Softgel Capsules – Key considerations for supplement brands

Softgel Capsules – Key considerations for supplement brands

If you’re developing a supplement, you should know that the supplement format you choose for your product (tablets, softgel capsules, powders, gummies, etc.) can have a significant impact on both the way it works and how well it sells. 

While supplement brands and supplement manufacturers tend to look for formats that contribute to great bioavailability and shelf-life. Consumers are often looking for formats that are easy to swallow, convenient, and not horrible tasting. 

Softgel capsules meet many key criteria for both supplement brands and consumers, which is why they’re among the most preferred supplement formats. 

Are you considering adding softgel capsules to your line of supplement products? In this article you’ll learn all about softgel capsules, including the advantages and disadvantages of softgels for both brands and consumers. 

 

 

What are softgel capsules?

Softgel capsules are pills, containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other forms of dietary supplements, that are meant to be swallowed. Once swallowed, the contents of the capsule, including its active ingredients, are released into the bloodstream through the digestive tract. 

There are two primary pill formats: tablets and capsules. Tablets are made by compressing powder ingredients together. These powder ingredients include both active ingredients and binding agents. Capsules are not made by compressing powder ingredients with binding agents. Rather, for capsules, the pill’s active ingredients are enclosed in an outer shell. Once swallowed, the outer shell is broken down, and then the pill’s ingredients are released into the digestive tract. 

Likewise, there are two types of capsules: softgel capsules and hard-shell capsules.

 

 

Softgel capsules vs hard-shell capsules 

There are two main differences between softgel capsules and hard-shell capsules. 

The first difference has to do with the kind of ingredients they carry. Hard-shell capsules typically hold powder ingredients. Softgel capsules hold liquid ingredients. 

The second major difference has to do with the way they’re made to hold their ingredients. Hard-shell capsules consist of two halves that come together to form an enclosed casing around the powder ingredients. Softgels, on the other hand, are produced in a process known as encapsulation which can best be described as a form/fill/seal process.

Although there are only two primary differences between softgels and hard-shell capsules in terms of what they are and how they’re made, there is quite a bit of difference in terms of benefits for supplement brands and consumers. Below, you’ll find some comments and key considerations regarding softgel capsules. 

softgel capsules vs hard-shell capsules

 

 

 

Key considerations for supplement brands

 

Softgel capsules have great bioavailability. 

When a pill is ingested, not all of its active ingredients are always absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability is defined as the proportion of the supplement’s active ingredients that are actually absorbed into the blood.

Bioavailability can have a huge impact on supplement sales. If a large portion of a supplement’s active ingredients are not properly absorbed into the blood, the supplement will be less effective, ultimately disappointing (and sometimes hurting) consumers. 

Compared to other supplement formats like tablets, hard-shell capsules, and powders, softgels have great bioavailability. This is for two primary reasons: 

  1. Liquid vitamins have better bioavailability than powder ingredients, and softgels contain liquid ingredients. 
  2. Contrary to tablets and hard-shell capsules, softgel capsules have a soft shell that’s more easily dissolved.

 

Softgel capsules have very fast absorption rates. 

Absorption rate is related to bioavailability, but they’re not the same thing. While bioavailability refers to how much of the supplements active ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream, absorption rate refers to the speed of absorption or how long it takes for the ingredients to be absorbed. 

Different supplement formats have different rates of absorption. Some formats like liquids and softgels, are absorbed faster than others. 

That being said, faster isn’t always better. For supplements with higher potencies, slower absorption rates are preferred. The body can’t absorb so much so fast. If the supplement supplies too many active ingredients at once, what’s not absorbed in time will end up as waste. On the other hand, fast absorption rates are crucial for some supplements, especially supplements that provide energy like pre-workouts.

The point is: If you’re thinking about manufacturing softgels, keep their fast absorption rates in mind. 

 

 

Softgels are rather durable (long-lasting). 

Durability (shelf-life) is important for both supplement brands and consumers. Brands need durable supplements because they need sufficient time to be able to sell their supplements. And, to state the obvious, consumers prefer durable supplements because expired supplements are useless. 

Despite their instability, while manufacturing, once manufactured, softgels are among the most stable, durable, and long-lasting supplement formats. In fact, active ingredients in softgels last longer than active ingredients in hard-shell capsules, liquids, and powders. 

Softgels are extra durable for two reasons. First, the gelatin exterior adds superior protection for the active ingredients inside. Second, since the materials inside are completely sealed and airtight, they’re never exposed to external factors. 

Active ingredients in liquids and powders are exposed to external factors each time their containers are opened and closed. Hard-shell capsules offer some protection, but because hard-shells consist of two parts, air, moisture, and other environmental factors can seep in. 

 

 

Softgel capsules are easy to customize.

In the competitive industry of dietary supplements, customization is extremely important. Customized supplements can make your brand stand out from the rest, help you appeal to your specific niche customer, and help you create more brand awareness. If consumers can see your capsule and know it’s from your brand without even looking at the bottle, you know you’re doing a great job. 

Softgels offer a lot of customization options in terms of colors, shapes, and sizes. The possibilities are almost endless. Just make sure you choose a supplement manufacturer that can customize your softgel capsules the way you want. 

 

Softgels are easy to swallow.

Swallowing pills is a big issue for many consumers:

  • Between 30 and 40% of the adult population has difficulty swallowing pills. [1]
  • About 20% of aged care residents reportedly skip medications because of their inability to swallow them. [2]
  • More than 25% of kids have difficulty swallowing medication. [3]

One of the greatest benefits of softgels is that the softness, smoothness, and flexibility of softgel capsules makes them easier to swallow than other pill formats. In fact, multiple surveys have shown that consumers prefer softgel capsules to other pill formats because they’re easier to swallow. [4]

 

 

Softgels can be quite expensive.

