There has been an increase in product launches like Wild Alaskan Fish Oil from Wiley’s Finest with vitamin K2Or Omega Curcumin from Nordic Naturals– Where omega-3 with another bioactive ingredient is in the spotlight.
Some in the category see this as an opportunity to excite consumers and bring more action to the US declining category of omega-3 supplements. Adam Ismail, Executive Director of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED), is one of them.
“I think it will certainly help. These types of products primarily appeal to new consumers who are not in the omega-3 category and therefore help bring new consumers to market, ”he told NutraIngredients-USA.
Brands accelerate the pace with new launches.
Many brands agree that omega-3s, when combined with other ingredients, are accelerating the pace of new product launches. Joar Opheim, CEO and founder of Nordic Naturals, said that combination products grow much faster than regular fish oil.
Sam Wiley, CEO and Founder of Wiley’s Finest, said that omega-3 combination products have been around for a long time and that the sudden new wave of them are simply “second or even third generation combinations”.
“We think consumers are looking for new ways to reduce the total number of pills they have to take,” he added. “Since EPA & DHA omega-3 fats are something that the entire population should consume regardless of age or health needs, it makes sense to combine them with other fat-soluble nutrients.”
Still a small market share.
The market, which according to Euromonitor data was worth USD 1.2 billion in the 2016 calendar year, is still dominated by individual omega-3 products. While Wiley’s Finest refused to comment, Nordic Naturals said that selling omega-3 products with a single ingredient dwarfs selling the combinations.
“Overall, I believe that the bulk of the market and the volume consumed today are single-ingredient products,” said Ismail.
“It is actually not that easy to formulate a combination product with omega-3 fatty acids, as certain types of ingredients can affect the quality of the omega-3 oil and / or give the product more volume, if more capsules per serving or larger Capsules are required. ” He added.
Opheim argued that the low percentage of combined finished products was also due to consumer awareness. “We had a long time doing research and educating the public about the benefits of omega-3s,” he said. “While combination formulas are becoming increasingly popular, it takes time to explain exactly why complementary nutrients are so important to something like cell health. There is a lot of potential here for these formulas to be useful.”
Bad press: image control for a mature industry.
Omega-3 fatty acids – or fish oil – are a household name when it comes to nutrients and supplements. However, there has been a decline among the younger generations, particularly due to poor press viewing the image of fish oil as more of a snake oil. to Opheim.
Contrary to Ismail’s opinion, Opheim is more reluctant to say that the growth of more combination launches could help the omega-3 market in general bounce back. “Unfortunately, the growth of the combinations is not going to do much for the stagnant omega-3 market because the problem has deeper roots than just a mature market,” he said.
“It’s an advertising problem. In recent years there have been many unjustified negative articles about omega-3 fatty acids. These articles were motivated by interests outside the natural product industry that essentially co-opted the research, ”he added. “When you dig into the science behind negative press, you see major methodological flaws that undermine its validity. We do our best to resolve these issues, but the public is often unaware of this level of detail. “
Opheim argues that the key to getting more media attention is the benefits of omega-3. “By focusing on omega-3 fatty acid education and proactively marketing the benefits of omega-3 fats – from child development to joint health, eye health, cardiovascular function, the From mental health to healthy skin – we support public health in a big way, ”said Opheim.
Omega-3 – Challenges and Opportunities in 2017 and Beyond.
Sam Wiley and Adam Ismail are two of the panelists at the upcoming NutraIngredients-USA Omega-3 webinar. For more information on this FREE discussion and registration, please click HERE.