When everyone is feeling stressed out, natural products offer a calming option.
Stress and anxiety has become highly prevalent regardless of demographics, due to a combination of economic, environmental and social pressures. Commonly, stress is caused because of inadequate sleep, job frustration, financial worries and emotional issues, which causes anxiety, nervousness and frustration.
Stress, if not properly managed, is disruptive to routine life. Uncontrolled and unmanaged stress can become chronic, leading to a multitude of health problems including depression, heart ailments and autoimmune diseases.
The American Institute of Stress reported that a major source of stress among American adults is job stress, and that factor has been escalating in recent years as compared to the past few decades. The severity of stress also varies depending on the magnitude of demands and ability of an individual to deal with them.
According to the American Psychological Association’s report, “Stress in America: Uncertainty About Health Care,” based on data from the annual Stress in America survey, conducted online by the Harris Poll, 66 percent of U.S. adults are stressed for their families and themselves because of health care costs. The report also stated that six in 10 adults are under stress because of the uncertain future of health care and coverage.
Dr. Frank King, the founder and president of King Bio in North Carolina, said, “The American Psychological Association predicted that stress would grow to be a national health crisis. Many statistics point to the fact that even children and pets are stressed these days! Stress affects everything from sleep to digestion to pain. To address this concern, we formulated Kids Anxiety & Stress Relief, Kids Sleep Aid and Anxiety & Stress for pets. The great thing about homeopathy is that when people see it work for kids and pets, critics who think it’s only a placebo can’t say a word.”
Current Market for Natural Products
The increasing cost of prescription medicines and their adverse side effects are driving more consumers towards natural products for overcoming stress and anxiety. Awareness of preventative health driven by media is also a key factor in educating consumers about the potential benefits associated with the natural and clean label. Higher income customers also more confident about economy are willing to spend more money on health and wellness, including more holistic approaches.
Marci Clow, MS, RDN and educator at California-based Rainbow Light noted that according to data from SPINS from the 52-week period ending Dec. 3, 2017, the market for products that provide support for stress and mood, is one of the top 10 performing categories for dietary supplements.
She added that “Rainbow Light offers two products in this category including Men’s Multivitamin plus Stress Support and Women’s Multivitamin plus Stress Support, food-based multivitamins which are right on trend with the market and feature full-spectrum, highly bioavailable B vitamins to counteract stress and nervous system response, magnesium to promote calm, plus full-spectrum digestive support and targeted gender specific botanicals.”
More companies are now investing in developing newer formulations of herbs or different combinations of nutrients for decreasing stress levels. Herbs, such as ashwaghanda, are also picking up pace in natural food stores and conventional supermarkets. More clinical trials are being conducted on adaptogenic herbs to substantiate claims on effectiveness, efficacy and safety.
According to the published HerbalGram Herb Market Report for 2016, consumer spending in the United States on dietary supplements in 2016 went up an estimated 7.7 percent compared to 2015. Sales growth remained strong as it surpassed $7 billion in 2016.
“More consumers are switching as more people are weighing the pendulum to natural products to avoid side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs. Natural Vitality has been supplying the natural products industry for 34 years. Peter Gilham, founder of Natural Vitality, formulated and reformulated these products first started selling to clinicians and physicians,” said Andreas Koch, vice president of marketing with the Texas-based company.
King added, “What’s affected the market for the better is the greater availability of high-quality information online so that health-conscious consumers can research their own health options—that’s one of the best things that’s ever happened.”
King elaborated on public awareness of the serious side effects associated with conventional pharmaceutical drugs. “However, the conventional drug industry, which made more than $300 billion in 2017, is fighting to maintain its monopoly over health care choices, he noted.
Market Trends and Consumers
Multiple trends, including product transparency, clean-labeling and personalized nutrition, are becoming the norm in the dietary supplements market for managing stress and anxiety.
“Consumers are increasingly skeptical of a one-size-fits-all approach,” said DaRon Gillilan, CEO of sales with Texas-based LifeSeasons. “They are looking for products that help address specific health concerns in a safe and effective way.”
