It’s not easy for consumers to get all the nutrients their bodies require through diet alone. Perhaps this is why the health supplement market was estimated at a value of over $177 million in 2023, with an anticipated CAGR of 9.1% by 2030.

It doesn’t hurt that manufacturers have expanded beyond horse pills, bitter tinctures, and messy powders to adopt innovative new consumption methods like tasty gummy vitamins and convenient dissolvable discs. 

In addition, the future of this marketplace could involve an ever-expanding profile of clean-label products and innovations like patches, inhalers, and more.

 

The Rise of Gummy Vitamins

Gummy candy made its debut in the American marketplace during the ‘80s when German candy company Haribo began selling gummy bears stateside. Even so, it was over a decade before gummy vitamins entered the picture.

According to manufacturer Hero Nutritionals, the company was the first to launch a nutrient-rich, all-natural gummy vitamin for children in 1997. In 2009, it also became the first to launch an organic gummy vitamin, followed by vegetarian and sugar-free products in 2010 and 2011. Competitors quickly followed suit.

With major corporations like Bayer (One a Day), Pfizer (Centrum), and even Nestlé (Vital Protein) going up against more targeted manufacturers like Nature’s Bounty and Olly, there’s no shortage of gummies for consumers to explore these days. 

The prevalence of celebrities and influencers like the Kardashians/Jenners, Lana Condor, and Kaley Cuoco repping gummy supplements has certainly contributed to the skyrocketing popularity of brands like Olly.

It’s not hard to see why gummies became such a popular delivery vehicle for vitamins. Tasty fruit flavors are more appealing than the bitter alternatives of the past, while chewable consumption alleviates the need to swallow intimidating pills whole.

 

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The Advent of Dissolvable Discs

Dissolvable discs are an innovative method of delivering vitamins and supplements. These tabs dissolve in water and require relatively little water for manufacturing, adding conservation to the list of eco-friendly benefits (like recycled and compostable packaging) they deliver.

What sets them apart from gummies? For one thing, they offer the portability of a tablet paired with the easy consumption of a beverage. Consumers need only submerge them in a glass of water to drink their daily dose of vitamins in a flavored beverage format. 

Unlike solids that your body has to break down to digest, water-soluble solutions offer faster absorption.

While these options aren’t yet widely available, with just a couple of brands like Thorne/Effusi and Diso developing such technologies, consumers will likely find plenty of reasons to consider switching as the market grows. These discs are especially convenient and effective for children who have difficulty swallowing pills.

Beyond Gummies and Dissolvable Discs: The Future of Health Supplements

In addition to options like personalized formulations and clean-label products that eschew harmful additives and offer transparency, consumers are interested in new consumption formats. Where does the industry go from gummies and dissolvable discs?

Patches or inhalable options are potential avenues to explore. If trends in the cannabis market are any indication, nanotechnologies could be the next big leap in a range of supplements, offering increased uptake and potency. 

Challenges range from developing needed tools, techniques, and formulations to complying with industry regulations for safety and consistency.

 

Related: Fully Functional: A Trending Beverage Market Hits Its Stride

 

Growth and Innovation Go Hand-in-Hand

Tablets remain the most popular form of supplements, accounting for roughly one-third of all sales in 2023. Still, the market is slated to see significant growth in the coming years. New formats, from gummies to dissolvable discs, appeal to consumers seeking more convenient and appealing options for consumption.

Remaining competitive in this transitioning marketplace requires vigilance and creativity, whether companies create something totally new or simply adapt technologies used elsewhere in the food industry. 

In the end, the most important goal is to address consumer preferences and pain points and, if possible, provide something people never even knew they needed.

 

To learn more about our products and insights, get in touch with our team at Symrise today, Contact us here! 

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