Lifestyle pressures are increasing stress levels, which has a knock-on effect on general health, impeding the body’s immune responses and disrupting sleep, explains Sirio Europe, General Manager, Sara Lesina.
Furthermore, consumers “across the world” are seeking natural alternatives “to help counteract the effects of modern life” and gummies have become the “most preferred” form for all age groups, she says.
“There is tremendous potential here. Remote or hybrid working due to the pandemic has led to increasing screen time at work and at home, and a blurring of the boundaries between the beginning and end of the working day – all of this is contributing to an increase in sleep and stress problems.
“Simultaneously, we are seeing consumers look to more natural and nonpharmacological solutions for overall wellness.”
Gummies also have excellent bioavailability, taste better and deliver a more enjoyable experience, she maintains, which adds up to a strong consumer proposition, she maintains.
“The gummy supplements market continues to grow extremely quickly, and we are constantly innovating for our customers to stay ahead of trends. So, when you put this together, we expect very strong growth across these product classes.”
Positive category growth
There has been a substantial increase in immunity claims on specialised nutrition products in Europe in the past two years with around 14% of nutraceutical launches proclaiming immune benefits, according to Mintel (2022).
Furthermore, a report from the Nutrition Business Journal (2022) describes sleep as a “primary pandemic adjacent” success story, with knock-on effects for melatonin. This sleep-inducing hormone has been trending since 2019, it says, with growth peaking at 42.5% in 2020 - and on course for further gains in 2021.
Sirio products cater to these buoyant market trends. For example, Twinkle Twinkle gummies comprise a blend of melatonin (1.5mg), passionflower, tea theanine (1mg) and lemon balm that help reduce time to sleep and contribute to stress management and mood support.
Lesina explains: “Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone and works by binding itself to the receptors 1 and 2 in the hypothalamus, which leads to a downstream signalling cascade in the body – a bit like dominos – resulting in some physiological changes. These include lowered body temperature and respiration rate, and its these changes that then encourage sleep and a most restful state.”
The simultaneous launch of a new pectin-based variant (Winter Shield) with manuka honey (33.3mg) and “complementary dose of zinc” (3.67mg) also target immunity, with additional antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Manuka honey has proven immunomodulatory and antimicrobial benefits and boosts the body’s natural immune defensive system.
Lesina comments: “Manuka honey is well known to have antimicrobial and wound healing properties, and it also helps support gut health, which as the science is now beginning to show has an important – if complex – role to play in immunity. The two active ingredients unique to manuka honey over conventional honey are methylglyoxal (MGO) and dihydroxyacetone (DHA).”
Meanwhile, zinc is important for normal development and function of cells mediating innate immunity and helps improve growth and function of both T and B cells, she says.
Both launches are an extension to Sirio’s ChewyVita range and coincide with the winter season (when vulnerability to illness increases), and production capacity and customisation are immediately available.
Lesina confirms: “We do expect to see more seasonal sales as consumers look to supplementation to help guard against viral infections, boost immunity and soother sort throats.”
Natural strawberry-flavoured Twinkle Twinkle Gummy is sugar and gluten-free and can be centre-filled, while Winter Shield gummies are bright yellow and also gluten-free, plus vegetarian and non-GMO.
“A standout benefit of both gummies is that they provide – as well as high bioavailability of ingredients – superior taste and texture profiles to anything currently on the market. These are premium products for discerning customers that will be more enjoyable to take,” she adds.