While newer joint-health ingredient trends are taking center stage in the public eye, classic ingredients are still in demand and therefore remain an important and stable formulating choice for manufacturers, according to one company. Carlson Laboratories recently launched Glucosamine & Chondroitin with MSM, a repositioning of its Nutra-Joint Support product. They are the same product with different names—for good reason. Jolie Root, LPN, LNC, senior nutritionist and educator for Carlson, explains, “We offer the same formula under two names, giving the retailer a choice as to how to best position the combination in order to help their consumers make a choice.”
Nutritional Outlook has reported how the glucosamine and chondroitin category has somewhat declined or at the very least leveled off, but Carlson says it still sees a lot of value. “Carlson has steady sales in this category and feels it is important to continue to provide the product for the customers who are loyal to it,” says Root. Indeed, glucosamine and chondroitin products make up a majority of the joint-health market and are well-recognized by consumers, something that can be easily forgotten in our current culture obsessed with what’s new and trending.
Fish oil is another reliable joint-health ingredient, says Carlson. “In the 1980s, when Carlson entered the fish oil category with our bestselling Norwegian Cod Liver Oil, joint health was one of the leading reasons why shoppers bought Cod Liver Oil,” says Root. “Consumers still look for omega-3 supplements to ease the effects of sports and other activity related joint issues.”
Carlson’s liquid omega-3s remain the company’s bestselling joint-support products. That is not to say the company is not watching trending ingredients and keeping up. Root says that one significant trend Carlson noticed is the use of botanicals to support inflammation. For this reason, Carlson introduced Enhanced Mobility featuring tart cherry, turmeric, ginger, and boswellia in 2017 to promote comfort and mobility after exercise. These are all trending ingredients many consumers want to see, especially if they are new to dietary supplements and were exposed to these ingredients online. Classic ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil may not be as attractive to greener customers but remain important to enduring dietary supplement customers who started using them and want to be consistent.