Dietary Supplements: Raising Levels of Vitamin D and Calcium

March 25, 2011

Following the IOM’s latest report, brands are raising levels of vitamin D and calcium.

By Innova Market Insights

Manufacturers are already busy formulating and reformulating their products, following the Institute of Medicine’s November report, which set new Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for vitamin D and calcium.

Anticipating higher DRIs, many manufacturers had already begun to introduce products as new, better sources of calcium and vitamin D. Last year, General Mills’ Yoplait brand introduced its newly reformulated Yoplait Original yogurt that makes it easier for women to add more calcium to their diet. Now, the yogurt offers two times the calcium of the leading yogurt, with 50% of the Daily Value (500 mg) in every cup.

Also last year, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare announced the launch of new Caltrate Soft Chews, a “great-tasting and convenient way to help reach the new, higher daily vitamin D goals.” Two Caltrate Soft Chews daily provide 1200 mg of calcium, roughly the same amount found in 17 servings of broccoli; and 800 IU of vitamin D3, roughly the same amount found in more than six servings of vitamin D-fortified 2% milk or roughly the same amount in 134 half-cup servings of vanilla ice cream, the brand says.

Somewhat surprisingly, the number of new U.S. products tracked by Innova Database featuring an “added calcium” claim has dropped. In both the first and second halves of 2009, approximately 60 new products were tracked with this positioning. Comparatively, during the second half of 2010, 33 new products were tracked with an “added calcium” claim. However, you can expect the new DRIs to continue affecting launch activity, particularly for products marketed to the elderly.

Also, expect brands to make renewed efforts to promote the benefits of these nutrients on bone health as they promote their new products.

On behalf of the Yoplait brand, Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, a registered dietitian, stated, “Your bones can begin to change as early as your 30s, and over time you can begin to experience bone loss. That’s why it’s so important to get enough calcium in your diet, as it helps to maintain strong bones. Along with calcium, vitamin D is also important to women’s health as it helps the body absorb calcium. Yoplait is the only leading yogurt with calcium and vitamin D in every single serving, and now with 50% of the Daily Value of calcium and vitamin D, Yoplait Original is an easy and great-tasting way for women to get more of each every day.”

Tiffany McLaud, franchise lead, dietary supplements, for Pfizer, stated, “Getting recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D each day from food alone can be a struggle. In fact, one in four women is at risk for osteoporosis. We are excited to offer Soft Chews as part of the Caltrate family. It’s a delicious, new, and a convenient way to help get the daily calcium and vitamin D needed to keep moving.”

And standing out in the crowded calcium and vitamin D market will be essential by offering new and improved delivery formats that meet the needs of today’s consumer. Caltrate Soft Chews are available in chocolate truffle and vanilla crème flavors and can be taken with or without food-offering consumers a portable, convenient way to get their daily calcium and vitamin D.