Not only was 2016 an exciting year in politics and pop culture, but also an AMAZING year in the world of nutritional products and dietary supplements! We saw some major shifts in the industry, and also strides forward in product quality and innovation:
Welcome back to our old friend, the full dose pre-workout: One of the biggest industry trends that made a comeback in 2016 was the return of the full dose pre-workout. For those unacquainted with this term, a “full dose” pre-workout is an energy and performance based product that has hefty, efficacious dosages of many ingredients in the product. Ingredients that have clinical data available are showing up in pre-workout supplements at correct dosages for which the studies were conducted. Year over year, consumer education continues to increase, which has no doubt accelerated the shift in the direction from micro dosed products to full dose formulas. “Micro dose” formulas are synonymous with proprietary blends and some secrecy in labeling. Consumers no longer want to see “proprietary blends” of unknown amounts of certain ingredients sandwiched together with less expensive ingredients such as taurine, creatine, and other amino acids. Consumers are wanting to see full disclosure on their labels, wanting to know exactly how much of each ingredient they are getting in each serving. We saw many of the leading brands in the industry foray back into more efficacious doses and more transparent labels.
Stevia, monk fruit, and cane sugar, oh my! The “natural” flavor system train barreled forward in 2016, picking up many passengers along the way. As many natural outlets (the Whole Foods and Sprouts Markets of the world) continued to grow, so too did the number of brands trying to capitalize on this sector of rapid growth. Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners have fallen casualty to stevia extracts and other natural sweeteners. We even witnessed many perceived “edgier” brands make the transition. Artificial sweeteners still remain the kings of sweetening performance, but natural sweeteners have picked up their game over the past few years. Food science continues to advance the performance of natural sweeteners, to levels that haven’t been seen before. This industry trend is no doubt here to stay.
It’s never been easier to get our hands on new products: Gone are the days of having to get in your car, drive to town, and physically walk into a store to get your next protein or pre-workout product. Although this method of purchase still has its perks (especially being able to speak face to face with someone about the products), the ease of pulling out our cell phones and ordering a “top rated” product in minutes is something that most are embracing. We certainly saw the digital sector of the industry grow leaps and bounds in 2016. Online ads, social media campaigns, emails, and other digital content reach us numerous times a day. Brands have been required to “get with the times” in their marketing and advertising, and many have succeeded in doing so. With Amazon.com getting into the mix in the online supplement space, it has further broadened the number of products available to anyone with a smart phone or computer.
It has been truly amazing to watch the innovation in formulation, flavoring, and most importantly, quality of products, continue to improve year over year. Never has it been more important to have high quality products, as the quality bar continues to be raised by industry watchdogs, federal and state governments, and by the mighty voice of the consumer.
At Genysis Brand Solutions, we have continued to invest in innovation and quality, and pride ourselves on making it a place “Where Amazing Begins”.
Written by: Business Development Manager, Matt Doxey & CRO, Shayne Howell.