Of all pill formats (softgels, capsules, and tablets), softgels are usually the most complicated to manufacture and, as a result, the most expensive. Finding a softgel manufacturer with competitive prices can be quite a challenge. 

First of all, softgel manufacturing requires special additional pharmaceutical equipment that’s not required for other pill formats. Such equipment includes gelatin melters, reactors to prepare the fill material, encapsulators, tumble dryers, drying trays, and drying tunnels, just to name a few. The cost of all of this machinery adds up and affects the final price of softgel manufacturing. Not to mention, many supplement manufacturers need a separate room for softgel manufacturing to house all of this equipment. This also adds to the cost. 

Another key factor affecting price has to do with environmental requirements when manufacturing softgels. Since softgel manufacturing requires high heat and humidity, supplement manufacturers must take special measures to control these environmental factors when manufacturing. The need for controlled environment rooms also adds to the cost. 

 

 

Plant-based options are complicated.

Vegetarianism and veganism are up-and-coming trends that supplement brands, along with all other food producers, must learn to accommodate. [5]

In a 2018 gallup poll, consisting of 1,033 adult Americans, surveyors concluded that between 5 and 8% of Americans are vegetarians. [6] In another study, involving 607 consumers in the UK, France and Italy, researchers found that more than three-quarters of respondents preferred plant-based options for their supplements. [7]

This preference for plant-based supplements poses a couple of problems for softgel manufacturers

  1. Plant-based capsules are even more expensive. 
  2. Plant-based shells aren’t as strong as animal-based gelatin. 
  3. Plant-based gelatin is more difficult to work with in terms of encapsulation. 
  4. Plant-based gelatin is more porous. This means the ingredients inside are exposed to environmental factors, ultimately hurting the durability of the supplement. 

If your target audience is absolutely opposed to animal-based products, it might be better to use a different supplement format. 

 

 

Some formulations are challenging for softgels.

Pharmaceutical formulation, or supplement formulation, is the process in which different chemical substances, including the active supplement’s active ingredients, are combined to produce a final medicinal product. 

The process of formulation poses two significant challenges for softgel manufacturers: 

  1. Some ingredients, like probiotics, can’t handle the heat and humidity that’s necessary for softgel manufacturing. 
  2. Some ingredients, particularly powder ingredients, don’t blend well into an oil base – a necessary step for softgel formulation. 

That being said, there is technology available to combat these challenges, and the best softgel manufacturers use these technologies during formulation. Just keep in mind that softgel manufacturers with this advanced technology will likely charge a higher price for their services. 

 

 

Conclusions: Choosing an appropriate supplement format

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of various supplement formats when choosing an appropriate format for your supplements. 

For softgels, the pros include:

  • Great bioavailability 
  • Fast absorption rates (although not always a benefit) 
  • Long-lasting / Long shelf-life 
  • Customization options 
  • Easy to swallow 

The disadvantages include: 

  • Price 
  • Complications with plant-based options 
  • Complications with formulation 

Of course, other supplement formats have unique pros and cons as well. 

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re choosing the right format for your supplements is by choosing a supplement manufacturer that can offer you advice. That way, you can get tips and advice from experts who not only understand supplement format options but also understand the industry, your exact product, and the needs of your customers.

 

 

Generation Nutra for your softgel manufacturing

 

 

Generation Nutra offers many types of supplement formats, including tablets, softgels, capsules, liquid vitamins, powders, and gummies. Here are some additional benefits of building your supplement brand with Generation Nutra: 

  1. Thousands of raw materials to choose from so you can create unique and personalized formulas.
  2. Advice in terms of formulation.
  3. Various packaging formats to choose from so you can customize your product. 
  4. A team of in-house graphic designers to help you design custom labels for your brand. 
  5. Advice and guidance to help you market and sell your product.

 

Ask Generation Nutra what they can do for you!

CONTACT GENERATION NUTRA

 

References 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589822/ 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065591
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4184198/
  4. https://cdn.sanity.io/files/0vv8moc6/nutrioutlook/06f93cd036146638e58bbcd88b9994e44e29e1dd.pdf 
  5. https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/market-research/softgel-capsules-market.asp 
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism_by_country
  7. http://japan.catalent.com/index.php/content/download/504/5570/file/wp_consumerws%20prefer%20oral%20forms.pdf 

 

Gummy Supplements – Key Considerations for Supplement Brands 

Gummy Supplements – Key Considerations for Supplement Brands 

If you’re developing a supplement, you should know that the supplement format you choose can have a significant impact on your sales. Not all consumers appreciate swallowing two large tablets or capsules for breakfast. Not to mention, many consumers are actually unable to swallow pills. Fortunately, gummy supplements provide customers with an easy (and delicious) way to get all of their required vitamins and minerals. It’s no wonder the demand for gummy vitamins is one of the fastest-growing trends in the supplement industry. 

Are you considering manufacturing and selling gummy supplements to your target market? In this article, you’ll learn all about the gummy supplement industry, including the advantages and disadvantages of gummy vitamins for both manufacturers and consumers. 

 

 

What are gummy supplements? 

Gummy supplements are chewable dietary supplements that include vitamins, minerals, and/or amino acids. They’re similar to gummy bears or other gummy candies in many regards, including taste, texture, and composition. However, in addition to the typical ingredients in candy gummies (corn starch, gelatin, sugar, water, and added colorings), gummy supplements also contain vitamins, minerals, and/or amino acids that make up their active ingredients.

Because gummy vitamins are easy to swallow and also taste great, many consumers of all ages prefer gummy vitamins to other supplement formats like capsules, tablets, and powders.

 

Gummy supplement industry facts and figures

Supplement brands and gummy manufacturers originally produced and sold gummy vitamins for kids. They provided a fun way to get children to take their vitamins. 