Thriving consumer markets for stress products has spurred innovation and product developments. Manufacturers are focusing on their target audience for market positioning and building their brand for profitable growth.
“As health care costs increase, more and more consumers are looking to natural ingredients and dietary supplements for help in alleviating their health concerns. Due to today’s consumer demands, the annual sales of nutritional supplements are projected to grow steadily through 2020, reaching $155 billion in global annual sales with the U.S. leading those sales,” according to Gillilan.
“With so many natural supplement options available to consumers,” he added, “It can easily become overwhelming. A consumer is looking for products that combine multiple stress and anxiety-reducing ingredients in an easy to understand formula with proven high-quality ingredients. Additionally, there is a big movement towards transparency and the need for education. As a manufacturer, it is crucial to be transparent and educational in the efficacy of your ingredients and products.”
Magnesium plays an important role to overcome a number of health problems, including stress related-issues, and consumers are now learning more about its benefits.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, medical advisory board member, Nutritional Magnesium Association said, “It’s important to note that not all forms of magnesium are easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium citrate powder such as contained in Natural Calm is easily absorbed; just mix with hot or cold water and sip throughout the day. Consumer interest in magnesium has increased recently and for the first time, purchases of magnesium supplements exceeded calcium supplements last year. People are reaching more for natural remedies rather than drugs because these drugs come with harmful side-effects.”
Koch noted, “More than 70 percent of the U.S. population is deficient in magnesium—that might lead to prolonged stress, anxiety and nervousness. Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm is a fruity, effervescent drink that helps maintain the level of magnesium and calcium in your body. Natural Calm is our superstar product that helps with muscle tension, sleeplessness, cramps and stiffness.”
He added, “We use our proprietary blend of ionic magnesium citrate in Natural Calm because we find it is the best form of magnesium for general application. Within the natural market, magnesium citrate, specifically Natural Calm, is the most widely used magnesium supplement. It outsells other forms of combinations by a significant margin and has done so over 10 years.”
Retailer Brittany Bennet, vitamin manager with S&S Organic Produce and Natural Foods in Sacramento, CA, agreed. “Natural Vitality is very popular as people like the brand since it’s well absorbed in the body,” she said. “There is increasing demand year after year as people are more focused on their health and buying more natural products. Also, physicians are more savvy and recommending natural products to patients.”
There are number of companies engaged in formulating dietary supplements using herbal blends and natural nutrients to offer customers quality products. LifeSeasons blends herbs and nutrients that are clinically tested to offer consumers potent and effective alternative medicines to treat a number of ailments including stress, sleeplessness and anxiety.
Dr. Darrin Starkey, manager of education and training with Utah-based Trace Minerals, said the company has been selling Stress-X Magnesium for the last 20 years to help maintain healthy levels of magnesium. “I believe most of us under stress are robbed of mineral balance. Seventy-five to 90 percent of doctor’s visits are due to stress and it’s costing employers over $300 billion annually. Obviously, stress takes a toll on our health. Since magnesium is so important, our ConcenTrace helps to maintain healthy levels of magnesium in the body.”
Trace Minerals offers magnesium in different forms including liquid, tablets and powder, Starkey noted. He also recommended the following magnesium products from the company: Mega-Mag, Ionic Magnesium, Stress-X Magnesium Powder and ConcenTrace.
Gillilan described his company’s approach. “At LifeSeasons, we want to encourage people to take a more holistic and naturopathic approach to their health concerns. That is why in 2013 we formulated or best-selling product, Anxie-T.”
Anxie-T is a blend made from ashwagandha, GABA, Kava Kava, theobromine and L-theanine that provides relief from common symptoms of stress and stress-related sleep problems.
David Winston, HR (AHG), with New Jersey-based Herbalist and Alchemist, agreed that there has been increasing interest in herbs for stress and anxiety in recent years, particularly in the adaptogen category. “Consumers are accustomed to using herbal products to stay healthy, and are now seeking herbal solutions for emotional support. Perhaps it’s as simple as acknowledging that life is stressful, and increasingly so due to current events,” he said.
Herbal and Alchemist sells Calm Adapt that is a relaxing adaptogenic tonic to balance stress. This product is a combination of different herbs including ashwagandha root, Linden flower and leaf, oat milk seed (Avena sativa), Reishi mushroom and Schisandra berry.
