Most consumers are familiar with EPA and DHA–but what about ALA, SDA or GLA? Andrew Hebard, founder and CEO of Nature's Crops International says all omega fatty acids have an important role to play and the omega industry is missing out on a major opportunity.
“So much of the conversation has become polarized on presenting the consumer with omega-3 supplements containing only EPA and DHA in ever increasing quantities, with little to no recognition of the actual health and wellness experiences that consumers should expect from increasing their intakes of plant based omega-3s such as ALA and SDA. We know that many consumers aren’t committing to an omega-3 regimen just to achieve a level of EPA and DHA, or an omega-3 index of ‘x’, instead they commit to it to look better, feel better and move better, and they actually experience and benefit from the results they see,” explained Hebard.
Hebard added that while sustainability is a driver, he doesn’t see it as the lead driver.
“I think the lead driver is still, ‘What will this do for me as a consumer?’ ‘What experience should I get from taking this product?’ And then the sustainability, the sensory, the dietary restrictions, depending on whether you're a vegetarian, etc. are all supporting actors in that play. But the lead role is ‘show me the benefits.’
Hebard noted that there is an enormous white space where plant based, sustainable, good tasting omega supplements are a proven route to improving health and wellness that deliver on experiential results.
“Thankfully a lot of innovative brands and a very large number of consumers don’t take a simplistic approach of ‘it’s all about EPA and DHA’–instead they are taking the ‘how does it actually make me feel and look?' approach and that’s where we really are seeing Ahiflower gain market share – because of the outcomes experienced, notably by humans as well as their dogs and horses. I don’t think this can be overstated.”
To hear more on the omega nutrition outlook, why Hebard wants the industry to recognize the roles of ALA, SDA, ETA, EPA, DHA, and GLA and how brands can go about educating consumers on complex topics like omega nutrition, listen to the NutraCast.