In 2012, however, Perrigo, a supplement company with headquarters in Ireland, began producing and selling gummy products to adults. [1] In the following years, adults became aware of the many advantages of gummy vitamins (great taste, convenience, no difficulty swallowing, etc.) and began to prefer and demand gummy supplements over other traditional supplement formats like powders and pills. Likewise, many other supplement brands and manufacturers began marketing gummy products to the adult market. 

Today, the demand for gummy vitamins is one of the fastest-growing trends in the supplement industry. The gummy vitamins market size was valued at $5.7 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $9.3 billion by 2026. This increase in market size equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2019 to 2026. [2]  

Furthermore, today, the adult segment of the market holds nearly two-thirds of the global gummy market in terms of revenue and is expected to dominate the market through 2026. Although manufacturers do produce gummy vitamins for kids, most gummy supplements produced today are meant for adults. [3]

 

 

Advantages of gummy supplements 

There are many reasons why both adults and children prefer gummy supplements over other formats. Likewise, there are many advantages for supplement brands and manufacturers. 

 

 

1. Easy to take/swallow

One of the most obvious benefits of gummy supplements is that they’re easy to swallow. This makes them appealing to a large percentage of the population, including kids under 12 years old, seniors older than 65, people with certain medical conditions that make swallowing difficult, and the 30 and 40% of the general adult population that simply has difficulty swallowing pills. 

  • More than 25% of kids have difficulty swallowing medication. [4]
  • Between 30 and 40% of the adult population has difficulty swallowing pills. [5]
  • About 20% of aged care residents reportedly skip medications because of their inability to swallow them. [6]

 

2. Great taste

Taste is another major factor influencing consumer compliance. It’s not always easy for supplement brands and manufacturers to make great tasting supplements, especially when it comes to tablets and liquids. However, it’s quite easy for supplement brands to make great tasting gummy vitamins. Gummy vitamins are made with much of the same ingredients as candy gummies (corn starch, gelatin, sugar, water, and added colorings), which means, they’re not only easy to chew and swallow, but they also taste great. 

 

3. More convenient for consumers 

Likewise, convenience is another factor that consumers take into account when buying vitamins and other supplements. Because gummy supplements are easy to chew and swallow without water or any other liquid, gummy supplements are among the most convenient supplement formats. Consumers can grab a gummy and walk out the door without having to worry about preparing a drink to be able to swallow it. 

 

4. Consumer compliance (for all reasons listed above)

Compliance (whether or not consumers continue to take their supplements as recommended) is another key element that all supplement brands should consider when choosing supplement formats. Compliance not only means better results for consumers (and better reviews for brands), but it also means that consumers will finish their supplements faster and, hopefully, buy more. Since gummy vitamins are easy to swallow, great-tasting, and convenient, they lead to more consumer compliance, better reviews, and more sales. 

 

5. May have greater bioavailability

When consumers take supplements, not all of the supplement’s active ingredients are always absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability is defined as the proportion of the supplement’s active ingredients that are actually absorbed into the blood. In a 2019 study, researchers compared the bioavailability of single oral dose Vitamin D3 gummies vs. tablets in healthy adults and found that the gummies had greater bioavailability than the tablets. [7]

 

6. New gelatin-free alternative for vegetarians and vegans

Gummies are traditionally made with gelatin, which is usually obtained from cows or pigs. Considering the recent growth of vegetarianism and veganism, this could pose a problem for gummy supplement manufacturers. However, in recent years, supplement brands have found a way to substitute gelatin with pectin, a naturally occurring starch found in fruits and vegetables. 

 

7. Other customization options 

As previously mentioned, gummies are typically made of corn starch, gelatin, sugar, water, and added colorings. But, with advancements in ingredient technologies and product development, gummy supplements can also be customized to meet specific consumer preferences. The best gummy manufacturers can produce gummies with reduced sugar, increased fiber, natural colors and flavors, pectin instead of gelatin, etc. They can even play with texture to produce softer gummies that melt in the mouth or harder gummies that require more chewing. These customization options make it easier to target consumers and meet their needs. 

 

 

Disadvantages of gummy supplements

Although the gummy format is the preferred supplement format among many consumers, there are a couple of disadvantages that both supplement brands and consumers should keep in mind. 

 

 

1. Limited amount of active ingredients 

One of the biggest disadvantages of the gummy supplement format is that manufacturers are unable to add a large number of active ingredients to each gummy.  For example, if a brand wants to deliver 250 mg of vitamin C to a consumer (an average dose for one capsule or tablet), they would have to issue a serving size of 3 to 4 gummies. This means consumers would need to consume a large number of inactive ingredients (sugar, corn starch, gelatin, etc.) to experience the benefits of one serving size. In addition, with the use of so many extra ingredients, the price of manufacturing per serving size would also increase. 

 

2. Instability

The gummy format is not the most stable of all formats. First and foremost, high temperatures can melt gummy vitamins. Manufacturers and consumers need to make sure they’re stored at proper temperatures. Secondly, some minerals commonly used in supplements can actually interfere with the gummies’ gelatin or pectin – the ingredients giving the gummies their soft and chewy texture. This interference can ruin the texture of the vitamins, making them too soft, too hard, or changing their texture over time. 

 

 

Choosing a gummy supplement manufacturer

Are you thinking about adding gummy supplements to your line of products? 

There is a lot to keep in mind when choosing appropriate formats for your supplements. That being said, with a little help, choosing formats can be a fun and exciting process.

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re making the right decision is by choosing a supplement manufacturer that can offer you advice. That way, you can get tips and advice from experts who not only understand supplement format options but also understand the industry, your exact product, and the needs of your customers.

Generation Nutra offers many types of supplement formats, including tablets, softgels, capsules, liquid vitamins, powders, and gummies.

Here are some additional benefits of building your supplement brand with Generation Nutra: 

  1. Thousands of raw materials to choose from so you can create unique and personalized formulas.
  2. Advice in terms of formulation.
  3. Various packaging formats to choose from so you can customize your product. 
  4. A team of in-house graphic designers to help you design custom labels for your brand. 
  5. Advice and guidance to help you market and sell your product.

