Liver Health: Q&A with Euromonitor

Liver health supplements attract young adults that regularly consume alcohol, says analyst

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / wowwa
Getty Images / wowwa

Related tags Liver

What does the market landscape of liver health supplements look like? We sat down with Euromonitor’s Keena Roberts, senior consumer health analyst at Euromonitor International, to get the scoop.

For liver health, what messaging works or resonates best with consumers? Detox and cleanse have been popular, but are today’s consumers more scrutinizing of this word?

These terms resonate pretty strongly with consumers, since the halo surrounding the word “detox” is so powerful, especially for younger consumers. People like the idea of being able to engage in unhealthy habits but still being able to counteract those negative effects with a “cleanse” or a “detox regimen.” These terms are still pretty powerful.

Which companies are the big players in this category?

Arzo Nutrition is a big one, as well as Vimerson Health and Gaia Herbs, all of which are pretty big and expansive supplement manufacturers.

In general, though, consumers are looking for specific ingredients (for liver health these include milk thistle, artichoke leaf and dandelion, among others) and may often gravitate towards private labels if they’re cheaper and more accessible or offered via a preferred method of delivery like Amazon Prime or Prime Pantry.

How does liver support as a goal rank in terms of supplement buying?

In general, dietary supplements continue to experience steady growth in the US as consumers continue to look for ways to fill holes in their nutritional portfolio.

Natural supplements are particularly popular, especially those that have links to “ancient” methods of preventative health, even if those links are anecdotal at best. Supplements that purport to “cleanse” or “detoxify” the liver are pretty small as a market compared to supplements positioned towards immune support or cognitive health, as examples, but still popular among certain segments of the US population, particularly young adults and consumers that regularly consume alcohol.

Consumers are aware of the role the liver plays in processing alcohol, and in the importance of keeping the liver working properly. Supplementation is seen as a healthy way to maintain liver function without decreasing or stopping drinking.

Where is the category headed? For example, are botanicals more alluring or nutrients like choline? Perhaps probiotics?

Maybe the category is blurring? In sports nutrition, for example, head of consumer health at Euromonitor Matthew Oster told us that snack bars and protein bars today basically may have the same amount of protein​, making the distinction almost useless.

I don’t see this happening so much in liver supplements, certainly not to the degree that it’s happening in protein bars/snack bars. The idea of supplements pivoting towards “need states” like “liver health” away from individual ingredients is certainly a key trend, but liver supplements are so specific that I don’t see there being too much blurring of the lines with other supplement categories.

When consumers are looking for “liver supplements” they’re looking to address a specific need, and a need that is (largely) limited to a specific kind of consumer. While it’s true that this consumer could (and likely would) purchase a supplement to address another health concern along with liver health, I don’t see them getting absorbed by another category.

Another key point to remember is that the natural ingredients that consumers are looking for in liver supplements are pretty niche. Milk thistle, for example, isn’t that common of an ingredient, and where consumers do understand what it is and the health benefits it may incur, this research is largely confined to liver health and not to health supplementation in a larger sense.

Join us for our upcoming FREE Liver Health webinar on February 2018​​

  • Thursday, February 28 at 1 PM EST
  • Duration: 60 Minutes
  • LIVE Q&A session
  • Experts from Gaia Herbs, Kaiviti Consulting, and The Think Healthy Group

From botanical blends to microbiome interventions, there is plenty of interest in better understanding how to support liver function. Join NutraIngredients-USA as we explore this topic with leading brands and industry stakeholders. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER​​

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