Accelerating speed-to-market with reduced development timelines

Omega-3 products have become increasingly popular within the nutritional supplement market, with category retail sales expected to reach US$4.9 billion by 2023, reports Dan Peizer, Senior Director, Global Marketing and Strategy, Consumer Health, Catalent

Omega-3 supplements have wide-ranging potential health benefits, including a decreased risk of high blood pressure and triglyceride levels, positive impacts on joint, eye, brain and heart health, and some studies showing that diets that are high in omega-3 fatty acids help with rheumatoid arthritis.

With an increasing number of products available, nutritional supplement marketers must look for ways to differentiate their products for consumers. With the introduction of more complex omega-3 sources, marketers must also contend with sometimes lengthy — and often costly — development timelines.

As such, they’re looking to increase their competitive advantage by getting to market quickly. One option to do this is to start from a “readymade” portfolio of solutions that meet their product profile.

Reducing timelines

As one of the first companies to develop omega-3 products, Catalent continues to bring innovative solutions to the nutritional supplement market, and has recently developed and launched the Complete Omega Suite, a comprehensive portfolio of differentiated formulas and technologies for omega-3 products.

Dan Peizer, Senior Director, Global Marketing and Strategy, Consumer Health, Catalent

Working in collaboration with leading multinational ingredient suppliers, such as Verdure Sciences, BASF, Kappa Biosciences, OmniActive, Anklam Extrakt and Fermentalg, the products within the Complete Omega Suite are formulated using premium ingredients whose benefits are backed by science.

The foundational formulations have been tested for stability in both bulk and within packaging, and products can be quickly brought to market or adapted to meet marketers’ specific needs.

A standard nutritional supplement development process can take 13–15 months, including preformulation, proof of concept and informal and formal stability studies as well as technical dossier preparation.

Catalent’s Complete Omega Suite gives nutritional supplement marketers a competitive edge by offering formulations for which this work has already been completed, significantly shortening the path to shelf to an average of three months, whilst also reducing risk and cost.

Product differentiation

By partnering with innovative ingredient suppliers, the Complete Omega Suite provides rapid access to unique formulas. One example is the recently introduced Joint Comfort Softgel featuring Longvida curcumin extract, the result of a collaboration between Catalent and Verdure Sciences to create a supplement combining the benefits of omega-3 with Longvida curcumin, which has been shown to have greater bioavailability than standard curcumin.

Curcumin supports a normal inflammatory process, which may have positive impacts on many of the health effects associated with ageing.

Even if product quality alone is not sought as a differentiator by supplement marketers, it is important that products meet consumer expectations and that ingredients are delivered effectively. Unlike liquid formulations in bottles, softgel encapsulation protects omega-3 oils from the effects of atmospheric oxidation, which can reduce their effectiveness and cause an unpleasant taste and odour.

Softgel products have been shown to be preferred by consumers and offer a longer shelf-life and efficacy of the ingredients.

Catalent has continued to innovate capsule shell technology, benefiting marketers looking for product differentiation. Products supported by the Complete Omega Suite can cater to consumers with dietary, religious or cultural requirements through the Vegicaps capsule, a genetically modified organism (GMO)-free, plant-based shell that contains no animal derivatives.

Catalent was recently granted Vegan Certification for its proactively developed Vegicaps 250 mg algal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) capsules. Catalent’s Complete Omega Suite provides a robust portfolio of innovative market-ready products, allowing marketers to bring differentiated products with novel ingredients to market faster.

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Catalent (more information, website)