 

Ask Generation Nutra what they can do for you!

CONTACT GENERATION NUTRA

 

References

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/well/eat/vitamins-gone-gummy.html 
  2. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/04/02/2010408/0/en/Global-Gummy-Vitamins-Market-to-Reach-9-3-Bn-by-2026-Allied-Market-Research.html 
  3. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/04/02/2010408/0/en/Global-Gummy-Vitamins-Market-to-Reach-9-3-Bn-by-2026-Allied-Market-Research.html 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4184198/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589822/ 
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065591/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566230/ 

 

Capsules vs Tablets – Key Considerations for Supplement Brands

Capsules vs Tablets – Key Considerations for Supplement Brands

If you’re developing a supplement, you should know that the supplement format you choose for your product can have a significant impact on the way it works. Some formats are longer lasting. Others are faster acting. Others have greater bioavailability, meaning that more of the supplement’s active ingredients are able to enter the bloodstream. Even different pill formats, like capsules vs tablets, work differently and have different advantages and disadvantages. 

Are you interested in learning about the differences between capsules vs tablets

Although capsules and tablets work in similar ways, there are some key differences that supplement brands should keep in mind when deciding between these two formats for their supplement manufacturing. These considerations include price, durability, dosage capabilities, absorption speed, bioavailability, and consumer preferences. If you’re interested in learning about pill formats, specifically the differences between capsules vs tablets, consider this your guide. 

 

 

What are tablets? 

 

 

Tablets are pills, containing vitamins, minerals, or other forms of dietary supplements, that are meant to be swallowed or chewed. After the tablet is swallowed, the contents of the tablet are released into the bloodstream through the digestive tract. 

Tablets are made by compressing one or more powdered ingredients to form a hard, solid, smooth-coated pill. In addition to active ingredients, most tablets also contain certain additives to help bind all of its ingredients together. Some tablets also contain additional additives to improve other characteristics of the tablet, like its color, smell, or taste.

Tablets come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are round. Others are oblong. Many have a split down the middle for dosing purposes. Consumers can break the tablet apart and choose to take only half if necessary. This split also helps consumers who have trouble swallowing a full pill. Many supplement brands choose to add a smooth sugar coating to their supplements for taste, and so they’re easier to swallow. 

 

What are capsules?

 

 

Capsules, like tablets, are pills, containing vitamins, minerals, or other forms of dietary supplements, that are meant to be swallowed. Once again, like tablets, after capsules are swallowed, their contents are released into the bloodstream through the digestive tract. 

Unlike tablets, however, capsules are not made by compressing powder ingredients. Rather, powder ingredients are enclosed in an outer shell. The purpose of the outer shell is to hold the ingredients until the pill is swallowed. Once swallowed, the outer shell is broken down, and the ingredients are released into the digestive tract. 

There are two types of capsules: hard-shell capsules and softgel capsules

 

Hard-shell capsules 

 

 

Hard-shell capsules are usually meant to carry powder ingredients. They consist of two halves that come together to form an enclosed casing around the powder ingredients. Hard-shell capsules are usually completely transparent so consumers can see the powder ingredients inside. 

 

 

Softgels 

 

 

Unlike hard-shell capsules, softgels carry liquid ingredients. Softgels consist of a gelatin-based shell surrounding a liquid fill. They’re produced in a process known as encapsulation which can best be described as a form/fill/seal process. Softgels are typically a bit easier to swallow than hard-shell capsules because of their malleable nature. They also have a longer shelf-life since the liquid ingredients inside are more tightly sealed. 

 

Price differences 

One of the first questions that supplement brand owners what to know in regards to capsules vs tablets involves the price differences between them. Which are cheapest to manufacture? Which are the most expensive?

Of tablets, hard-shell capsules, and softgels, tablets are typically the simplest and cheapest to manufacture. Hard-shell capsules come in second place, and softgels are usually the most complicated and most expensive.  

Durability differences 

Durability, also described as stability or shelf-life, is another important factor supplement brands and manufacturers should consider when choosing a format for their supplements. The format of your supplement plays a part in how long its active ingredients will last and how long these ingredients will be considered effective. 

Tablets and softgels are typically longer-lasting than hard-shell capsules. This is because with tablets and softgels, the ingredients are completely sealed and unexposed to environmental factors. With hard-shell capsules, the ingredients inside are sealed but not completely. Oxygen and moisture can still make their way through the small space in which the two halves of the capsule come together. 

 

 

Dosage differences

Dosing is another factor you should take into account when choosing an appropriate supplement format for your supplement. Not all pill supplements can include the same amount of ingredients. A single dose in one format may involve only one pill. In another format, the consumer may have to take two or three pills for the same dosage. 

Tablets can contain a higher dosage than both softgels and capsules. This is because the ingredients in tablets are tightly compressed, which means more ingredients can be packed into one small pill. Since ingredients in softgels and hard-shell capsules can’t be compressed, both carry smaller doses of active ingredients. 

Tablets also offer the option for consumers to modify their own dosage. Many tablets feature a line, called a score, so that consumers can easily break it in half and only take half a dose. This also makes it easier for consumers who have a hard time swallowing pills. They can swallow one half and then the other half, instead of the whole pill at once. Capsules and softgels don’t offer this option to consumers. 

It is worth mentioning, however, that capsules can be opened, which means consumers have direct access to the powders inside. Many consumers who don’t like swallowing pills buy capsules, open them, and mix the powder ingredients on the inside with food or liquids. This method is particularly helpful for parents and caregivers. 

 

 

Absorption speed

In all of the pill formats mentioned (tablets, hard-shell capsules, and softgels), the pill’s ingredients are broken down in the digestive tract, and its active ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream. That being said, not all pill formats feature the same absorption speed. 

