This broad category gives retailers a chance to work with consumers of all ages to select effective products that support health for the long term.
The aging process comes with its share of challenges, but decades of research have shown that good nutrition, exercise, preventive health care, stress management and good quality sleep can help a person stay in good health and reduce the incidence of many of the chronic disease conditions associated with growing older.
People are living longer than they used to. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the U.S. Government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), the average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. in 1970 was 70.8 years. In 2008, that number had increased to 78 years, and by 2020, the projected life expectancy will reach 79.5 years.
According to Sebastien Bornet, vice president of global sales and marketing at Horphag Research in New Jersey, more than 3.5 million Baby Boomers turn 55 each year. By 2030, there will be approximately 72 million elderly persons in the U.S.
Many Baby Boomers have embraced the concept of healthy aging, and they’re doing their research on the benefits of natural ingredients that can help them live healthier, happier lives. Younger consumers, too, have taken an interest in using science-backed ingredients to maintain their good health. “Data from a recent study from the National Marketing Institute showed that the Millennial generation is more open to using alternative medicine for their health needs.” Bornet shared. “In fact, they’re nearly 40 percent more likely to do so than other generations.”
With the wide range of products in the longevity and healthy aging category—from skin health, joint health, anti-inflammatories, cognitive health, bone boosters, and more—retailers have an opportunity to educate their consumers about a whole body approach to healthy aging from a young age and help them choose the right products at the right time to support good health throughout their lifetimes.
State of the Market
According to Rob Maru, chief innovation officer at Florida-based Reserveage Nutrition, sales of beauty-related products have been growing faster than traditional antioxidants used for anti-aging benefits over the past several years. “According to SPINS data, sales of collagen have grown 38 percent year over year compared with resveratrol, which grew at 2.5 percent,” Maru said. But a 12-week view of sales suggests that resveratrol is rebounding and currently up 14 percent over a previous 12-week period, he explained. Based on data from the past few years, Maru said he believed that beauty supplements will continue to outpace plant-based antioxidants, as consumers learn more about the research behind beauty-promoting proteins.
Timothy Mount, CN, CCMH, director of education for NeoCell in California agreed. “As the Baby Boomer popula-tion searches for natural supplements at an increasing rate, many of them have discovered the amazing benefits of collagen,” he explained. “Additionally, GenX and Millennials have begun to turn more to the natural products industry to slow or reverse the initial signs of aging.” Mount expressed that social media and consumer reviews have also help propel the industry. “The caution many consumers have about spending their hard-earned money on an unknown supplement has been alleviated when they can see and hear people tell their stories and show before and after pictures,” he stated.
Nick Bitz, naturopathic physician and chief scientific officer at Nutrawise, parent company of Youtheory based in California, noted that consumers are taking a common-sense approach to healthy aging, seeking real results that don’t break the bank. “Rather than looking for the next superfruit or the newest gene-modifying nutrient, [consumers] are incorporating tried-and-true supplements into their daily regimen such as fish oil, probiotics and trace minerals.”
Bornet seconded Bitz’s observations about consumers’ view of longevity and healthy aging products. “We have seen a growing number of younger consumers embrace the concept of healthy aging as they look to maintain their health,” he said. “Consumers are savvy and continue to educate themselves on the benefits of natural ingredients, and we see the supplement industry poised for expanded growth over the next few years.” Bornet also shared data from a recent market analysis conducted by Transparency Market Research predicting longevity and healthy aging market value to increase to $191 billion by 2019.
Advancements in the Healthy Aging Supplements
“Within the past decade, scientific understanding of the aging process and manufacturing methods have dramatically improved,” explained Mount. “We now know details about our bodies at the cellular level regarding the causes of many age-related symptoms. Armed with new ingredient processing capabilities, we have created bioactive supplements that have never before existed in the history of humanity.”
Science is looking to technology that has worked for some proteins, such as the hydrolyzation of collagen into smaller effective peptides that was discovered in the 1980s, and applying it to other proteins. The concept has been applied to keratin, the main protein found in hair to improve hair thickness, Mount shared.
And there is no shortage of research on plant-based polyphenols and their antioxidant benefits. Scientists continue to find benefits for ingredients such as Pycnogenol, a French maritime bark extract with ample antioxidants. The extract has been studied for 40 years with hundreds of studies supporting its efficacy. There are more than 700 supplements, multis and cosmetics formulated with this ingredient on the market today that are effective in the areas of skin health, joint support and cognition to name a few.
Resveratrol is another antioxidant with years of science behind its benefits. What makes a best seller is continuing to innovate and validate the benefits of these whole-body antioxidants. Resveratrol is the flagship product of Reservage Nutrition, and their formulation is consistently No. 1 amongst resveratrol products. The company uses trans-resveratrol combined with resveratrol from organic red wine and muscadine grapes, resulting in a superior product based on cutting-edge science.