King Bio’s product lineup for stress includes Dr. King’s Stress Control, Dr. King’s Anxiety, and Nervousness and Dr. King’s Adrenal Burnout. King commented, “Stress Control includes the five famous flower remedies, plus more 23 HPUS* ingredients made in three different potencies each, for an advanced, comprehensive approach to overcoming stress on all levels, physical, mental and emotional.”
King Bio also introduced Kids Anxiety & Stress Relief and Kids Sleep Aid to address stress issues in children.
Retailer Peter Stevenson, supplement specialist with Green Acres Market in Kansas City, MO said about King Bio Products, “This is my absolute favorite brand and we get lot of good feedback from our customers about it. These homeopathic products are really spectacular and great support for stress and anxiety.”
Trace Minerals is also addressing all demographics by offering tablet, liquid and powder forms, Starkey noted. The company has introduced VitaStraw Magnesium & B6, a highly effervescence form in which magnesium pellets or granules are populated in straw delivery format that slowly dissolves in water.
At Wisconsin-based EuroPharma, the company offers a number of natural products to treat stress and anxiety using proprietary formulations. According to Cheryl Myers, chief of education and scientific affairs at the company, AnxioCalm is the superstar product. Developed in Hungary, it is clinically proven for safety and effectiveness for American consumers. It is made from a single compound from in Echinacea angustifolia, a type of echnacoside.
Scientific studies have demonstrated a distinct role of the endocannabinoid system as a regulator of the stress response. Physiological systems in the body changes under stress, causing a rapid shift in neuro-behavioral processes that can be regulated by the endocannabinoid system.
Jade Beutler, CEO of Emerald Health Bioceuticals based in California, stated “Emerald Bioceuticals has developed a unique and novel approach to treat stress and anxiety. It is comprised of lock-and-key receptor sites; these sites are estrogen proteins that are activated by endocannabiniods. They are also activated by phytocannabinoids (plants). These cannabinoids fit lock and key to receptor sites (CB1) and (CB2). Our body produces natural chemicals called cannabinoids that interacts with the endocannabinoid system that is equivalent to THC; they interact with receptor sites to regulate body functions, including mood and feel-good hormones. Emerald bioceuticals have also introduced EndoBliss and EndoSleep products.”
The company’s EndoCalm has been formulated using proprietary, full-spectrum PhytoCann Complex as well as herbs and botanicals. The herbs include ashwagandha, PharmaGaba, Echinacea purpurea, and organic hemp seed oil (Cannibis sativas) to calm nerves by supporting the endocannabinoid system for a more positive reaction to stress, anxiety and fear.
Emerald Health Bioceuticals introduced gel capsules and is working to introduce chewables and rapid response delivery systems,” Beutler added.
Natural Vitality has recently launched Calm magnesium—fruit-flavored gummies for boosting magnesium levels and balancing calcium. Another new product that the company has added to its portfolio is Calmful Sleep for extra sleep support.
Koch noted, “The product also has a potent blend of sleep-promoting nutrients, including Suntheanine, a patented premium form of the relaxing amino acid l-theanine, calm-enhancing GABA (a non-protein amino acid) and melatonins.”
LifeSeasons has added a new nootropic product for enhanced concentration, a sense of calm and attention span. Neuro-T, Brain Focus Support is a combination of bacopa, ginkgo, huperzine A, L-theanine and yerba mate. The highly competitive market is driving the company to continue to focus on high-quality, safe, proven and potent ingredients to create a more personalized experience.
In addition, King Bio is investing to bring newer products formulated to address the challenges of children. King explained, “We spend less time thinking about competition and more time developing unique products to meet the needs of customers. We don’t believe any products that are quite like ours, so that’s why we stay focused.” VR
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
For More Information:
Emerald Health Bioceuticals, www.emeraldhealthbio.com
Herbalist and Alchemist, www.herbalist-alchemist.com
King Bio, www.drkings.com
Natural Vitality, www.naturalvitality.com
Trace Minerals, www.traceminerals.com