Softgel capsules have the fastest absorption speed, meaning they have the fastest effect. It’s easy for the body to break down the capsule’s outer shell and access the readily-available liquid ingredients on the inside. 

Capsules come in second place. It’s just as easy for the body to break down the capsules outer shell but more difficult for the body to absorb powder ingredients as opposed to liquid ingredients. Tablets having the slowest absorption rate. 

Although fast absorption is certainly important for some supplements, namely supplements that help to ease pain or pre-workout supplements, not all supplements need to be fast-acting. In fact, some supplements work better when absorbed slowly, giving the body a slow but constant supply of the nutrients it needs, rather than all of them in one quick shot. 

 

 

Bioavailability differences 

When a pill is ingested, not all of its active ingredients are always absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability is defined as the proportion of the supplement’s active ingredients that are actually absorbed into the blood. It should be no surprise that not all pill formats feature the same bioavailability. 

Capsules and softgels have higher bioavailability than tablets, which means more of the pills’ active ingredients are absorbed in the bloodstream. This could make hard-shell capsules and softgels slightly more effective than tablets. 

liquid vitamins are easier to digest

 

Consumer preferences 

Last, but not least, is the topic of consumer preferences. What pill format do consumers prefer to buy? What pill format leads to more compliance from consumers? (More compliance means more sales for supplement brands.) 

As a general rule, consumers prefer capsules and softgels to tablets, and they’re very clear about their reasons why – “They’re easier to swallow.” Consumers are also more compliant when taking capsules and softgels. Once again, the reason relates back to the experience of taking the pills. Capsules and softgels are easier to swallow, less likely to get stuck in the back of the throat, and are often tasteless. All of the aforementioned makes taking capsules and softgels a better experience than taking tablets.

 

Difficulty swallowing pills

 

 

Capsules vs Tablets – Pros and Cons

We’ve reviewed the most important factors to consider when choosing a pill format for your supplement. Below is a quick snapshot of the most important advantages and disadvantages of hard-shell capsules, softgels, and tablets

Tablets

Advantages of tablets 

  • Cheapest to manufacture 
  • Highest dosing option 
  • Most durable and long-lasting 

Disadvantages of tablets 

  • Not preferred by consumers 
  • Slowest absorption rate 
  • Lowest bioavailability 

 

Hard-shell capsules

Advantages of hard-shell capsules  

  • Great bioavailability 
  • Great absorption speed
  • Preferred by consumers over tablets 

Disadvantages of hard-shell capsules  

  • Least durable option (not long-lasting) 
  • Low dosing 

 

Softgels

Advantages of softgels 

  • Highest bioavailability 
  • Fastest absorption speed 
  • Preferred by consumers over tablets 
  • Long-lasting compared to hard-shell capsules 

Disadvantages of softgels 

  • Most expensive to manufacturer 
  • Low dosing 
  • Dosing cannot be modified in any way 

 

Conclusions: Choosing supplement formats 

 

 

There is a lot to keep in mind when choosing appropriate formats for your supplements. That being said, with a little help, choosing formats can be a fun and exciting process.

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re making the right decision is by choosing a supplement manufacturer that can offer you advice. That way, you can get tips and advice from experts who not only understand supplement format options but also understand the industry, your exact product, and the needs of your customers.

Generation Nutra offers many types of supplement formats, including tablets, softgels, capsules, liquid vitamins, powders, and gummies.

Here are some additional benefits of building your supplement brand with Generation Nutra: 

  1. Thousands of raw materials to choose from so you can create unique and personalized formulas.
  2. Advice in terms of formulation.
  3. Various packaging formats to choose from so you can customize your product. 
  4. A team of in-house graphic designers to help you design custom labels for your brand. 
  5. Advice and guidance to help you market and sell your product.

 

Ask Generation Nutra what they can do for you!

CONTACT GENERATION NUTRA

Liquid Vitamins – Pros and Cons for Manufacturers and Consumers

Liquid Vitamins – Pros and Cons for Manufacturers and Consumers

The supplement industry is booming, especially when it comes to liquid vitamins. Growing awareness about the importance of nutrition for health and wellness along with the realization that the typical American diet lacks many important nutrients have caused Americans to turn to all kinds of dietary supplements to fulfill their nutritional needs. 

That being said, many would agree that consistently taking vitamins or other dietary supplements every day can be quite a challenge. Pill-popping is anything but pleasant, and powders are not for everyone. 

Fortunately, in recent years, supplement manufacturers have been working hard to invent new, easier ways for consumers to take their daily multivitamins. Of all the new trends to replace vitamin pills with easier substitutes, liquid vitamins seem to be leading the pack. 

According to Transparency Market Research, consumers prefer liquid vitamins because they’re easier to swallow and more easily absorbed by the body. They also tend to be cheaper than traditional capsules and tablets. [1] But that doesn’t mean they don’t also have their fair share of setbacks for both consumers and manufacturers. 

In this article, you’ll learn all about liquid vitamins and the liquid supplement market, including the pros and cons for manufacturers and consumers. Whether you’re a supplement brand considering selling liquid supplements or a consumer considering purchasing them, here’s everything you need to know. 

 

What are liquid vitamins?

Liquid vitamins are simply vitamins (or other dietary supplements) that are produced and sold in liquid form. They are currently one of the most popular types of dietary supplements on the market today and are especially popular amongst children and elderly consumers. 

 

Types of liquid vitamins

Just like there are various types of supplement pills (including capsules, tablets, and softgels), there are also quite a few types of liquid supplements and vitamins available in the marketplace.

 

Single-dose liquid vitamin tubes or shots  

One of the most popular types of liquid vitamins is single-dose liquid vitamin tubes or shots. These vitamins come in small bottles or tubes that can usually be finished in one or two large gulps for the average adult. Single single-dose liquid vitamins are great for both adults and kids and are especially appealing as last-minute impulse items. Consumers are often curious about their taste and effect, and, since they’re only single-dose bottles, there’s very little risk in making the purchase and trying them out. 

