As consumers look for ways to lead healthier lives, they are also driving up the sales of nutraceuticals, both in the U.S. and around the world. How do producers protect these goods with their steadily rising values?
The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines nutraceuticals — a combination of the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical” — as fortified foods or dietary supplements that are held to provide health or medical benefits in addition to their basic nutritional value. (A broader definition also includes functional foods and beverages and nutricosmetics, such as antiwrinkle creams. The discussion in this blog is limited to fortified foods and supplements.) In recent years, more people are using diet as a way to improve wellness. As a result, the demand for functional food products, such as special varieties of oats, nuts and berries, has surged considerably. Demand for dietary supplements is also expected to increase over the next few years.
North America dominated the global nutraceuticals market in 2014 with a share of more than 39.6% in terms of value. That share is expected to increase as residents of North America become more health conscious. The global nutraceutical industry is expected to reach approximately 205 billion USD in 2017. Jeff Beer, Technical Director of Research & Development for Fres-co System USA, advises that flexible packaging offers many benefits to the producers of nutraceuticals.
“Flexible packaging is designed to protect these increasingly valuable products against the potential threats posed by dehydration, moisture and oxidation,” says Beer. “In that way, we can help extend the product’s shelf life. Flexible packaging also saves space and weight. Just consider how big and bulky a fiber drum is. Then compare that dimensional space and weight to one of our stand up pouches, once the product has gone through a bag sealing machine. It’s easier and potentially cheaper to ship that way, then once you add a zipper to the pouch, as we can, dispensing becomes that much easier for the consumer.”
Information printed clearly
Another advantage that effective flexible packaging provides the consumers of nutraceuticals is detailed instructions right on the package. Many of these products, while safe when used on their own, can interact with traditional medicines. The results of these interactions may be either to reduce or even intensify the effectiveness of the drug or, worse, combine for a harmful effect. For example, certain ingredients may decrease the effectiveness of anticoagulation medicines used to combat hypertension (high blood pressure). “Of course, the producers of nutraceuticals want to reduce or eliminate interactions with prescription medicines or other possible serious side effects,” says Beer. “If information on proper use, dosage and more is highly readable right on the package, flexible packagers can help to eliminate those problems. That requires high-quality printing, so producers must be sure that their packagers can provide that.”
Fres-co System USA, Inc. provides flexible packaging to a wide variety of industries, including companies that produce supplemental health products. Contact us to start planning your nutraceutical product’s packaging; and learn how we can help you design a packaging that will protect your product, relay important information to your customer, and add shelf appeal.