At the NHT Summit in Manchester on 22 October BetterYou delivered a seminar to brands and retailers on innovation, trends and what’s to come for the VMS market.
Led by the brand’s founder, Andrew Thomas, the talk addressed the trends anticipated to be strong in the coming year. Oral sprays were a key feature, which BetterYou themselves produce in range of combinations for adults and children, including B, D, K2, turmeric and multi-vitamins.
The absorption efficacy of intraoral vitamin sprays has been the subject of a growing number of third-party studies at universities across the UK and further afield. Key findings have shown that ‘vitamin absorption via oral sprays is up to 2.6 times higher compared to soft gelatin capsules’ (Satia et al – Nutrition Journal). Studies have also indicated that high-level vitamin D oral sprays can ‘resolve deficiency in healthy athletes’ (Todd et al – Ulster University).
“It’s not about innovation for innovation’s sake”
But where NPD is concerned, Thomas warned, ‘responsibility’ and ‘common sense’ must remain at the forefront of creation: “It’s not about innovation for innovation’s sake. Innovation must be responsible and based on science. Just because it’s innovative doesn’t mean it works.”
BetterYou predicts the industry will ‘become more regulated’; until that time, Thomas stresses the importance of education, for both the consumer and the retailer. “What we’re seeing is that people are more educated,” he said, adding that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to VMS no longer works. “It’s all about what the customer wants and needs. It’s not as easy multivitamin gummy bears. The brands should advise. It is the brands’ responsibility. You guys [the retailers] have got to demand the support and training from us. You have to have the confidence. We have to stay ahead of the curve. It’s all about asking questions; the customers do, so you should too,” said Thomas.
“Innovation must be responsible and based on science. Just because it’s innovative doesn’t mean it works”
In addition to alternative delivery methods, other key trends outlined during the presentation included: a rise in condition-related VMS sales, in particular for brain and heart health, and to improve sleep and relaxation; increasing interest in men’s supplements; more consumers buying for their families, and specifically for children; and a higher demand for drug-free pain relief, which Thomas says the natural sector is in a ‘good position to serve’.
Following BetterYou’s seminar at the NHT Summit, the brand went on to win Best Sports Product for its MagnesiumGel. Commenting on the accolade, Thomas said: “We are proud that our brand new MagnesiumGel has been recognized in this category by industry peers … the gel is an innovative and exciting addition to our existing transdermal magnesium range.”