 

Liquid vitamins single shots

 

Multi-dose liquid vitamin bottles 

Multi-dose liquid vitamin bottles are larger bottles that contain multiple doses of the liquid supplement. These bottles usually contain instructions regarding daily serving sizes for adults, children, or both. Multi-dose liquid vitamins are great for consumers with certain medical conditions that require them to take certain supplements every single day in order to maintain good health. They’re also more cost-effective than single-dose liquids and are, therefore, better for consumers looking to add vitamins or other liquid supplements to their everyday routines. 

 

 

Liquid vitamin droppers  

Liquid vitamin droppers are another type of common liquid supplement with highly concentrated vitamins. In fact, serving sizes for liquid vitamin droppers is usually just one or two drops daily under the tongue.  Vitamin droppers are the preferred choice for mothers and fathers adding dietary supplements to their baby’s diet. They’re also common for sick or elderly individuals who have trouble ingesting other vitamin formats.  Liquid droppers are also more common for specific kinds of dietary supplements like herbal extracts. 

Liquid vitamin dropper

 

Growth on the horizon for the liquid supplement market 

The liquid supplement market is expecting incredible growth in the years to come. According to Research and Markets, the global liquid nutritional supplement market is expected to reach US$ 32,286.12 million in 2027 from US$ 20,821.15 million in 2018. In other words, the market is estimated to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% from 2019 to 2027. [2]

Market researchers attribute this growth forecast to a variety of key factors: 

    1. The overall growing interest and demand for dietary supplements 
    2. An increase in chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders, and cardiovascular diseases
    3. The benefits of liquid supplements, especially for people suffering from cancer, unconscious states, paralysis, and other conditions leading to dysfunctions and disabilities
    4. Growing awareness of liquid vitamins and supplements 
    5. Manufacturing improvements to liquid supplements regarding taste, texture, and administration
    6. Versatility of liquid supplements as they’re used for skincare products, animal feed, and even as food additives 

One of the key factors driving the growth of the liquid vitamin industry is the benefits of liquid vitamins for both consumers and manufacturers, but that doesn’t mean that liquid vitamins are the right choice for everybody. Whether you’re thinking about taking liquid vitamins yourself, or you’re thinking about manufacturing and selling them to your customers, it’s a good idea to learn more about both the advantages and disadvantages of liquid vitamins.  

 

 

The advantages of liquid vitamins 

 

1. Easier to swallow

One of the most obvious benefits of liquid vitamins is that liquids are usually easier to swallow than capsules and tablets. This makes liquid vitamins appealing to a large percentage of the population, including kids under 12 years old, seniors older than 65, people with certain medical conditions that make swallowing difficult, and people that suffer from pill anxiety. 

  • More than 25% of kids have difficulty swallowing medication. [3
  • Between 10 and 40% of the adult population has difficulty swallowing pills. [4
  • About 20% of aged care residents reportedly skip medications because of their inability to swallow them. [5

Liquid vitamins provide a clear solution for all of the demographics listed above. 

 

Difficulty swallowing pills

 

2. More easily absorbed 

Liquid supplements are also more easily absorbed by the body and, therefore, more effective. When you swallow a tablet, your body has to break apart or dissolve the tablet to get to the micronutrients inside. The same is true for capsules. When you swallow a capsule, your body has to break down the outer shell of the capsule before it can access its nutrients. 

Unfortunately, if this process is too slow, and it takes your body too long to break down the tablets or capsules, the nutrients will pass right through your digestive tract with little to no absorption. Liquid vitamins propose a solution to this problem. With liquid supplements, the nutrients are accessed and absorbed almost immediately, which means your body can take advantage of the full dosage of vitamins and minerals. 

 

liquid vitamins are easier to digest image

 

3. Fewer mystery ingredients 

Many tablets have a long list of ingredients known as bonding agents as well as ingredients to improve their shelf-life. Unfortunately, these ingredients can come with some seriously consequential side-effects. Here are just a few of the mystery ingredients found in many tablets:

  1. Hydrogenated oils, used to increase shelf-life, can increase LDL “bad” cholesterol and decrease HDL “good” cholesterol and can also cause inflammation.
  2. Sodium Benzoate, used to keep tablets fresh and extend shelf-life, has been linked to DNA damage, liver cell damage, hyperactivity, and several types of cancer. [6]
  3. Magnesium stearate and magnesium silicate, used to keep ingredients from clumping, may cause cellular inflammation. [7]

Liquid vitamins usually expire more quickly, but usually don’t contain as many of the mystery ingredients listed above as tablets do. If you’re worried about what’s in your vitamins, liquid vitamins may be a better option. 

 

formulating liqiud vitamins

 

4. Easier dose modifications 

Many families and friends like to share their supplements, but the dosage isn’t always the same amongst family members or friends. While full-grown adults could require 600 milligrams of a supplement, kids might only require 200 milligrams. That means, a 600-milligram tablet would need to be cut into thirds, or the adult would need to take 3 pills. 

Both cutting a tablet and taking extra pills is a hassle. Not to mention, with capsules, dose modification is impossible, considering the fact that you’d have to break apart the capsule (and tamper with absorption rates). Liquid vitamins, on the other hand, make it easy to modify dosage. Just pour a little more, or pour a little less. 

 

 

5. Better synergism 

Synergy refers to the combination of two or more supplements to produce a greater effect than when taken alone. The fact of the matter is, certain vitamins and minerals work better when combined. Vitamins K and D, for example, are more effective for bone and joint health when combined than when taken alone. [8

Liquid vitamins are able to achieve high levels of nutrient density that are not achievable with capsules or tablets. That means, with a liquid formula, you can add higher doses of synergetic micronutrients to amplify the health-boosting benefits of the supplements.

