Excerpted from article by Greg Hrinya in June 3, 2020 issue of Label & Narrow Web Magazine.
Now more than ever, health and safety are of the utmost importance. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, consumers were taking a particular interest in their health and well-being. Currently, everyone is looking for a way to boost their immunity. Enter nutraceuticals.
The nutraceuticals market encompasses quite a few products, which include but are not limited to, vitamin supplements, performance proteins and amino acids, nootropic smart drugs and cognitive enhancers, skincare products, and CBD.
In regards to nutraceuticals, the US makes up the largest global segment, with roughly $90-100 billion in sales. The US nutraceuticals market is anticipated to grow at a 7% CAGR through 2023. Growth will be driven by demand from the Baby Boomers, who look to nutraceuticals for healthy aging and natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals, and the Millennials, who look to nutraceuticals for clean, convenient, nutrient-dense foods and beverages to help them manage weight, increase energy and “feel good.”
According to PMMI, the US nutraceutical market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.3%, reaching $84.2 billion in sales for 2020. These figures, of course, predated the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nutraceutical Product Labels
An effective nutraceutical label must accomplish several goals. There is a delicate balance between standing out on the shelf while clearly and legibly detailing the product.
“Effective nutraceutical labels include a compelling design with text that clearly informs the consumer of the product’s benefits,” explains Steve Smith, founder and CEO of Wizard Labels. “In addition, it’s paramount that the labels correctly communicate product directions for use, as well as ingredients and safety information. These labels often require fine text – so print quality is of the utmost importance.
“A good nutraceutical label should balance aesthetics and shelf appeal with mission-critical information,” Smith adds. “Many nutraceuticals consumers today buy their products online, in addition to browsing shelves at health food stores, vitamin shops and at the big-name retailers.”
By their very nature, nutraceuticals labels can be confusing. Take a stroll through any vitamin store, and there is a litany of products that promote certain health benefits. On the other hand, consumers might enter a store – or visit a website – searching for certain ingredients. Clarity can make the purchasing process easier and more efficient.
“It’s essential to communicate quickly and clearly what the product does, and what it’s intended for,” says Smith. “If a potential buyer sees a main image that is somewhat ambiguous about what the product does, they’ll move on and buy from a competitor – or possibly buy the wrong product.”
Label converters turn to a specific set of materials to accomplish these objectives. At Wizard Labels, its customers increasingly rely on BOPP materials because of their durability and ability to take on vibrant colors along with a variety of finishes.
“Nutraceuticals brands often turn to materials that catch the shopper’s eye,” explains Smith. “One example is our Metalized Chrome BOPP label material, which creates the perception of high-end quality that nutraceutical brand owners desire. Another popular choice is our white BOPP material, which could be especially beneficial in this segment, as nutraceuticals are often kept in kitchen or bathroom environments.”
In addition to materials, shape and size can also play a role. Brands owners should look to differentiate their products on a crowded shelf. “In most cases, you do not want a label that is similar to other brands and can easily confuse consumers,” explains Smith. “In the competitive nutraceuticals market, it’s imperative for consumers to easily identify brands accurately and immediately. For example, a good strategy might be going with a vertical layout when most of the competition is horizontal. Having a bold and different label design can really set a brand apart.”
A bright, healthy future
As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is the expectation that more people will look to nutraceutical products to boost their immunity. Consumer interest in their personal health was already on the rise, but the coronavirus should spur further growth in this marketplace.
According to Avery Dennison, a substrates and adhesives supplier, 2019 saw heightened consumer awareness and demand for sustainably-sourced nutraceuticals and healthy functional foods and beverages packaged in convenient formats.
The company adds that 65% of consumers seek functional benefits from their food and drink. The top five ingredients perceived to deliver these kinds of benefits were omega-3s, green tea, honey, coffee and probiotics. Functional foods loaded with fiber, probiotics or other beneficial ingredients have grown in part because the technology has been developed to make products that contain them taste better or have a more pleasant mouth feel.
“Globally, nutraceuticals are gaining importance and are becoming a part of the consumer’s daily diet,” Avery Dennison states. “The major reasons for this change have been the increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases and people consciously taking preventive healthcare measures.”
“In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the emphasis on health has never been greater,” says Wizard Labels’ Smith. “Many people the world over are investigating ways to improve their overall well-being and strengthen their immune systems. Nutritionally and medicinally beneficial products, like nutraceuticals, are something people continue to turn to improve their health and wellness, whether through dietary supplements or functional foods. We expect this market will continue to grow at a rapid clip.”
With the growing rate of investment in digital printers and presses, label converters have an opportunistic point-of-entry for this market. Wizard Labels specializes in digital printing capabilities, and sees that as an advantage for the nutraceuticals market.
“Digital print capability is a tremendous asset to have in serving the nutraceuticals market,” states Smith. “For starters, there are simply so many SKUs in all of the many nutraceuticals segments that exist. So, of course, digital printing, with its ability to economically and efficiently print short run labels with variable information, make it a perfect fit for nutraceutical products.”
Digital printing also aids converters with rapidly-changing product formulations, which can occur in response to shifts in consumer demand and regulatory requirements. “With digital printing, brand owners must be nimble in adapting to these changes – thus their label supplier must be as well,” adds Smith. “This is something we pride ourselves on at Wizard Labels. We offer an innovative approach to online ordering and just-in-time label printing. Plus, our customers can print just enough labels to meet current demand, allowing for better cashflow and inventory control. Too often, we hear of customers throwing out rolls of perfectly good nutraceutical labels because they didn’t anticipate a change in requirements. But once they go digital with us, this problem is largely mitigated.”
When analyzing the nutraceutical labels market, regulations can sometimes present themselves as the Wild West. The FDA holds nutraceuticals to food standards, but regulations can change between locations.
“There are often stringent label requirements promulgated by national, state and local regulatory agencies, and consumers also have high expectations about what they want to see on the product label,” explains Wizard Labels’ Smith. “So, it’s important for brand owners to follow best practices when it comes to label design.”