Winter 2012 Supplement Manufacturing Trends

Winter 2012 Supplement Manufacturing Trends

Winter 2012 Supplement Manufacturing Trends

Typically during this time of year, consumers travel to their local grocery stores and pharmacies in search of nutritional supplements that will help support their immune systems during the cold winter months when illnesses such as upper respiratory infections and flus are most common.

If you’re a supplement business owner and are looking to manufacture a line of products that contain immune-boosting ingredients that your customers will be looking for to help them feel their very best, our team can assist you! Below are our suggestions on what the winter 2012 supplement manufacturing trends will be, as well as the ingredients you should consider including in your winter line of supplement products.

Don’t catch the bug! Immune health continues to be top priority for consumers and while experts suggest Echinacea, elderberry and beta-glucans for a healthier immune system, there are a number of well-researched immune-boosting ingredients that you may want to include in your formulations.

  • Echinacea – According to the Natural Foods Merchandiser, Echinacea and probiotics are the best ingredients for promoting immunity. Sale of Echinacea was valued at $21 million in the food, drug and mass (FDM) markets and $9.3 million in the natural channel according to SPINS (a market research company based in Schaumburg, Ill.). 1
  • Elderberry – According to SPINS, sales of products containing elderberry was valued at $6.3 million in the natural channel. 2-3
  • Beta-glucan is a well-researched immune-boosting ingredient derived from a strain of yeast known to help stimulate the activity of white-blood immune cells. 4
  • Pre and probiotic formulas have been shown to decrease the risk of common winter infections in children. 5 A combination of probiotic strains (two Bifidobacteria, one Lactobacillus) and the prebiotic fiber, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), were shown in children to reduce infections by 25 percent during the winter, when compared to a placebo. Probiotics sales totaled more than $1 billion in the FDM channel (35 percent increase from the previous year) and $310 million in the natural channel (10.4 percent increase from the previous year). 6
  • Goldenseal and astralagus extract both have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It is known to have an astringent effect on mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and in combination with other herbs, may help boost their immune-stimulating effects. 7
  • Wild indigo is considered to be a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, especially beneficial for upper respiratory infections. 8
  • Other ingredients known to help strengthen the immune system include Vitamins C, D and E, zinc, apple fiber, green tea. 9-12

Popular delivery systems: tablets, capsules, lozenges, liquids and herbal teas

Keeping skin health. Cold air holds less moisture and when you turn on the heat indoors you make the air inside drier than the air outside. This typically leads to chafing and blistering of the skin. Nutrients can play a role in maintaining beautiful skin even during the winter months.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids help to bring blood and oxygen to the skin. This stimulates the production of new skin cells replacing the ones that dry up and slough off during this season. The two components – EPA and DHA – are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies also show that omega-3 fatty acids may help protect the skin against sun-induced aging. 13
  • Vitamin A, an antioxidant vitamin, is also called the skin vitamin. Both topical application and oral intake help reduce wrinkles, increase collagen production and help keep skin hydrated. 14
  • Vitamin E helps repair damage done to skin by pollutants and sunrays, especially when combined with vitamin C. 15

Popular delivery systems: tablets and capsules

Winter months and Vitamin D levels. Shorter days, longer nights lead to less exposure to sunlight. Those living in higher latitudes need Vitamin D supplementation to adequately meet their Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is also a popular single-entity supplement and ongoing research on the multiple functions of Vitamin D and increasing awareness continues to produce a high demand amongst consumers. 16 According to Nutrition Business Journal, Vitamin D sales were up by 30 percent in 2010 reaching $550 million. 17

Popular delivery systems: tablets, capsules, chewables, liquids and sublingual tablets

Beat the winter blues! Many people experience bouts of depression during winter months. Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD) affect about 20 percent of Americans, according to Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a world-renowned psychiatrist and author of more than 200 scholarly publications and seven books on the subject.

Besides, the seasonal sneezes, many Americans still face job insecurities and financial struggles. We, therefore, see consumers spending more on stress, anxiety and depression supplements. It’s estimated that 43 percent of the people who suffer from mood disorders use some type of nutritional and/or herbal therapy. 18 This may include the supplementary intake of omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B complex, amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP, passion flower, theanine (green tea), Vitamin D and other herbal applications. Studies also show that St. John’s Wort to have anti-depressant effects. 19

Popular delivery systems: tablets, capsules, herbal teas.

Watch your heart during winter! When temperatures drop, the blood thickens and scientists believe this may be the reason there are more incidences of death due to heart attack or stroke during the winter months. Heart health ingredients may include:

  • Antioxidants such as green tea, cocoa, resveratrol are known to have cardio-protective effects. 20-22
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known for promoting cardiovascular health. Marine or plant-based omega-3 sources can be used for manufacturing supplements. 23
  • Ginkgo biloba, fish oils, primrose oil, cayenne pepper may help strengthen the circulatory system, particularly the coronary artery. 24 Ginkgo biloba was listed as one of the top-selling herbal singles of 2010 in the food, drug and mass market channel, according to IRI, a market research company with headquarters in Chicago, IL. 25

Popular delivery systems: tablets and capsules

My aching joints! The cold, wintry weather causes stiffness and swelling of joints.