Simply put, with liquid vitamins, the effect of each nutrient is much more significant and, therefore, produces better results. 

 

 

 

The disadvantages of liquid vitamins 

 

1. Bad taste and smell 

One of the biggest disadvantages of liquid vitamins is that it’s very difficult to create a liquid vitamin that tastes great. Every supplement contains active ingredients that are considered to be its base. The taste of this base can best be described as “tasting like medicine,” and it’s difficult for supplement manufacturers to appropriately mask that flavor and create a great-tasting liquid vitamin. That being said, with the right formula, a great-tasting liquid vitamin isn’t out of the question. 

 

liquid vitamins bad taste

 

2. Liquid is bad for certain ingredients 

Some ingredients are less stable in a liquid environment, making them less effective over time. This is especially true for vitamins such as vitamin C and folic acid. If you’re thinking about manufacturing liquid vitamins, make sure that the ingredients you choose are stable in a liquid environment. 

Additionally, some ingredients, like melatonin, are meant to be released over a period of time. It’s difficult to manufacture liquid vitamins with slow-releasing ingredients. 

 

more disadvantages of liquid vitamins

 

3. Dosing problems 

It’s easy to modify the dosage of liquid vitamins, which means it’s also easy for consumers to take too much or too little. In the best-case scenarios, taking too much or too little could mean overspending or a lack of results. In the worst-case scenarios, taking too much or too little could be the difference between life and death. When highly accurate dosing is extremely important, it’s best to stick to pre-dosed capsules and tablets

 

dosing tablets

 

Interested in manufacturing liquid vitamins? 

The liquid supplement market is booming, and the trend isn’t slowing down. Consumers want more liquid vitamins. That being said, it takes a lot of expertise to understand which ingredients work well for liquids, how to combine them, and how to create a great-tasting liquid supplement. 

If you’re interested in adding liquid vitamins to your supplement brand, you’ll want to choose a supplement manufacturer with both expertise and experience manufacturing liquid vitamins. 

Generation Nutra can help you formulate the perfect liquid vitamin for your customers and offer you so much more. Here are some extra benefits you get when you choose Generation Nutra as your liquid supplement manufacturer: 

  • Thousands of raw materials to choose from so you can create unique and personalized formulas.
  • Advice in terms of formulation.
  • Various supplement packaging formats to choose from so you can customize your product. 
  • A team of in-house graphic designers to help you with supplement label design
  • Advice and guidance to help you market and sell your product.

 

Are you looking for a supplement manufacturer? 

Ask Generation Nutra what they can do for you!

 

CONTACT GENERATION NUTRA 

 

References

  1. https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/liquid-vitamins-market.html 
  2. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/05/01/2025990/0/en/Global-Liquid-Nutritional-Supplement-Market-2018-to-2027-by-Product-Ingredient-Age-Group-Route-of-Administration-Distribution-Channel-and-Geography.html 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4184198/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065591/ 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065591/ 
  6. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13102818.2016.1224979 
  7. https://www.thehealthcloud.co.uk/magnesium-stearate-silica-safe/ 
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613455/ 

 

  

Gummy Supplements – Key Considerations for Supplement Brands 

Trending Gummy Vitamins

Gummy vitamins and gummy manufacturing have increased in popularity and it’s easy to see why. They are much more pleasant to take than regular tablets and make you feel as though you’re having a treat and not taking important vitamins.

There are a lot of different options out there and here we take a look at the best gummy vitamins that are trending right now. You may be surprised about all of the options available to you!

Most Popular Gummy Vitamins Right Now

Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies

Apple cider vinegar has become popular due to its weight loss qualities. It contains acetic acid which has been known to help your body use the fat that it already has. There are also other benefits linked to the vitamin too.

It can help to boost your skin health, reduce your blood sugar levels and also aid in your circulation. They can be made in combination with a wide range of flavors, making them a popular gummy for those looking for all those health benefits.

Elderberry Gummies

Elderberry has long been used as a regular vitamin due to its fantastic qualities. They have a very high level of antioxidants which have a wide range of benefits and this gummy will also be able to boost your immune system, making you more resilient to infection.

It can be a good way to make you less vulnerable to cold and flu. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, elderberry has also been used for joint and muscle pain, as well as headaches. It’s brilliant at making your body feel a whole lot healthier.

Turmeric Gummies

Turmeric is another natural source of antioxidants while also having anti-inflammatory properties. If you have problems with regular inflammation then this is going to be an excellent way to try and keep it under control.

The benefits of antioxidants are that they suppress free radicals which are linked to a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The properties of turmeric can also help to prevent degenerative processes, lower the risk of heart disease and help with arthritis.

CoQ10 Gummies

Your body produces CoQ10 as it helps to generate energy in your cells. As you get older, however, the production of this compound will reduce. Taking these supplements helps to reverse this while also helping your body in many other ways.

It has been linked with an increase in heart function, reducing the risk of heart failure. It also helps with fertility for both men and women. It’s able to increase sperm quality and slow the decline of egg quality in women.

There are also those energy benefits too. CoQ10 gummies would be able to help with increasing your exercising ability and helping to delay fatigue.

Vegan Gummies

While this is not a vitamin or supplement in itself, there is an increasing demand for gummies that can be made in an animal friendly way. These animal-friendly methods can then be used to make a wide variety of different supplements.

A lot of the time gelatin is used in food production which is made by the prolonged boiling of animal parts. With an increasing demand for vegan food products, there is no doubt that vegan gummies would be very popular for some groups.

Hemp Gummies

Recently we’ve seen a big move away from the stigma of anything associated with the cannabis plant, as people realize the genuine health benefits. As hemp gummy bears are made from hemp oil, you don’t have to worry able those psychoactive elements.

They are great at reducing anxiety and depression by stimulating adenosine and serotonin receptors. Hemp gummies are great at being able to ease a worried mind while also having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which we’ve seen with other gummies.

