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Looking Beyond the Pill Format

With so many nutraceutical delivery formats to choose from these days, selecting the right format to match your formula can be confusing.

The traditional tablet/pill format has not gone to the way side but rather been joined by an array of alternative delivery options: gummies, powders, liquids, softgels and more.

Bear in mind, choosing a format cannot be underestimated when mapping out your supplement manufacturing plan as consumers are demanding more and more easy-to-use, innovative solutions. In addition, the nutraceutical consumer wants a delivery system that ensures their formula is meeting their specific health and/or performance needs.

Manufacturers and marketers should know that dosage forms for delivery of these ingredients can make as big a difference in consumer satisfaction as the ingredients themselves. In fact, delivery formats can maximize the potential benefit of those ingredients.

Here’s the scoop on the most popular supplement formats.

Pill/Tablets

The traditional pill cannot be dismissed as it is often the most cost-effective delivery system and can hold/contain a lot of ingredients/materials. Tablets are also the most shelf stable of formats and retain their potency. If you do decide to go the tablet route, you can select different shapes that best represent your brand such as squares, triangles, diamonds or even irregular shapes such as hearts, stars, etc., What’s more you can imprint information directed to the consumer, regarding your brand, formula name and so forth.

However, large tablets can be hard for some people (particularly the elderly or kids) to swallow (unless they are chewables).  In addition, tablets can offer more dosing challenges compared to liquids and powders.

Capsules

Capsules are two-piece gelatin capsules that are highly popular in the realm of both supplements and medications.  Capsules are easy-to-swallow and break down quickly in the digestive tract, Vegetarian capsules that are gelatin-free are fast gaining popularity. 

People often choose capsules if they need to break them and add their powdered contents mixed into food or shakes. This is especially convenient for kids.

However, capsules can be limited by their space and potency restrictions. Their contents cannot be compressed as in tablets. Also, since capsules are not air-tight, their shelf-life is shorter than tablets.

Liquids

Liquids (energy shots, tinctures and extracts) are easy to ingest, making them attractive as well to those who have trouble swallowing tablets. Some customers choose liquids based on the belief that they may absorb faster than some other nutraceutical formats.

On the flip side, liquids have shorter shelf life. They are harder to travel with and are not as portable as tablets or capsules. They may also require refrigeration.

Powders

Like tablets, powders can also be very cost-effective, but are probably the least convenient since the consumer must mix the powder format into a liquid, shake or food. However, dosing is much easier with powders since adjustments can be made. In the sports supplement category, protein-formulated powders are the most popular choice so this format is an often a must for endurance products.

Softgels

Softgels are one-piece gelatin capsules that are used for liquid or oil-based formulas. Because of their smooth contour and shape, softgels are very easy-to-swallow. Under normal circumstances, the human body will absorb more nutrients from a dietary supplement, ingested in softgel form, in comparison to tablets or hard shell capsules. This advantage is particularly beneficial if your formula contains ingredients that are challenging for the body to absorb.

Softgels also boast excellent shelf-life since they are sealed tightly compared to capsules, powders and liquids. However, altering the dose of softgels can be tricky since they can’t be neatly broken or opened up.

Gummies

Gummy bear formulas are highly popular delivery methods for nutritional supplements, favored by both kids and grownups. Children are attracted to these chewy formats because they are fun and tasty. Flavor is an important factor for adults, too, which is why they often choose gummies. And of course, the chew factor eliminates the need to swallow.

At Makers Nutrition, we offer the highest quality supplement formats for our clients to choose from. Our experts will guide you through making the best format decisions to give your product a competitive edge.

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