Consumers are becoming supplement savvy and paying closer attention to what is in their supplements. Unsurprisingly, label-conscious consumers want to know what ingredients, fillers, binders, and flow agents they are ingesting.
This behavior is arising from the consumer-driven clean label movement. As the clean label trend continues to grow and evolve, nimble supplement brands are pivoting to stay relevant in the dietary supplement industry.
Before we dive into how clean label can help your business grow, what is clean label?
Clean label denotes a product that uses as few ingredients as possible and includes ingredients that are recognizable and wholesome to consumers. While the term is widely defined, most commonly it requires the elimination of allergens, artificial ingredients, and extras, such as magnesium stearate or silicon dioxide.
Consumers, who want to know that the products they’re ingesting are safe and don’t contain artificial ingredients, are driving the clean label trend. In recent years, consumers, especially millennials, have become more conscious of the impact the products they purchase have on the environment, as well as their health. Today’s green consumers are turning towards supplements made from more natural, familiar, easy-to-understand ingredients. According to a 2018 report from Innova, 91% of U.S. consumers believe food and beverage options with recognizable ingredients are healthier. Additives and other unfamiliar ingredients listed in labels are no longer acceptable to clean-label shoppers.
In addition to natural and fewer ingredients, the clean label movement promotes higher transparency and traceability of ingredients among supplement brands. According to Nielsen, “the importance of clarity around the attributes listed on package labeling is on the rise, particularly as consumers are increasingly focused on product and label transparency.”
How to Boost Your Supplement Brand with Clean Label
To boost sales and achieve growth, supplement brands should consider adopting a clean label positioning. Consumers seeking products with recognizable ingredients are willing to pay a premium for products that are presented as “natural” or “organic.” Supplement brands must be open to consumer demands for clean label products to capture this market share.
How can your business achieve clean label positioning? Supplement brands can adjust their formulas to contain fewer and more recognizable ingredients while eliminating additives or solvents. However, be careful so you do not compromise your product’s taste and appearance.
In addition to the formula, the delivery system itself can be modified too. Capsules are ideal for brands as they do not require any synthetic additives or additional binding ingredients. Currently, plant-based capsules are the easiest to use for supplement brands looking to transition into clean label. Fittingly, the plant-based capsule market is also set for rapid market growth and expected to reach $509.13 Million by 2022.
With natural and “clean” ingredients becoming important drivers for many consumers, it is essential that brands stay informed on how their materials are sourced to deliver transparency throughout the brand. In a 2019 Clean Label Study from Kerry surveying 2,100 U.S. nutrient-conscious consumers, 75% of consumers said they are willing to switch from their usual brand to one that provides more in-depth product information. As such, products with an easy to decipher and positive product story, promoting the traceability of its ingredients, will be able to engage and capture these consumers.
As clean label supplements gain traction, supplement brands should make sure their claims are solid and backed by proof. Imitation brands making lofty claims with no proof are abundant. To rise and separate from these masses, businesses must make sure their ingredients are well-researched and proven to be safe and effective.
The clean label trend is here to stay. With no sign of this trend slowing down, supplement brands must be responsive and join the clean label movement to stay relevant. Combined with a solid eCommerce strategy, supplement brands that go “clean label” will have the perfect opportunity to achieve growth in the upcoming years.