The increasing desire among consumers for more engaging and experiential supplement formats is fueling the advancement of product innovation within the market.
“Delivery format is a key factor in a supplement shopper’s purchase decision,” says Pat Vesay, Head of Marketing & Strategy at Catalent Consumer Health. “Recent data in a survey we conducted with Numerator1 showed that more than 75% of all shoppers will take action to find their preferred form, rather than accept a substitute.”
Tablets and capsules may be easy and convenient but fall short on delivering an experience for some shoppers. For others, pills are not always an option; pill fatigue can be a barrier, and data shows that 43% of people worldwide have difficulty consuming them.2
Furthermore, the research found that gummies are a preferred vitamin form of both lapsed and current buyers over traditional capsules and non-chewable forms. Softer forms, including gummies, in general perform well compared to traditional capsules and tablets.
Today’s supplement users are increasingly seeking the heightened sensory experience associated with taking softer forms, such as gummies, and brands who can capture this emerging market with innovative formulations are set to gain.
An enduring love affair with gummies
In the wake of the post-pandemic period marked by high inflation, the VMS market is steadying, resulting in a decrease in gummy volume sales from their peak during the pandemic. Nonetheless, consumers are directing a larger share of their expenditure towards gummies in contrast to other formats.
Among gummies, soft chews and lozenges, the Numerator data shows that shoppers are most willing to spend on gummies, with 62% and 63% of lapsed and current buyers respectively ‘extremely willing’. The same willingness to spend on soft chews stands at 44% and 46%, and for lozenges just 6% and 10%.
As a leading dietary supplement form, gummies promise a nutrient-infused, desired element of experience, combined with the capacity for a wide range of flavors, to consumers who are prepared to spend more.
Sugar – an enduring concern
Gummies may shine with the experience factor, but shoppers are savvy to the potential of consuming extra sugar. In fact, where gummies are concerned, the highest number of consumers have concerns around sugar content compared with soft chews and lozenges (38% compared with 30% and 21% respectively).1
For market success, brands owners must reassure consumers by addressing concerns about sugar content across non-traditional forms, such as gummies, with on-pack messaging and labeling with the amount of sugar. The challenge is to hit the sweet spot – by innovating for a great-tasting experience that is also lower in sugar.
So how can product developers deliver a great experience that meets the consumer demand of health and experience, while addressing concerns around sugar?
“By working with the right formulation partner such as Catalent, we can help meet the needs of consumers who seek lower sugar products that deliver both nutrition and experience. Our team of experts are well-versed in this space,” says Kate Jacobsen, Vice President, Research & Development, Catalent Consumer Health.
A global development and supply partner
As a global leader in dosage forms, Catalent has the strength, scale and expertise as a premier development and supply partner for brands wishing to expand their portfolios into new products that have high efficacy, are convenient to use and are packed with flavor.
Catalent added gummies along with other chewable technologies to its VMS portfolio to meet evolving consumer demand for experiential delivery formats, and has access to thousands of ingredients across vitamins, minerals, botanicals, among many others. Brands who partner with Catalent can customize their gummy offering to stand out with flavors, colors, textures and lower sugar, all designed for enhanced consumer experiences.
By leveraging market conditions, formulation challenges, product distinction and supply solutions, Catalent’s Product Accelerator Portfolio can help its partners reduce development timelines for chewable portfolio options, including gummies, from as much as one year compared to traditional timelines.
Actionable insights in the gummy market
In this upcoming Spotlight On broadcast, in partnership with Catalent, our panel will explore common challenges in gummy formulation influencing consumer preferences.
Joining the panel is Brandon Casteel, Vice President of Channel & Retail Partnerships at SPINS, who will discuss some of the key findings in the market that illuminate the enduring popularity of gummy supplements and the emerging trends.
You will also hear from a formulation master to better understand the challenges in crafting gummies that captivate taste buds and deliver on texture and flavor. You will also learn how choosing the right partner can elevate your position in this competitive landscape and accelerate your speed to market.
You will come away armed with actionable insights around consumer preferences and market trends.
Don’t miss this opportunity to strengthen your competitive edge and position yourself for success in the gummy supplement industry.
Register here for Spotlight On: Opportunities & Insights in a Dynamic Gummy Market, February 27, 11am ET (10am CST).
1. Catalent, Numerator Survey. (2023).
2. FMCG Gurus: Exploring the Impact of Nutritional Supplements. (2020).