The power of ingredient portfolios: 2023 SupplySide West Report


Companies discussed how their branded-ingredient portfolios help customers address multiple in-demand need states.

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Multifunctional benefits are the name of today’s supplement game. Consumers are now looking to supplements to support not just one but a host of health concerns. A single ingredient supplier with a portfolio of numerous, market-leading, clinically proven ingredients can help its customers develop supplements to this end.

During October’s SupplySide West trade show in Las Vegas, representatives from Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients (Morristown, NJ) discussed how the company’s flagship ingredients allow it to help customers develop multifunctional products. “So if you want to take one pill for your hair, skin, stress—we could build that pill for you, and we could take it to market with you,” said Alka Vallabh, marketing director, at SupplySide West. “The way that the nutrition market is going today is that people need a multifaceted solution. That’s what our customers are looking for.”

Lonza’s advantage comes not only from being able to offer longstanding, clinically studied ingredients like its UC-II undenatured type II collagen but from the fact that the company also specializes in advanced capsule technologies. Vallabh commented on the firm’s capabilities, stating, “In North America alone, we are the market leader in the world for capsules…but we also have a very strong ingredients portfolio that’s positioned for forward-looking trends in the nutrition market.”

By marrying the company’s innovative capsules with its market-leading ingredients, Lonza helps customers “build the form plus the function,” Vallabh said. “That includes our value services around our technical capabilities, our strength in manufacturing, and our strength in marketing, bringing that full solution to market.”

Anne Hoffman, director, global service and product marketing at Lonza, added that the company’s ingredient portfolio is “all backed by our R&D team and the efficacy, claims, and studies we do.” UC-II, for instance, has more research backing it than any other undenatured type II collagen ingredient on the market, she said.

“We’re not just big, but we stand by the quality,” she added. “I like to think of us as a pharma company for the nutra industry. You get all the benefits, the efficacy, the GMP facilities, but in an ingredient business where we can be fast and nimble and do what the customer needs in terms of form and function.”

Lonza also helps its customers identify emerging market opportunities. For instance, Vallabh said, with UC-II, which got its start as a joint health ingredient, “now we’re pivoting based on the trends of where the consumers are going, into more of the active-lifestyle conversation.” As younger consumers look for preventative health support, including for their joints, “that’s where you’re going to start seeing us position that product, and we’re continuing to do even more research to support this,” she said.

Balchem Corp. (New Hampton, NY) also discussed how it is helping customers find multifunctional-product opportunities within its own ingredient portfolio and capabilities. Last year, Balchem acquired branded-ingredient companies Kappa Bioscience AS, including its K2Vital brand of vitamin K2, and Bergstrom Nutrition with its OptiMSM methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) ingredient.

These leading market ingredients can now be paired with Balchem’s other flagship ingredients such as its VitaCholine and Albion mineral ingredients. “It’s really giving us an opportunity, having K2Vital and OptiMSM now in the Balchem portfolio with VitaCholine and Albion, to support that longevity, performance, and beauty-from-within story,” for instance, said Lauren Eisen, strategic marketing manager, Balchem Corp., at SupplySide West.

The company is now focusing on educating supplement makers about the important synergies and health benefits of combining ingredients like choline and DHA; choline and magnesium; or vitamin D and K2 with other ingredients for bone health like calcium and magnesium. “It’s bringing it back to basics,” Eisen said. “When we talk about choline and DHA, or calcium and K2 and D3, when you see these at face value, you say, ‘Well, shouldn’t everyone know this?’…We’re making sure that everyone is aware of the importance of these ingredients. That’s where we’re going to focus a lot of our attention on this year.”

At SupplySide West, the company handed out product samples of prototypes combining its ingredients, including food formats. Tom Druke, marketing director, Balchem Corp., added, “We really think beverage is going to be an area [of growth], particularly occasion-based, convenient, fortified beverages.”

In 2024, cognition, performance (both athletic and healthy aging), and beauty from within will be key focus areas for Balchem, Druke said.

“We’re trying to find ways to really bundle opportunities where you can combine ingredients that will actually have a higher benefit,” he said, adding, “I think we’re being a lot more focused in terms of the areas where we see growth. All the areas I mentioned—longevity, beauty from within, cognition—are all growing in the high single digits. So, knowing that’s what the consumer wants and finding ways to communicate in a much more relatable way…So we’re looking at a lot of those different areas and saying, ‘How do we get something that’s going to appeal to a consumer and really make them want to pick an item off the shelf?’”

He concluded: “We’re really excited about 2024 as we come out of our year of integration. What we’re focusing on is figuring out how, from the start of formulation all the way up until the moment a finished good is done, we’re helping customers. We’ve actually done test concepts and done all this. Those capabilities are something in-house that we’ve really beefed up and we’re proud of.”

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