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin combinations have been well-researched for the ability to improve joint health. Herbs like boswellin help to alleviate joint pain. 26-28
  • Other ingredients include grape seed extracts and ginkgo biloba that nutritionally support blood circulation and reduce swelling.

According to Frost & Sullivan (a business research and consulting firm with over 40 global offices), an expanding aging population and increased consumer awareness is driving the growth of the bone and joint health ingredients market. 29

Popular delivery systems: tablets and capsules

“Achoo!” Winter allergies are very common. There is an increased amount of fine pollen grains in the air. Because the air is dry, winter is also the month when more dust mites grow on pillows, mattress, carpets, coats, sweaters, curtains, soft toys, etc. Even Christmas decorations might harbor molds, allergens and dust mites during storage.

  • Herbs and nutrients that may help build resistance to allergies include Vitamin C, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), nettle, lycopene, magnesium, quercetin, glucomannan, licorice root, pinebark and butterbur extracts. 30

Popular delivery systems: tablets, capsules and liquids.

Boost overall health. Everyone knows that a balanced diet will help boost your chances for good health during the winter months. These include multi-vitamin supplements with formulations that include vitamin C, iron, vitamin A and selenium, protein powders, antioxidant supplements, whole food supplements, etc.

Contact Our Production Specialists for More Information

More consumers are making natural supplement choices as evidenced by its soaring sales – from $1.9 billion in 1980 to $36 billion in 2010, according to the 2011 edition of Natural Foods Merchandiser’s Market Overview.

For more information on how you can enhance your product lineup this winter to effectively and efficiently meet the health needs of your customers, call (800) 494-6154 to speak to one of our Production Specialists. Or if you’re ready with your requirements, you can submit your request to receive a free quote from us in 48 hours or less.


1. Immunity Supplements Still on Top, Natural Foods Merchandiser

2. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro, Phytochemistry. 2009 Jul;70(10):1255-61. Epub 2009 Aug 12. PMID: 19682714.

3. Immunity Supplements Still on Top, Natural Foods Merchandiser.

4. Immunity Supplements Still on Top, Natural Foods Merchandiser.

5. Cazzola et al., Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Disease 2010

6. Immunity Supplements Still on Top, Natural Foods Merchandiser

7. Immune modulation of macrophage pro-inflammatory response by goldenseal and Astragalus extracts, J Med Food. 2008 Sep;11(3):493-8. PMID: 18800897.

8. Pharmacodynamic effects and clinical effectiveness of a combination of herbal substances comprised of Cone Flower, Wild Indigo and White Cedar, Wien Med Wochenschr. 2002;152(15-16):393-7, PMID: 12244885.

9. Vitamin E: Health Professional Fact Sheet, National Institutes of Health:

10. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2010.01.015) “Sickness behavior induced by endotoxin can be mitigated by the dietary soluble fiber, pectin, through up-regulation of IL-4 and Th2 polarization”

11. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions, Ann Nutr Metab. 2006;50(2):85-94. Epub 2005 Dec 21.

12. The green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate ameliorates experimental immune-mediated glomerulonephritis, Kidney Int. 2011 Sep;80(6):601-11. doi: 10.1038/ki.2011.121. Epub 2011 May 4. PMID: 21544063.

13. Serum omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and cutaneous p53 expression in an Australian population, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Mar;20(3):530-6. Epub 2011 Jan 7. PMID: 21217086.

14. Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol), Arch Dermatol. 2007 May;143(5):606-15. PMID: 17515510.

15. Role of vitamins in skin care, Nutrition. 2001 Oct;17(10):839-44, PMID: 11684391.

16. Vitamin D, Medline Plus, National Institutes of Health,

17. Vitamin D sales strong in 2010, supply costs rising.

18. The Mood Health Market, March 1, 2009, Nutraceuticals World.

19. St. John’s Wort and Depression, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

20. Green tea and heart health, J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2009 Nov;54(5):385-90. PMID: 19668087.

21. Cocoa and Cardiovascular Health, Circulation. 2009; 119: 1433-1441 doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.827022.

22. Resveratrol: a promising agent in promoting cardioprotection against coronary heart disease, Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2009 Apr;87(4):275-86. PMID: 19370081.

23. Fish consumption, omega 3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. The science and the clinical trials, Nutr Health. 2009;20(1):11-20. PMID: 19326716.

24. Ginkgo biloba extract improves coronary artery circulation in patients with coronary artery disease: contribution of plasma nitric oxide and endothelin-1, Phytother Res. 2008 Jun;22(6):734-9. PMID: 18446847.

25. U.S. Herb Sales Grew 3 Percent in 2010, Nutraceutical World, March 20, 2011,

26. A Review of Articular Cartilage Pathology and the Use of Glucosamine Sulfate, J Athl Train. 2001 Oct-Dec; 36(4): 413-419.

27. Effects of chondroitin sulfate in the pathophysiology of the osteoarthritic joint: a narrative review, Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Jun;18 Suppl 1:S7-11. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

28. Boswellic acids in chronic inflammatory diseases, Planta Med. 2006 Oct;72(12):1100-16.

29. U.S. Bone and Joint Health Ingredients Market, May 2009,

30. Natural Allergy Remedies, May 7, 2008, Natural Products Marketplace, Steve Myers.

31. Natural Foods Merchandiser’s Market Overview, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>