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Here at the end of 2020, we’re looking back at some of our favorite discoveries of the year in some of the sectors we serve—in this second post of the series, the health and wellness sector, with a focus on dietary supplements. With the COVID-19 pandemic making personal health a topic of daily concern worldwide, the supplement industry saw greatly expanded attention and sales. Many consumers are either taking supplements for the first time or have renewed their use; other regular supplement consumers have expanded what they take to address the most pressing health challenges of the COVID era, including immune support, anxiety, and more. Read on for some of the dietary supplements we found most exciting this year.

GaiaKids Black Elderberry Gummies


For parents seeking to provide immune support for their children, GaiaKids Black Elderberry Gummies offer a compelling option. Although gummies have only grown in popularity in the supplement space, delivering a flavor that kids actually like can be a challenge—products often struggle with off notes or a general lack of exciting taste. With these gummies, however, GaiaKids has achieved a product with excellent flavor, so kids will be glad to take their supplements. Elderberry is one of the top immune support ingredients as well, making these gummies a great option for parents looking to go beyond familiar vitamin products and enhance their kids’ wellness.

muniq prebiotic resistant starch shake brand packaging

Muniq Prebiotic Shakes


Consumers seeking to bolster their gut health can pursue this goal through a variety of means. Considering the link between gut health and a range of other health concerns, this year we had our eye out for products that would support gut health while also helping consumers meet other functional goals. The new line of prebiotic protein shakes from Muniq delivers, offering protein shakes that also deliver prebiotic resistant starch to help foster good bacteria and healthy digestion while also supporting healthy blood sugar and strengthened immunity. In addition to prebiotics and protein, Muniq’s shakes come with vitamins C and D for further immune support. The powdered meal replacement shakes are available in three flavors as well as offering vegan options. After launching in May, the brand is currently available through direct-to-consumer ordering and subscription packages online, with digital marketing and a brand ambassadors program providing the next steps in brand growth.

mend and defend gut health immunity bottles on counter

Mend + Defend


With immunity to viral disease at the front of everyone’s mind this year, we were especially watching new products aimed at supporting immune health. Original research we conducted at the height of the pandemic found that supplement consumers believe that immunity is affected by gut health. We were watching for new products integrating gut health and immune system support and didn’t have to look far to find a science-backed approach. Our partners, Elemend Health, launched a new line of supplements this year that features essential trace minerals like their patented and highly absorbable zinc, alongside their proprietary colostrum, probiotics, and vitamins to help restore the gut and strengthen the immune system. We’re grateful to have partnered with them to develop the brand from the ground up and are excited to see their continued success in 2021. The supplements are available for purchase on their website and Amazon.

Quicksilver Scientific CBD Synergies


Another trend we saw reshaping the supplement space in 2020, as it has been over the past few years, was the expanded popularity of CBD. Though regulatory details are still being worked out, CBD products are increasingly mainstream, and especially so for their mood support function in a year where mental health and mood support have been top-of-mind for many consumers. One product we especially liked in this regard was Quicksilver Scientific’s CBD Synergies, which delivers a full spectrum of CBD with high bioavailability while keeping THC within limits established by the Farm Bill. The product also includes other botanicals, including curcumin and boswellia, to further support a natural calm while delivering antioxidants and bolstering CBD’s benefits for bone and joint health. Quicksilver Scientific stresses the high bioavailability of their products, which the industry has long understood as critical to an effective product without always communicating that urgency to consumers. However, the “enhanced delivery system” of CBD Synergies is well communicated, making the benefits of high product absorption evident even for the casual consumer looking to try out a new CBD product.

2before elite performance adaptogens packaging

2Before Blackcurrant Powder


Finally, in the performance nutrition space, we liked seeing new products that featured whole-food, plant-based ingredients, supporting new directions in clean eating and nutrition for athletes. One new item that we especially liked in this regard was 2before Blackcurrant Powder, delivering performance adaptogens derived from the New Zealand blackcurrant fruit. The performance food system provides a polyphenol anthocyanin combination that primes the body for athletic performance and supports training adaptation. The GMO-free, gluten-free product provides support for at least two hours after consumption and comes in a powdered format with a shot bottle for dosing.

Are you launching a product that should be on this list? Considering how to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded to supplement brands this year? We’d love to hear about the challenges and opportunities you’re facing at the close of an eventful year—let’s get in touch.


Matt Miller staff photo
Author
Matt Miller writes, teaches, and practices biodynamic gardening near Reeds Spring, Missouri. A MarketPlace alum with a background in academic research, he’s fascinated with how culture, media, and business interact—and equally with the best methods of cultivating healthy fruit trees.

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