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.
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.  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. 
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. 
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. 
- Between 30 and 40% of the adult population has difficulty swallowing pills. 
- About 20% of aged care residents reportedly skip medications because of their inability to swallow them. 
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. 
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.
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.
Here are some additional benefits of building your supplement brand with Generation Nutra:
- Thousands of raw materials to choose from so you can create unique and personalized formulas.
- Advice in terms of formulation.
- Various packaging formats to choose from so you can customize your product.
- A team of in-house graphic designers to help you design custom labels for your brand.
- Advice and guidance to help you market and sell your product.
Ask Generation Nutra what we can do for you.