B12 Gummies

B12 has long been taken as a supplement in various forms but it also works perfectly as a gummy. It’s a common pregnancy vitamin while also helping your mood and aiding in the production of serotonin.

B12 will aid in red blood cell formation to reduce the risk of anemia. Low levels of B12 have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis which adds to the brilliant benefits we see here. As a nice additional benefit, your hair, skin and nails are all going to be healthier too.

Collagen Gummies

Collagen and beauty have long gone hand in hand. It has been shown to improve the health of your skin which is going to slow down aging. Whilst it does that, it can also make your hair and nails stronger and healthier.

The benefits of collagen aren’t just beauty related. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of bone disorders and increase your muscle growth and strength. If you’re working out hard then you’re also going to receive a benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties.

Melatonin Gummies

Do you struggle to get to sleep? If so, then melatonin gummies could well be the answer you’re looking for. They help to regulate your sleep cycle and get you into a better rhythm. More than that, it can also lengthen your sleep time.

As well as the sleep cycle, gummy vitamins have helped to treat macular degeneration of the eyes as well as other eye issues. If you don’t get enough natural melatonin then this is going to be vital to ensure you’re happy and well-rested.

How to get great gummy vitamins

Gummies are very versatile and can be a great way for you to get what you need in your body. That being said, you want to make sure that they have a flavor and texture that people are going to enjoy. Some of these options we’ve mentioned above taste great on their own, while others need a little more help.

As well as the product itself, you also need labeling and packaging that will be able to sell it to consumers. Gummy vitamins can be for everyone but you need to ensure you’re doing it the right way while also having an excellent range of products.

Why choose gummy vitamins?

Supplements and vitamins have done been available in other forms so why choose gummy vitamins? Plenty of people either don’t like the texture or taste of regular options. A gummy vitamin makes getting your nutrition very easy and this means people are more likely to take them.

With these gummy vitamins, you can make some great flavors which will increase their popularity. A tasteful gummy bear will be more like a treat than a functional product. They have been seen as a way to get children to take their vitamins but in reality, gummy bears are a brilliant solution for all ages as a much nicer way to get vital nutrition.

Looking Beyond the Pill Format

Looking Beyond the Pill Format

With so many nutraceutical delivery formats to choose from these days, selecting the right format to match your formula can be confusing.

The traditional tablet/pill format has not gone to the way side but rather been joined by an array of alternative delivery options: gummies, powders, liquids, softgels and more.

Bear in mind, choosing a format cannot be underestimated when mapping out your supplement manufacturing plan as consumers are demanding more and more easy-to-use, innovative solutions. In addition, the nutraceutical consumer wants a delivery system that ensures their formula is meeting their specific health and/or performance needs.

Manufacturers and marketers should know that dosage forms for delivery of these ingredients can make as big a difference in consumer satisfaction as the ingredients themselves. In fact, delivery formats can maximize the potential benefit of those ingredients.

Here’s the scoop on the most popular supplement formats.

PILL/TABLETS

The traditional pill cannot be dismissed as it is often the most cost-effective delivery system and can hold/contain a lot of ingredients/materials. Tablets are also the most shelf stable of formats and retain their potency. If you do decide to go the tablet route, you can select different shapes that best represent your brand such as squares, triangles, diamonds or even irregular shapes such as hearts, stars, etc., What’s more you can imprint information directed to the consumer, regarding your brand, formula name and so forth.

However, large tablets can be hard for some people (particularly the elderly or kids) to swallow (unless they are chewables). In addition, tablets can offer more dosing challenges compared to liquids and powders.

CAPSULES

Capsules are two-piece gelatin capsules that are highly popular in the realm of both supplements and medications. Capsules are easy-to-swallow and break down quickly in the digestive tract, Vegetarian capsules that are gelatin-free are fast gaining popularity.

People often choose capsules if they need to break them and add their powdered contents mixed into food or shakes. This is especially convenient for kids.

However, capsules can be limited by their space and potency restrictions. Their contents cannot be compressed as in tablets. Also, since capsules are not air-tight, their shelf-life is shorter than tablets.

LIQUIDS

Liquids (energy shots, tinctures and extracts) are easy to ingest, making them attractive as well to those who have trouble swallowing tablets. Some customers choose liquids based on the belief that they may absorb faster than some other nutraceutical formats.

On the flip side, liquids have shorter shelf life. They are harder to travel with and are not as portable as tablets or capsules. They may also require refrigeration.

POWDERS

Softgels are one-piece gelatin capsules that are used for liquid or oil-based formulas. Because of their smooth contour and shape, softgels are very easy-to-swallow. Under normal circumstances, the human body will absorb more nutrients from a dietary supplement, ingested in softgel form, in comparison to tablets or hard shell capsules. This advantage is particularly beneficial if your formula contains ingredients that are challenging for the body to absorb.

Softgels also boast excellent shelf-life since they are sealed tightly compared to capsules, powders and liquids. However, altering the dose of softgels can be tricky since they can’t be neatly broken or opened up.

SOFTGELS

In healthy human cells, chlorella has been proven to exert a protective effect against free radical and oxidative stress damage, both known to make signs of aging more apparent. And get this: “In older or already damaged cells, [chlorella] exhibits bioremedial effects, meaning that it works to repair telomeres and damaged parts of the cellular DNA from the inside out.” What importance does this have? According to existing medical knowledge, chlorella should theoretically extend one’s lifespan when taken regularly (consciouslifestylemag).

GUMMIES

Gummy bear formulas are highly popular delivery methods for nutritional supplements, favored by both kids and grownups. Children are attracted to these chewy formats because they are fun and tasty. Flavor is an important factor for adults, too, which is why they often choose gummies. And of course, the chew factor eliminates the need to swallow.

At Makers Nutrition, we offer the highest quality supplement formats for our clients to choose from. Our experts will guide you through making the best format decisions to give your product a competitive edge.