime,” Murray Fleming, CEO of Bentonville, AR-based Glucose Health told NutraIngredients-USA.
“We are marketing it as a dietary supplement, so of course we are not making any claims to treat Type 2 diabetes. The product is not a drug, but it is really positioned as part of a healthy metabolic lifestyle,” he said.
The supplement formulation was developed over a period of years by Chandrasekhar Mallangi, PhD. Mallangi earned his doctorate in food science from Oregon State University and spent a number of years in product development with food giant Nestle.
At the product’s core is Fibersol-2, a digestion-resistant maltodextrin derived from corn that was developed by Archer Daniels Midland. According to ADM, “Studies show that, when taken with a meal, Fibersol-2, may attenuate the rise in serum glucose following the meal. Fibersol-2 has the potential to reduce peak postprandial blood glucose and insulin levels that are within the normal range in healthy individuals.”
Fiber plus the heavy hitters
“He took that fiber and combined it with the top five natural ingredients that have shown blood glucose effects,” Fleming said.
In additional to Fibersol-2, those ingredients are:
- Cinnamon Tree Bark (Soluble Extract)
- Chromium Picolinate
- Extracts of Green and White Teas
- Vitamin C
Stevia functions as a dual-purpose ingredient in the formulation, Fleming said. The initial formulation is positioned as a tub of powder meant to be mixed into a water as its own beverage or into another beverage. It has a blueberry flavor.
“It’s one of the reasons we put stevia in it. Not only does it have positive blood glucose data, but now we have a product that tastes great. Originally we has something that we thought was reasonably pleasant tasting and was reasonably easy to use. But the most interesting part of all of the testing we’ve done over the last year was we found we really had to improve the taste and the solubility. People had good results with the product but they didn’t continue to use it,” Fleming said.
Quasi-practitioner channel strategy
Fleming said the company is seeking to popularize the product by connecting with what he called “diabetes influencers.” By this he meant diabetes educators, pharmacists connected with diabetes wellness programs and the like. Sort of a quasi-practitioner channel strategy, although the product is also available direct to consumer on the company’s website.
“We have been conducting various trials and tests over the last year. We have had a hospital network in the Midwest that has been using the product in its diabetes wellness program. We think the market is large; if you take the CDC’s 86 million person figure and cross reference it with the people most likely to use supplements, you come up with a market size of at least 29 million people,” Fleming said.
“We know that Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle condition. Our focus is to have people consider this product as part of their lifestyle change that would include eating well, not having a sedentary lifestyle and so on,” he said.