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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
“I personally feel that the claim of appetite suppression or weight management is raising hopes in the consumer’s mind thinking they’re going to get faster results than they actually will,” said Orgenetics's Saumil Maheshvari.
At March’s Natural Products Expo West trade show, organic vitamins and minerals supplier Orgenetics (Brea, CA) discussed how consumers might find weight-management products more satisfying if the concept of “weight management” is not a product’s main focus.
Saumil Maheshvari, marketing analyst for Orgenetics, used the company’s AimSlim ingredient as an example. The ingredient is a 100% USDA certified-organic appetite suppressant derived from the plant Achyranthes aspera and standardized for saponins. Achyranthes aspera has a history of traditional use in Southern India, where Orgenetics says it is used to “curb hunger on long journeys or long days.” As Maheshvari explained, the fact that an ingredient like AimSlim isn’t a “magic bullet” but rather delivers results over time might be hard for some consumers to understand.
“One of the challenges with appetite suppressants or weight management is that I personally feel that a lot of consumers out there, the general public-maybe because of the way it’s been advertised in the past-are expecting immediate results,” he said. “They’re looking at a claim of appetite suppression or weight management as maybe [occurring] within a day or within a week, whereas this ingredient, for example, you need to take for 30 or 40 days so that you can actually get your body used to that, and it will start suppressing your appetite and then you start seeing changes.”
“It has to be a gradual process,” he continued. “It cannot be something that can be instantly gratified. I personally feel that when the general public looks at, say, an appetite-suppression claim, they think, ‘Well, if I take this, I can skip lunch.’ And that might not be the case, so they get disappointed and then they don’t continue with the product.”
Maheshvari suggested that one way to avoid unrealistic expectations is not to claim that a product is an appetite suppressant. Instead, he suggested, you can add it, for instance, to a meal-replacement product, and when the consumer experiences the benefits of appetite suppression, they will feel positively about the product’s efficacy.
“I personally feel that the claim of appetite suppression or weight management is raising hopes in the consumer’s mind thinking they’re going to get faster results than they actually will,” he said. Instead, he said, by including AimSlim in an overall-wellness product, consumers might be more satisfied in the end. “I’m very much generalizing the meal-replacement category, but it could be easily a protein shake, for example, or something that is meant to be your ‘superfood’ where you have your nutrition in there, you have your multivitamin content in there, but at the same time, you could add AimSlim and that will help you control your diet or your intake at the same time, helping you get the necessary essential nutrients so you don’t feel fatigued, you don’t feel drained. So I think that could be the right approach.”
Nutritional Outlook magazine