2022 Nutraceutical ingredient trends: One expert’s forecast

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Manufacturers may want to include these ingredients in their spring 2022 product lines.

Different industry sources provide good intel for which nutraceutical ingredients and nutraceutical categories are likely to trend next year. Based on their recommendations, formulators may want to consider the following:

Herbs and Botanicals

According to SPINS1, there was a lot of buzz about herbs and botanicals at the Natural Products Expo East trade show this year. This is consistent with the American Botanical Council’s (Austin, TX) recent HerbalGram annual market report showing a record-breaking 17.3% increase in herbal supplement sales in 2020—compared to annual increases ranging from 7.7% to 9.4% during the prior five years. Not surprisingly, sales of immune health, stress relief, and heart health herbal supplements grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, at NutraScience Labs, we’ve had an uptick in calls from brand owners looking for immune products.

In terms of top-10 herb ingredient sales, HerbalGram reported that the herbs that sold well across both the U.S. mainstream multioutlet channel and the U.S natural channel in 2020 included elderberry, turmeric, and echinacea.

Depending upon the extracts being used, elderberry2,3 and echinacea4,5,6,7 are supported by great research for immune health. Turmeric, meanwhile, has been shown to have multiple applications, including joint health8,9,10,11, eye health12,13,14, sports performance15,16, and prostate health17.

Digestion, Hydration, and Weight-Loss Products

As with immune health, NutraScience Labs has also had an uptick in calls from brand owners looking for digestion, hydration (sports nutrition–related), and weight-loss products. So which nutraceuticals are the best ones to consider within these product categories?

Digestion Products

The probiotic category has gained significant traction industry-wide. It is currently valued at $61.1 billion globally and is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 8.3% and reach $91.1 billion by 2026.18 So, I suggest looking at probiotics for digestive health. While there are many to choose from, a specific spore-forming Bacillus subtilis strain has been shown to support gut health, digestive health, and regularity.19

Hydration Products

Hydration products in sports nutrition typically contain energy fuels (such as carbohydrates) and electrolytes which are more effective than water alone in maintaining hydration. Aside from that, other ingredients used in hydration formulations tend to be those that improve performance. One such ingredient that I like and recommend is taurine, which has been shown to improve overall endurance performance.20,21

Weight-Loss Products

Weight-loss products are always popular in January and May, with consumers targeting New Year’s resolutions or preparing for swimsuit season, respectively. In addition, quarantining due to the pandemic has led to many people overeating and gaining weight. People are now working to reduce their waist size accordingly. Obviously, the sky is the limit when it comes to weight-loss ingredients. One of my favorite nutraceuticals for this purpose is acacia gum. Research22 shows that acacia gum is effective in promoting satiety and reducing caloric intake.


My recommendations for the ingredients you should consider for your spring 2022 product line include elderberry, turmeric, echinacea, Bacillus subtilis, taurine, and acacia gum.

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH (AHG), is a certified nutritionist and registered herbalist with 42 years of dietary supplement industry experience. With a master’s degree in nutrition and a second master’s degree in herbal medicine, he has a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements. Mr. Bruno currently serves as both the vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at NutraScience Labs and professor of nutraceutical science at Huntington University of Health Sciences.


  1. Dicker S. “Expo East 2021 Recap: 6 Trends at Natural Products Expo and the Brands Behind Them.” SPINS. Published October 5, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  2. Zakay-Rones Z et al. “Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 1, no. 4 (Winter 1995): 361-369
  3. Kong F. “Pilot clinical study on a proprietary elderberry extract: Efficacy in addressing influenza symptoms.” Online Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmakokinetics, vol. 5 (2009): 32-43
  4. Melchart D et al. “Immunomodulation with echinacea—a systematic review of controlled clinical trials.” Phytomedicine, vol. 1, no. 3 (December 1994): 245-254
  5. Dorn M et al. “Placebo-controlled, double-blind study of Echinacea pallida radix in upper respiratory tract infections.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine, vol. 5, no. 1 (March 1997): 40-42
  6. Blumenthal M et al. The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. American Botanical Council (Austin TX); 2003: 88-96
  7. Brinkeborn RM et al. “Echinaforce and other Echinacea fresh plant preparations in the treatment of the common cold. A randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind clinical trial.Phytomedicine, vol. 6, no. 1 (March 1999): 1‑6
  8. Belcaro G et al. “Product-evaluation registry of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, for the complementary management of osteoarthritis.” Panminerva medica, vol. 52, 2 suppl. (June 2010): 55-62
  9. Belcaro G et al. “Efficacy and safety of Meriva®, a curcumin-phosphatidylcholine complex, during extended administration in osteoarthritis patients.” Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 15, no. 4 (December 2010): 337-344
  10. Di Pierro F et al. “Comparative evaluation of the pain-relieving properties of a lecithinized formulation of curcumin (Meriva®), nimesulide, and acetaminophen.” Journal of Pain Research. Published online March 8, 2013.
  11. Belcaro G et al. “Meriva®+glucosamine versus condroitin+glucosamine in patients with knee osteoarthritis: An observational study.” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, vol. 18, no. 24 (2014): 3959-3963
  12. Allegri P et al. “Management of chronic anterior uveitis relapses: Efficacy of oral phospholipidic curcumin treatment. Long-term follow-up.” Clinical Ophthalmology. Published October 21, 2010
  13. Steigerwalt R et al. “Meriva®, a lecithinized curcumin delivery system, in diabetic microangiopathy and retinopathy.Panminerva medica, vol. 54, 1 suppl. 4 (December 2012):11-16
  14. Mazzolani F. “Pilot study of oral administration of a curcumin-phospholipid formulation for treatment of central serous chorioretinopathy.” Clinical Ophthalmology. Published online May 28, 2012.
  15. Drobnic F et al. “Reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system (Meriva®): a randomised, placebo-controlled trial.Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Published online June 18, 2014.
  16. Franceschi F et al. “A novel phospholipid delivery system of curcumin (Meriva®) preserves muscular mass in healthy aging subjects.” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, vol. 20, no. 4 (2016): 762-766
  17. Ledda A et al. “Meriva®, a lecithinized curcumin delivery system, in the control of benign prostatic hyperplasia: A pilot, product evaluation registry study.Panminerva medica, vol. 54, 1 suppl. 4 (December 2012): 17-22
  18. Press Release. “The Worldwide Probiotics Industry Is Expected to Reach $91.1 Billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 8.3% from 2021.” Research and Markets. Posted July 23, 2021.
  19. Meeting Abstract. Labellarte GM et al. “Tolerance and efficacy of the probiotic DE111® delivered in capsule form.The FASEB Journal, vol. 29, no. 51 (April 2015)
  20. Waldron M et al. “The effects of an oral taurine dose and supplementation period on endurance exercise performance in humans: A meta-analysis.” Sports Medicine, vol. 48, no. 5 (May 2018): 1247-1253
  21. Aggarwal R et al. “Effect of caffeine and taurine on simulated laparoscopy performed following sleep deprivation.” The British Journal of Surgery, vol. 98, no. 11 (November 2011): 1666-1672
  22. Calame W et al. “Evaluation of satiety enhancement, including compensation, by blends of gum arabic. A methodological approach.” Appetite, vol. 57, no. 2 (October 2011): 358-364