An overarching trend in the dietary supplement category? Plant-based. This won’t come as a surprise, if you’ve been following the trends at all: as health and environmental research comes out, with all of it pointing towards the importance of plants, demand is rising. And it’s rising in unexpected places.
This year’s trends, directly from the Expo West show floor:
- CBD. Shocking? Not even a little bit. But just because it goes without saying, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said. CBD pops up in isolated CBD form, in full-spectrum hemp extract, in full-spectrum terpenes, in hemp oil. And oil is still the top delivery system—CV Sciences, of course, has that covered, as do Green Roads, Barlean’s, and Sunsoil. Balms and lotions are making an appearance: Nature’s Fusions has a roll-on, Sagely Naturals has a cream, and ShiKai has a brand-new line of lotions and balms. Supplement sellers, this is your time to shine: given that it’s still technically illegal in food and beverages, you can bring new customers in with a selection of trustworthy CBD products.
- Collagen. Collagen covers a range of categories: skin health, beauty, joint health, muscle health, healthy aging, and potentially more that we don’t even know about yet. It’s a quick way of covering all the bases. Jenn Randazzo, RD, associate director of education at Vital Proteins, noted in “Collagen: The It Ingredient that’s Here to Stay” that those looking to get their collagen could eat a 10 oz steak, 46 poached eggs, or three scoops of Vital Proteins collagen powder—and that’s worth passing along to your customers, so they understand why a supplement is a convenient way of obtaining collagen. Vital Proteins, of course, has a range of collagen products; Neocell sells a clinically tested collagen powder; PlantFusion has a plant-based, vegan collagen powder.
- Curcumin. Curcumin has its fingers in every dietary supplement pie: EuroPharma has a hemp oil with curcumin, Vida Lifescience combined up-and-coming liposomal technology with curcumin, and Wakunaga now has a version of their Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract with curcumin in it. Curcumin hits bunches of boxes: it’s great for joint and muscle health, and it’s an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It gives any product a boost in value that customers can appreciate.
- Protein. Protein is the only macronutrient that has never been vilified. Put that together with plant-based leanings and an explosion in plant-based protein, and put that together with the fact that trending must-have ingredient hemp can be made into protein powder, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success. Garden of Life has a raw organic plant protein mix; ALOHA has a plant-based protein mix with hemp; and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods has—of course—hemp protein.
- Probiotics. As it becomes clearer and clearer that gut health translates to full-body health, more and more people are looking for probiotics. And while they’re growing in grocery, they’ve got a strong foothold in the supplements aisle: ReNew Life, Dr. Ohhira’s, Health Plus, Inc., Just Thrive, ChildLife and more. You’re probably already on top of this trend, between kombucha, yogurt, kefir, and capsules, but be reassured: This trend isn’t going anywhere.