Traditionally fun-shaped, sweet-tasting gummy vitamins have been associated with kids. But today the gummy format has taken off across off all age categories. adults.
According to a 2017 New York Times article, “Millions of people are hooked on gummies as a health supplement. Gummy multivitamins accounted for 7.5 percent of the $6 billion multivitamin market in the United States in 2016, according to estimates from the Nutrition Business Journal and projections from IBISWorld, a research company. And gummy products over all now account for $1 billion of the $41 billion supplement market in the United States, a more than 25 percent jump in sales since 2015, according to IBISWorld.
One reason gummy vitamins are so popular with adults these days is “pill fatigue.” A 2005 AARP study found that on average, adults 45 and older said they take four prescription medications daily. But some people say that switching to a gummy version of a vitamin or supplement makes them feel as if they aren’t taking so many pills. Gummies also appeal to adults, particularly seniors, who have difficulty swallowing pills. In addition, sweet-tasting gummies are appealing since they mask the taste of vitamins and minerals that may have an unpleasant taste.
Gummy vitamins and supplements originally targeted children, and were offered as a fun way to get kids to take their vitamins. But in 2012, Perrigo, a supplement maker with headquarters in Ireland, began marketing gummy products to adults. Last year, the company announced that it was partnering with Ferrara Candy Company, maker of Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers, to develop multivitamins for adults over 30.”
In another 2016 study on gummies by market research company Mintel, this delivery format appeals to adults as well as kids since “platforms such as gummies, and other confectionery methods, “provide an appreciated departure from consumers’ routine, allowing [the consumer] to have a more sensorial, enjoyable experience than with a tablet.”
A recent 2017 Nutraceuticals World article states, “The gummy format becomes more pervasive across all consumer categories, specific considerations are needed in order to effectively deliver taste and nutrition.
The article continues: “Gone are the days of simply adding a vitamin mix to a traditional gummy candy formula,” commented Liz Clarke, CFS, applications scientist at Nitta Gelatin NA, Inc. in Morrisville, NC. “With advancements in ingredient technologies and product development, gummy supplements can now be customized to meet specific consumer preference. For example, reduced sugar, increased fiber, natural colors and flavors, and specialized texture are all possibilities.” While vitamins are popular ingredients in the gummy format, Ms. Clarke suggested the number of other nutritional ingredients available in gummies have grown within the past five years. “From your standard multivitamin, to omega-3s and melatonin, to collagen peptides and probiotics—if you can think of it, it can most likely be added to a great-tasting gummy. Gummies designed for specific demographics (prenatal, men’s, kids, etc.) which contain a variety of beneficial micronutrients are also increasingly popular.
To reach this diverse audience, gummy manufacturers have made innovative developments in recent years. Ms. Clarke explained, “Traditional gummy processing uses starch molds to create the shape of the gummy, and aid in curing. More and more companies are producing starchless molding equipment, which leads to faster processing times, and reduces the possibility of ingredient transfer from batch-to-batch.”
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