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Formulating Nutraceuticals for Children

Albion Minerals®
Nutraceuticals for Children Nutraceuticals for Children

The children’s vitamin market was first pioneered in 1960 by Miles Laboratories, the original creators of the One-A-Day chewable multivitamin, Chocks. Realizing the benefit of marketing to children, a licensing agreement was made with Hanna Barbera and the Flintstones Chewable Multi-Vitamin was born in 1968, later expanding into gummies and adding various other recognizable kid-friendly characters to their offerings.1 Today, in an increasingly competitive market, parents and caregivers are not just looking at branding and the one size fits all multi, they are addressing individual and age-appropriate needs such as immunity, closing dietary/nutritional gaps, bone, digestive and gut health, sleep support and boosting cognitive development. But it doesn’t end there, equal consideration is also placed on dosage type, safety, quality and ingredients, while also appealing to children with taste, texture and visual appearance.

The Growth of the Children’s Market

The USDA’s (U.S. Department of Agriculture) updated dietary guidelines for Americans released for 2020-2025 confirmed the fears of many parents, stating that certain nutrients, such as vitamin D, calcium and dietary fiber, are “nutrients of concern” for adolescents and children. Few children are eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet, and get enough physical activity, combined with snacking on sugar-laden food making them at risk for developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.2 According to a study conducted by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), only 7.1 percent of students meet the USDA’s recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake. On the other hand, only 2 percent of students hit the vegetable threshold. Additionally, some kids require supplemental mineral and vitamin supplements due to their family’s dietary practices. For instance, if your family follows a vegan diet, which is a type of strict vegetarian diet that doesn’t include animal products, such as eggs, dairy, and cheese, your child may need to be given a supplement, as a vegan diet can be very deficient in various nutrients, such as vitamin B12.3

Whether it’s the staggering statistic, changes in diets, or the pandemic that has helped raise awareness about the importance of taking supplements, the health market for children is growing rapidly, with sales increasing more rapidly than the adult market. According to the Nutrition Business Journal’s 2022 Condition Specific Report- 2021, sales in the children’s market grew by 18.5 percent, as opposed to 7.5 percent for the adult market. In 2020, the sales for kids’ products came in at 13.7 percent, behind the overall market. In 2021, the market was 34.7 percent larger than it was in 2019, and it’s expected to grow even more in 2025.4

Safety & Quality

One of the most important factors that consumers should consider when it comes to choosing a brand is the safety and quality of the product. In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education (DSHEA) formed the regulatory framework that allows the marketing of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, minerals, and various other metabolites as dietary supplements; this has allowed the entry of thousands of nutraceuticals into the market.5

This increase in products has also opened the doors to inferior products in the market; this has raised concerns of manufacturers, consumers and health care practitioners. For instance, some products might contain too little or too much of a dietary ingredient that might be adulterated with drugs, drug analogs, or ingredients that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, all of which compromise the safety and quality of the product.

Although the federal government has regulations that require the manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and dietary supplements to follow certain good manufacturing practices (GMPs) to maintain a safe and effective product, they are not required to provide evidence of this compliance before they can ship products.6 Due to the increasing number of online retailers and brands requiring proof of this compliance, a new study revealed that Americans are demanding that retailers conduct their due diligence on manufacturing facilities.

Before a product is sold to consumers, it’s also important that the company provides transparency and promotes the safety and quality of its products. Transparent manufacturers adhere to allowable health claims and labeling requirements and follow cGMP’s guidelines while providing the consumer voluntary information, such as third-party validation and precautionary statements, such as “processed in a facility,” “made in a factory that processes,” or “peanut-free.”


Today’s consumers of children’s nutraceutical products are not only informed they’re also ingredient and label claim conscious and on the lookout for innovation. One of the main manufacturing challenges is addressing the market demand for great taste and visual appeal without compromising the integrity of the ingredients.

Studies show that preservatives and additives may impact the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, wreak havoc on a child’s growing systems, and can even have real health consequences, yet many manufacturers add them to their formulations to extend the shelf life or add color or flavor. With many children’s supplements containing harmful additives such as artificial dyes, preservatives, fillers, soy and dairy, which are harmful additives, parents are more likely to choose clean products that they’re seeing on the market to help ease their minds, as they know that their kids are getting the safest possible product.7 Manufacturers need to consider these preferences to stay competitive in a rapidly growing market.

Dosage Type

To ensure that products are both profitable and effective, supplement manufacturers need to make sure that they can satisfy both the parents and children and the dosage type is a huge competent of the purchasing decision. One of the biggest challenges that they can face is developing a product that’s appealing to kids’ palates while still providing adequate nutritional content. According to a survey conducted by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 35 percent of parents said that their kids have been very picky when it comes to food, and if a dietary supplement has high nutritional value and poor taste, then kids would probably avoid consuming it.

The need for kids’ supplements to be palatable combined with the safety concerns associated with the use of soft gels and capsules for young children has driven sales toward flavored products such as gummies, chewable tablets and powders. The popularity of the gummy format continues to grow with the market size estimated to reach 10.6 billion by 2025.8 The next best-selling format was chewing tablets, with a total of $92,568,984 in sales. The rapid-dissolving powder packets are expected to be a promising new option for the market with sales growing by 20.5 percent during the 52 weeks that ended on July 10, 2022. Unlike tablets and pills, powder packets are made with natural flavors that kids will love and are incredibly easy to dissolve. They’re ideal for kids who have difficulty swallowing capsules and pills.9

The Future of the Children’s Nutraceutical Market

Manufacturers of children’s supplements must consider the various factors that can affect their appeal to both caregivers and kids. It’s important that manufacturers make sure their products are designed to meet the needs of kids; texture, taste and visual appearance while also meeting the quality and safety requirements of parents. Manufacturing and marketing components affect a product’s appeal but it’s important to be transparent, invest in research and quality ingredients to stay relevant in a competitive market. NIE


1 www.metv.com/lists/6-things-you-never-knew-about-flintstones-vitamins.

2 www.foodbeverageinsider.com/formulation/formulating-healthy-products-kids-will-eatand-parents-will-purchase.

3 Dietary Supplements for Toddlers. Healthychildren.org.

4 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8416287/.

5 https://ods.od.nih.gov/About/DSHEA_Wording.aspx.

6 https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-01-00-00180.pdf.

7 www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/AAP-Says-Some-Common-Food-Additives-May-Pose-Health-Risks-to-Children.aspx.

8 https://vitaminretailer.com/childrens-health-grows-up/.

9 www.newhope.com/products-and-trends/trend-spotlight-childrens-health-supplements-are-booming-analysis.

Evelyn Reinson is the head of international marketing at ACG, responsible for global marketing strategies of the company’s product range of capsules, films & foils, engineering and inspection worldwide. For more information, visit www.acg-world.com.

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