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Label Friendly Ingredients for Dietary Supplements

September 5, 2023

The ongoing shift in consumer preferences towards label friendly for nutritional supplements poses both challenges and opportunities to manufacturers. Consumers want transparency in ingredient sourcing and express a preference for recognizable, naturally derived, minimally processed, and sustainable ingredients.

The article will delve into label friendly ingredients, their business benefits, and more. The goal is to guide manufacturers in understanding what’s needed to create better customer experiences, foster preference and drive business growth.

Ready to get started? We can help you make label friendly tablets and capsules that your consumers will love.

The Clean Label Movement

The clean label movement is the consumer-driven demand for "real" ingredients, increased transparency in the food and nutritional supplement sector, and a shift away from artificial, genetically modified, and non-sustainable ingredients.

Evidence of this shift is shown by one in three consumers looking to avoid food or drink with artificial ingredients. More than just a trend, it's a new way of looking at our consumption and asking businesses to respond.

Here are some ingredient characteristics that consumers look for in label-friendly products:

  • Fewer ingredients
  • Recognizable and pronounceable 
  • Naturally derived rather than synthetic
  • Non-genetically modified (non-GMO)
  • Sustainable 

To maintain consumer trust and brand loyalty, businesses need to deliver these expectations and engage in consistent manufacturing practices to deliver label-friendly ingredients while still meeting complex regulatory requirements.

Societal Impact on Ingredient Use

Societal and political pressures have a significant impact on the ingredient choices available to manufacturers. For instance, recent events in Europe led to the suspension of the use of titanium dioxide (TiO2) in foods, where it's classed as E171 and used as a pigment. This decision challenged manufacturers to find alternatives while preserving product quality and safety.

Furthermore, talc (E553b), a glidant used in food, dietary supplement, and pharmaceutical applications, is also under scrutiny for removal from labels, primarily in the United States. Such pressures mean that manufacturers need to be agile and innovative, creating new solutions that deliver great products without using these controversial ingredients.

Manufacturers' Response to Clean Label Demand

Manufacturers face the task of revising product formulations in response to the clean label demand and delivering products that align with consumer perception while still being efficient to produce. 

Finding potential substitutes for such ingredients is not an easy task. These replacements must meet a range of criteria to be acceptable. They must:

  • Have similar functional properties to those they're replacing
  • Remain stable under processing conditions
  • Not adversely affect the final product's taste, texture, or appearance

One major challenge lies in the reformulation of TiO2, which not only provides whiteness but is also an excellent opacifier. There are suitable alternatives, but the final appearance is not identical; so, it’s a balance between functionality and appearance.

Consumers have grown accustomed to bright, appealing colors in their foods and supplements. But many synthetic colorants have fallen out of favor due to clean label demands. Thus, manufacturers must identify naturally derived colorants that can offer the same aesthetic appeal without compromising product quality, especially stability.

In addition, the transition to clean label demands investments in research and development, which can impact the company resources. It’s important to identify suppliers with expertise that can support these transitions and help manufacturers make the changes with minimal investment.

Business Benefits of Clean Label Adoption

Adopting clean label strategies provides substantial benefits for businesses. First, it aligns the business with consumer demands, enhancing brand reputation and loyalty.

Moreover, it offers opportunities for innovation. Developing new products that meet clean label criteria can lead to unique offerings that differentiate the brand in the market.

Finally, it can result in product preference and financial growth. While there is initial investment in research and development, the potential market share gains and increased consumer trust may outweigh these costs in the long term.

The Role of Ingredient Technology

Ingredient technology plays a crucial role in meeting clean label demands. Innovations in this field have resulted in the creation of label friendly functional, naturally derived alternatives to synthetic ingredients.

These advancements also enable manufacturers to create products that have good stability resulting in longer shelf life, a key factor in maintaining product quality and safety. By using innovative ingredients manufacturers can deliver products that meet consumer demands and drive consumer preference.

Clean Label Ingredient Innovations

Technological advancements have made it possible to develop innovative solutions for clean label demands. Among these are natural colorants, plant-based preservatives, and functional ingredients derived from sustainable sources. 

Natural colorants, for instance, are derived from sources such as beetroot, turmeric, and spirulina. These ingredients offer a wide range of vibrant shades and hues, satisfying the consumer's visual expectations. Then plant-based preservatives such as rosemary and green tea extracts contribute to longer shelf life without the use of synthetic chemicals.

Functional ingredients derived from sustainable sources also play a crucial role in this shift. Ingredients such as fibers, proteins, and antioxidants sourced from plants not only meet the clean label criteria but also improve the product's nutritional profile. This means consumers can enjoy products that are both healthful and pleasing to the palate.

The Perfect Solution: Nutrafinish

Nutrafinish® dietary supplement coating is a prime example of a tablet coating designed to address the challenges posed by the clean label movement and delivers an exceptional tablet finish.

The Nutrafinish line enhances the visual appeal, taste and overall experience for food and supplement products. This makes it possible for manufacturers to produce products that align with the clean label movement, thereby boosting brand reputation, promoting consumer trust, and potentially leading to market growth.

Innovation and agility are key in this rapidly evolving market. Businesses that can align their practices with the clean label movement stand to gain consumer trust, foster brand loyalty, and ultimately secure a competitive edge in the market. This is more than a trend; it is the future of the food and supplement industry.

Colorcon can help you create your own label friendly product. Learn more about the Nutra Natural Advantage.


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