Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA via video, Schutt said: “The members I’ve talked to had record sales. They probably weren’t off the charts to the same degree as elderberry, or vitamin C, or zinc, but omega-3s have this health halo … if consumers are all of a sudden more concerned about their health, omega-3s seem to be one of the products that they will buy.
“I have heard from members that April was a slower month, and that could be the result of stockpiling – consumers did all of their hoarding in March and they didn’t need it in April – or it could be the result of people not going out to stores,” added Schutt.
“Online sales have been crazy, and I think that has been true also for omega-3s. I did have one member tell me though, that even though their online sales were so incredible most brands are not as reliant on online sales. That’s something that’s changing now, but if you’re selling to brick and mortar, and your online sales increase you’re starting from a much smaller base, so you have to really do a lot with online sales to really balance out the brick and mortar. One of our brands did say that that happened in April but is it going to continue to happen as we move forward.”
Omega-3s and immunity
“At the beginning of this, we wrote an industry advisory just going on the record to say that there is no science that says that EPA and DHA can help with Covid-19-related immunity issues, but we wanted to be very clear to make sure we were maintaining our credibility as a category.
“Having said that, the omega-3s EPA and DHA are in every cell of the body, there is a plethora of studies around omega-3s, and it is important that people know that omega-3s are a component of being healthy in general, so there’s kind of two sides to that.
“But now the interesting thing is that we’re seeing pharmaceutical-based omega-3s being tested for Covid-19-related issues. KD Pharma – one of our members – is testing a high EPA pharmaceutical product right now in Covid-19 patients. This is a product that was already in the drug-development pipeline in Europe, so they’re already through a lot of process and it was easy to add this to a clinical trial for a different outcome – for Covid-19 treatment.”
Schutt also discussed the ongoing development of GOED’s clinical trials database, which was unveiled at the GOED Exchange in February.
“The scientists in the room really understood the nuance of what this tool is really going to be able to offer,” she said. “Dr Aldo Bernasconi is really the mastermind behind this and did the presentation [at the GOED Exchange] had a lot of conversations with the deep scientists that were very excited about what we had to offer.”
Schutt added that the organization is ready to start beta testing phase one to “pressure test” the database (which contains 4,000 articles) and fine tune the functionality.
To watch Dr Bernasconi’s presentation from the GOED Exchange about the clinical trials database, click on the video below this article.
Schutt also discussed the recent opening of the Peruvian anchovy fishery and the implications for omega-3 supply for 2020.