Vitamin D, kids’ probiotics top of mind for industry

2/9/2009

A number of overarching themes emerged last month from the ECRM Vitamin, Diet & Sports Nutrition conference held in Atlanta, including some product innovations in support of a growing vitamin D segment and a few new brands targeting probiotics for children.

Vitamin D has been making headlines quite often of late, with a rash of peer-journal-published studies in the past year suggesting that supplementing with the sun-friendly nutrient may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease in addition to its bone health benefits, and that Americans are more and more vitamin D deficient, despite the fact that the skin helps manufacture vitamin D from exposure to the sun.

But vitamin D, as a letter vitamin offering, has long held a space on the vitamin shelves at retail. Looking to breath a little life into the category, Botanical Labs showcased its latest liquid vitamin D offering, which is being marketed as “Liquid Sunshine” and provides up to 1,000 IUs of vitamin D for adults and 500 IUs for children based on recommended dosing. Mason Vitamins also had a pair of new vitamin D products at the show, a vitamin D chewable providing 400 IUs of the vitamin for children—the recommended daily value for children used to be 100 IUs, Gary Pigott, Mason SVP sales and marketing, said—and a Vitamin D 5,000, with 5,000 IUs of vitamin D targeting acute care patients, patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer.

Joining Biocodex’s Florastor Kids on retail shelves with a probiotic targeting children, Amerifit Brands is lending its own venerable probiotic brand to the subsegment with the launch of Culturelle Probiotics for Kids, and will be supporting that launch with a $6 million branding campaign. According to the company’s research, kids already make up 60% of probiotic use. Sedona Labs, which already boasts distribution through 3,000 health food doors, presented a full line of probiotic products to mass retail under its i-Flora brand name. In addition to having a SKU targeting children, Sedona also will be introducing a SKU specifically formulated to supplement women’s health.

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