Why booming demand for health products requires proper packaging

With the popularity for vitamins and other health products continuing to rise, manufacturers must ensure that their products are appropriately packaged in order to minimise risk states Selig’s Peter Tindale, sales director.

These are worrying times – and more than ever, people are concerned about their health and wellbeing. There is rising consumer demand for health products such as vitamins and nutraceuticals. However, this has recently been tempered by caution and a desire that products are suitably packaged in order to guarantee safety.

Growth markets

The growth in demand for vitamins, over the counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals is a modern success story – which shows no sign of slowing down.

For instance, the global market for nutraceuticals is estimated to grow at more than 7% each year, says a new study from PMMI Business Intelligence. This values the market at around $373bn by 2025. Nearly $80 billion of this is in the USA alone, says the report.

Some examples here include foods such as yoghurts and juices that are fortified with probiotics. This is particularly prevalent in Europe – where consumers prefer ‘functional foods’ rather than pills, says the report.

Related products are growing in similarly healthy fashion. The vitamins market was valued at nearly $5bn in 2017 – and is projected to exceed $7bn by 2023, says a report from Markets and Markets. This is driven by factors including a higher prevalence for vitamin deficiencies and higher demand for enriched processed food. Another element, slightly higher up the food chain, is feed fortification – due to a global rise in the consumption of meat and dairy products.

OTC demand

However, the largest sustained growth – at more than 8% per year – is expected for OTC pharmaceuticals. A report from Mordor Intelligence says that the vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) segment forms the largest portion of this (accounting for around 20% of the market). While North America will dominate the market over the period – due mainly to many drugs switching from prescription to OTC – the highest growth will be seen in the Asia-Pacific region, and to a certain extent in Latin America.

The weight-loss and dietary products segment is likely to see the highest individual growth, said the report – due to rising awareness of the dangers of obesity. Overall, weight-loss and VMS products account for about a quarter of the market. One reason is that there is large customer demand for these products – as they are taken as a ‘precaution’ rather than as a treatment or cure.

Packaging preferences

Packaging is a thorny issue these days, with a growing backlash against plastics. However, while there are some moves to shift from plastics to paper – in nutraceuticals, for instance – there is still a widespread acceptance of plastics.

A recent report from Grand View Research revealed that consumers prefer plastic packaging – including jars, canisters and bottles – for supplements such as vitamins. It also revealed a major trend towards flexible packaging that can offer high levels of protection to the product. As well as saving weight, this type of packaging – which designed correctly – can offer protection against oxidation, moisture ingress and microbes.

PMMI’s report on nutraceuticals backs this up – saying that the trend is moving away from rigid packaging and towards pouches and stick packs.

Hygienic design

With the Coronavirus continuing to worry consumers, there are concerns that packaging should not only protect the contents – but also remain safe after opening. Some methods of packaging involve poking a finger through a paper or foil seal. In the current climate, that could be unhygienic and potentially dangerous.

An example of a solution that overcomes this is easy-open induction sealing, such as Selig’s Top Tab tamper seal. The seal, which is typically applied to bottles, is easy to remove and is less likely to introduce pathogens or contaminants when opened. In addition, the half-moon seal offers optimum re-sealability and protection.

Health products such as vitamins and supplements are an important way of staying healthy. Ensuring that they are packaged correctly will help to reassure consumers that the products remain safe during the trying times of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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