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?
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 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 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.