Herbaland takes on protein category with line of vegan gummies
The line’s products are currently sold exclusively online and come in five varieties: Fantastic Fruit, Organic Banana, Wild Berry, Kiwi & Friends, and Papaya Paradise. They sell for $3.50 a pouch, or $40 for a case.
It features vegan fiber from tapioca, which John Bentley, sales manager North America at Herbaland Naturals, told NutraIngredients-USA, “is a soluble fiber so when you absorb it, it’s a sustained energy release, so it’s an additional benefit, a carbohydrate that doesn’t spike your blood sugar.”
The products have a nutrition facts panel, but “it was designed for protein supplementation, for people who want to add more protein to their diet but also not take too much sugar,” he added.
Formulating the gummies
The protein count is at 10g per serving (and there is one serving per pouch). The protein sources comes from organic yellow pea protein grown in Canada.
Flavors and colors are derived from natural sources, such as paprika, black carrot, and grape juice, and the products are sweetened using organic stevia extract (there is 1g of sugar per serving).
“We also use agar, a hydrocolloid sourced from seaweed, and that’s what we’ve chosen because it works better than pectin because protein can interfere with the pectin,” Bentley said, referring to the two vegan hydrocolloid alternatives popular in the gummy category.
Gummies to compete with bars
The gummy category is a booming one. Gummies account for $1bn of the $41bn supplement market in the United States in 2016, a more than 25% jump in sales since 2015, The New York Times reported, citing data from the Nutrition Business Journal and projections from IBISWorld, a research company.
Bentley said that the company hopes products like this would increase its shelf presence–Herbaland has mostly worked in private label the past few years, and is ready to expand as a brand of gummies.
The line of protein gummies were designed compete with protein bars or other product offerings in the natural products aisle. “We’re targeting anyone really, but it would be good for older people because of the low sugar, seniors who are less active,” Bentley said. “We also see a lot of young people looking at the amount of sugar they consume.”