If you are reading this article right now, then you have a gift that should not be taken for granted. Around 12 million Americans 40 years of age and older have vision impairment—including 1 million who are blind. Nearly 7% of children under 18 in the U.S. have a diagnosed eye and vision condition. In many cases, corrective surgery, with the right diet and supplementation, could plausibly prolong the development of certain eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As a vitamin business owner, you have the power to manufacture beneficial supplements to help people maintain eye wellness and protect their vision from further decline.
An outlook of the eye and vision vitamin market
In 2022, almost all of us are on the computer, typing away for school, work, and research. If we aren’t on the computer, then we are on our cell phones or tablets, scrolling and sampling the day’s latest trends. The good news is that there is a different trend to discuss, and it surprisingly has nothing to do with social media! Education Content Writer Dana Dye of Life Extension told Vitamin Retailer, “The market for eye health products started to expand in 2019 and has maintained a steady growth since.” While primarily older adults seek supplements for eye wellness, a new demographic has certainly emerged. A younger generation is now looking (pun intended) to “[protect] eye health from blue light and help [relieve] common minor eye discomforts related to long hours on digital devices,” said Dye. With more and more people interested in lutein and herbal formulas, Mordor Intelligence reports that the global market for eye health products is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% within the next five years. And according to vision market data from ResearchandMarkets.com, the global vision market had a value of $66.5 billion in 2021, expected to hit $83.2 billion by 2027.
Business potential for you? We think so!
Natural eye health supplements for natural eye health retailers
Among the many vitamins and minerals people should be sure to ingest daily are the eye-supporting Vitamins A, C, and E, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin. Here is a little information about each.
- Vitamin A: A component of the protein rhodopsin, which allows the eye to see in low-light environments, Vitamin A is important and going without it could lead to night blindness. Too little of the nutrient can also cause dry eyes, since Vitamin A supports the cornea, or the protective outer layer of the eye. Foods with Vitamin A include carrots, red peppers, pumpkins, squash, and sweet potatoes.
- Vitamin C: Helping to protect against UV light damage, Vitamin C levels unfortunately decline with age. With less protection, it becomes even more important for individuals to maintain a well-balanced diet and supplement with safe capsules, tablets, gummies, softgels, and powders that supply the body with enough Vitamin C respective to their age and sex.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is most touted as a powerful antioxidant, helping to fight off free radicals, which may damage tissues throughout the body—including those of the eyes. This damage can cause cloudy vision along the lens of the eyes, a gradual development of cataracts. Vitamin E is found in sunflower seeds, peanuts, soybeans, corn, asparagus, and almonds.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: If you are an ophthalmologist, then you know that omega-3s are vital to eye health, as the retina contains a high concentration of them. Omega-3 fatty acids shield the eye from deterioration, and while more research is underway, small animal studies have established that omega-3 supplements can work in slowing age-related macular degeneration. Most often recognized in oily fish like tuna and sardines, omega-3s are also found in walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Zinc: This mineral helps the body transport Vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, the pigment that protects eyes from UV light. If you manufacture zinc-comprising products targeted towards eye and vision wellness, you could play a direct role in helping consumers maintain what they have, potentially reducing the risk of further development of AMD. In fact, according to the American Optometric Association, taking 40-80 mg of zinc every day, in combination with other antioxidants, may slow the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration by 25%. It can also reduce visual acuity loss by 19%. Seafood such as crab, oysters, and lobster, as well as foods like nuts, beans, chickpeas, and fortified cereals are all sources of zinc.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Both carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin are abundant in green leafy vegetables. They are also found in the lens and retina of the eye, acting as antioxidants, thereby protecting against oxidant damage, similarly to Vitamin E. lutein and zeaxanthin help protect the macula of the eye, preventing the development of macular degeneration. These two carotenoids also guard against blue light, the light emitted by digital screens. Similar to wearing sunglasses, the earlier the better. So, manufacture these nutrients into high-quality supplements and help consumers of all ages in their eye preservation efforts.
- Astaxanthin: This is widely known as the more effective antioxidant compound which offers unique eye protection. Neutralizing the oxygen radical molecules, astaxanthin works in conjunction with other vision supporting supplement ingredients such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Bonus: Grape Seed Extract Grape seed extract contains oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, which are super antioxidants. Perhaps their most powerful agency is their ability to strengthen blood vessel walls and make them more flexible. Since the machinery of the eye is fed by tiny capillaries that may get clogged or break, making those capillaries is immensely important and can affect every aspect of vision. You can offer grape seed extract supplements to consumers with high blood pressure, as high levels irritate and inflame blood vessels, which is why diabetes is the cause of the most common preventable cause of blindness. You can change things around for your customers, and that is just one specific way!
While most people can obtain adequate daily recommendations of the above nutrients, some bodies cannot fully absorb what they eat due to known and underlying medical conditions. In such cases, it is suggested that a dietary supplement is taken. In such cases, that dietary supplement could be your brand name product manufactured through a certifiably reputable manufacturing partner. Makers Nutrition has all the tools and resources required to facilitate the manufacturing, packaging, and fulfilment of high-quality natural eye vitamins that consumers need.
We offer companies of all sizes white label formulas to make your own. These products, which include immune system supporting, antioxidant-rich gummies and powders, are offered at low minimums with a faster turnaround time than custom supplement orders. You can hit the ground running faster and start growing your business with a product you already know is held to the highest standard. A common misconception is that if the formula is stock, then it receives a quick pass during the Quality Control phase. FALSE. All stock products are checked as thoroughly as custom orders, from the raw material process, through production and the final stage before distribution. Our eye and vision-related formulas include gummies, powders, softgels, and capsules. They are rich in nutrients listed above like Vitamins A and C, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, and are available for you to successfully private label.
Rules and regulations
If you are unfamiliar with Makers Nutrition, but know enough about the vitamin industry, then you aware of how important quality is in manufacturing supplements for not only the eyes, but all areas of health and wellness. We handle all supplements in a state-of-the-art FDA-registered, GMP-compliant facility, ensuring the safety and quality you need to get ahead of competing brands. This is only one of the 11 golden rules you should be discussing with your current contract manufacturing partner.
Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), cataracts affects an estimated 24.4 million Americans ages 40 and up. In addition, around half of all Americans ages 75 and up have experienced the condition. While not everyone needs surgery to remove cataracts, the stats say something about just how prevalent the condition is among people of a certain age. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly demographic of America and the Western world. As stated in Nutrition Journal article, “As the proportion of the elderly in our population increases, the public health impact of AMD will become even more severe.” That is another reason why NOW is the time to get started on better-quality dietary supplements and vitamins made under compliance with strict Good Manufacturing Practices through the one supplement manufacturing company you can rely on—Makers Nutrition. Show customers the difference between your last manufacturer and the standards to which we hold our finished products by calling us today at 1-844-625-3771.
- Choquette, Joy. “The Eye of the Beholder: Vision Health in 2022.” Vitamin Retailer, Aug. 2022, pp. 20-22.
- Myers, Cheryl. “The Eyes Have It.” Vitamin Retailer, Jan. 2023, pp. 36-37.
- Barbanel, Shari. “Seeing Clearly.” NIE Magazine, Jan/Feb 2023, pp. 6-10.