NAMING NAMES in Immune Health An update on branded immune-support ingredients.


What’s in a name? For branded

immune-support ingredients,

the answer may be: quite a lot.

After all, you can’t fault foggy-headed consumers

for letting their eyes glaze over at

the indistinguishable bottles of C, zinc, and

Echinacea crowding immune-supplement

shelves. In such an environment, any ingredient

that can shout above the din is bound

to gain an advantage.

But brand backing brings more than

just name recognition; it can also mean

having the full support of a marketing and

research team to help your product—and

the branded immune-health ingredient it

contains—stand out even brighter.

As Mike Bush, CEO, Ganeden (Cleveland),

puts it, “Consumers are taking a more proactive

approach to their health, reading labels

more closely and doing research on specif c

ingredients fortif ed into products.” T ey

take these measures because they’re looking

for quality, particularly when addressing

their and their family’s immune health. Says

Bush, “Functional immune ingredients that

are recognizable and have research showing

health benef ts reassure these consumers.”

And more often than not, it’s a brand name

that sparks that recognition.

Educational Advantage

Branded health ingredients are nothing new

to dietary supplements, and that’s as true of

immune-support formulations as it is of any

other wellness category. But, says Elyse N.

Lovett, MBA, MS, marketing manager, Kyowa

Hakko USA, Inc. (New York City), “T ere’s definitely

more recognition among consumers

for branded immune support lately.”

Why? “I believe that consumers want to

know where their ingredients come from and

why they work,” she says. Social media’s sway,

as well as what she calls “Millennial marketing

and ‘inf uencer’ marketing” of er branded

immune-support ingredients the opportunity

to make a name for themselves—literally—

“and let consumers educate themselves on the

ingredients that are out there.”

T e availability of these educational resources

is a core advantage of brand backing.

“Branded ingredients help consumers understand

exactly what a product is fortif ed

with,” Bush notes, “and allow manufacturers

to show specif c research and information on

those ingredients, which generic ingredients

can’t always provide.”

Prove It!

Lovett agrees. “Most branded ingredients are

backed by signif cant human clinical research,”

she says. And clinical research that produces

statistically signif cant results, especially in

the immune category, is essential to making

ef cacy claims, “as well as claims that

the consumer understands.”

Such has been the case with probiotics,

which have witnessed a burst in popularity

not just for the digestive benef ts that established

their reputation, but also for newly

elucidated ef ects on immunity. Nonetheless,

the probiotics category comprises a

broad and diverse range of strains, and as

Bush says, “all research and health benef ts

are strain specif c.”

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