New Products and Formulations
Reserveage Nutrition recently launched its new Plant Based Support Collagen Builder, a vegan alternative for supporting collagen synthesis. The product provides plant-based, gluten-free ceramides to soften and hydrate skin. The ceramides provide moisturizing support for the skin, along with nutritional building blocks, such as amino acids, vitamin C from Indian gooseberries (amla extract), as well as bamboo silica and white tea extract. The nutrients work together to boost collagen production, which typically starts to decline in a person’s mid-twenties.
Horphag introduced Robuvit to the U.S. market this summer. Robuvit comes from the wood of French oak that is rich in a type of tannin specific to the oak genus called roburins. According to Horphag, several clinical studies have proven that roburins help to alleviate symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and general fatigue. Robuvit offers a caffeine-free solution to help boost energy while managing symptoms of fatigue.
A study published in the scientific journal Minerva Cardioangiologica found that amateur athletes training for a triathlon who supplemented with Robuvit improved their training time and had less post-run muscular pain, cramps and localized pain than subjects in the study who did not take Robuvit.
NeoCell has two new products on the market in this category. First are Joint Bursts, a first-in-kind joint support soft chew available in a Tropical Tang flavor. One chew per day supplies the essential joint nutrients collagen, hyaluronic acid to lubricate joints and turmeric extract to support healthy tissue structure, joint hydration and a healthy inflammatory response.
Also from NeoCell is a comprehensive joint formula called Move Matrix. The supplement contains collagen type 2 (for joint and cartilage support), methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) and vitamin C to support mechanical functioning, as well as hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin and several antioxidants to provide joint hydration and cushioning, as well as alleviating pain and inflammation. Move Matrix is a best bet for customers looking for an all-in-one joint support formula that helps with mobility, flexibility, as well as pain relief.
Youtheory’s most recent product launch in the healthy aging and longevity category is Sleep Nighttime Powder. A refreshing night’s sleep is a key component to healthy aging. This novel product is formulated to help shorten sleep onset and improve sleep quality overall. The fast-acting powder, which can be added to a glass of juice or water before bedtime, contains relaxing amino acids, calming magnesium and a micro-dose of melatonin. One of the amino acids used in the formula is L-glycine, which helps to calm overactive brain neurons. Studies have also shown that a single nighttime dose of L-glycine (3,000 mg) can improve overall sleep satisfaction and decrease daytime sleepiness.
Also new from Youtheory is a formulation for men called Men’s Shilajit, an Indian Sanskrit word that translates to “rock invincible.” The product is geared toward healthy aging and helps to offset the effects of “andropause” by boosting male testosterone. In ayurvedic medicine, shilajit is used primarily as an endocrine tonic or rejuvenative. Bitz said that shilajit is one of the best age-defying substances out there. A study published in a 2016 issue of Andrologia reported that treatment with shilajit for 90 consecutive days was more effective at increasing testosterone levels in subjects than placebo.
Customer Interests & Concerns
“Traditionally, capsules and tablets have been the standard delivery system for most supplements, but over the past decade there has been a marked shift to alternative forms like drink mixes, premixed liquids and soft chews,” explained Mount. Adding yet another pill to the mix is a concern, and Neocell has managed to bypass that issue with their best-selling Super Collagen powder that delivers an effective dose without requiring consumers to swallow several pills. “More recently, the industry has gone a step further by creating products that a consumer actually looks forward to taking,” he continued. NeoCell Beauty Bursts are a soft-chew formulation that taste great and supply consumers with vital nutrients for longevity, such as collagen, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.
Jonathan Lawrence, director of vitamins and body care at Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market with 43 stores in the U.S., explained that three out of four people don’t know exactly what they are looking for. “They may have heard of [a supplement] through a friend or on television, and it sparks their interest,” he said. “It’s up to us to find the right product for them with the efficacy that will make them believers and bring them back. Most are surprised by all of the different delivery forms available today; we always make sure they’re aware that there are alternatives to caps or tabs.”
Rhonda Miller, general manager of Health Foods Unlimited in Dayton, OH, agreed that longevity and healthy aging is a growing category and that customers do a good bit of their own research before coming in to the store. Suppliers with great marketing teams that create brochures, signage and articles are the ones that help sell the products, she said.
NeoCell is a big believer in cross merchandising. “A study from Age of Naturals Pink Report showed 72 percent of women who buy external beauty products believe in the concept of ‘beauty from within’ and would be interested in an internal supplement,” explained Mount. Endcap displays that promote a complete regimen are helpful for the customer. Some examples that have shown success include placing hydrating Glow Matrix capsules beside coconut water or Beauty Bursts next to lotions or serums. VR
For More Information:
Horphag Research, (201) 459-0300
NeoCell, (800) 346-2922
Reserveage Nutrition, (800) 553-1896
YouTheory, (949) 900-2400