future of supplements
A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.
Snaxshot is ad-free as we are community funded, if you enjoy our content, contribute here. 🤗
🔮 Peek into the future:
Our supplemental future is evolving.
Rise of science backed supplements
Community x tech = GenZ Suppl
Oracular Spectacular, curation of new products
Spoonful of news
Those born in 2000 at the turn of the millennium, are now full blown adults. Let that sink in 90s kids —quick grab an adaptogenic shot from your handy dandy open pantry shelves to offset the incoming panic attack. If you read “Geriatric Millennials” you know our generation is being diagnosed with chronic illnesses at an incredibly depressing rate, we’re aging, and doing so pretty badly. Not that younger generations can say they are fairing off any better than us, considering that food is increasingly devoid of nutrients as our soil continues to be depleted from gargantuan demand to over consume, it’s no surprise, dietary supplements have experienced an exponential boom and have become such a lucrative business.
Originally, dietary supplements were called “accessory substances” a term that was later changed to “vitamine” —in 1912, Polish-born biochemist Casimir Funk discovered that four chemical substances — B1, B2, C and D — seemed “vital” to body health. Thinking they all came from the amines chemical family (amino) Funk called them “vital amines” derived from Latin “vita” life, and amines, well that’s pretty obvious. During WW2 and as Americans about to serve underwent health inspections, the US realized 1/3 of those enlisting suffered from disabilities stemming from poor nutrition—from there President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided Americans needed help improving their diets. The U.S. government began to focus on better nutrition and more research is poured into this space, this is when multivitamins and mineral supplements begin to hit mass market, making it easier for them to meet the recommended daily amount of nutrients. (Suddenly the origins of Captain America make so much more sense now)
By mid 1950s, vitamins are incorporated into the everyday American diet, with many bottles designed to be kept at the dinner table and eaten alongside meals, according to the Science History Institute. The benefits of megavitamin therapy began to be documented by Linus Pauling and other scientists in the 60s, around the same time, celebrities and pop culture icons are used to further entice consumers, best illustrated by 1968’s Flintstones vitamins. By the 1970s, there were many high-dose multivitamins available on the market and in 1973, a company called MegaFood started making vitamins from real food and others began using plant-based ingredients rather than synthetic ingredients and artificial additives
More nutrients and super-foods have been discovered over time and added into multivitamin blends. As these vitamins have evolved, regulations began to take hold and ensure all products suit the public. Enter the ‘Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994‘, which is still current and which seeks to protect consumers from the dietary claims of supplement manufacturers. This Act provides that consumers have the right to know all dietary information contained in any food supplements before they purchase it, hence the comprehensive and accurate labeling that we see on labels today.
By the 2010s, marketers of gummy vitamins start targeting adults. By 2016, these gummies account for nearly 8% of the nation’s $6 billion in multivitamin sales, according to the Nutrition Business Journal and IBISWorld. Unfortunately, some gummy vitamins contain up to 8 grams (the equivalent of 2 teaspoons) of sugar per dose, so yes technically you’re aiding your body, but you’re also ingesting an insane amount of sugar. Today, choices seem infinite from gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, as well as the products that include multiple varieties for different stages of life from childhood right through to the elderly and many target specific concerns such as heart health.
Billion Dollar Deficiencies
—Between 2000 and 2020, retail sales of nutritional vitamins have more than doubled from $17B to $40B in the United States.
—FMI predicts that the market will reach $252B by 2025, reflecting a CAGR of 7.4%.
—Almost 80% of American adults take dietary supplements. With respect to the types of supplements being taken, vitamins & minerals continue to be most commonly consumed supplement category.
—In the UK, over 71% of adults are taking food supplements, a 19% increase post-pandemic with 1/3 saying that COVID was a catalyst to taking them.
—In Brazil, almost 60% of adults claim to take some kind of food supplement. In Mexico, almost 50% of adults report taking dietary supplements.
— Last year, the Asia Pacific supplements market size was valued at $140B, estimated growth at CAGR of 8.2% a bit higher than US.
—Surprisingly, the number of class actions against dietary supplements has actually decreased.
—Not surprisingly, wearables are driving sales of supplements, as consumers become more health conscious.
The New Food Pharmacy
It’s been over 100 years since vitamins came into existence, and in 2022 supplements can be found in the form of THC vitamins and usual pills being replaced by whole food bites, which if you think about it, represents them finally coming full circle. Take Gem for example, founded in 2019, creates cube-shaped bites are chock full of things like spirulina, turmeric and valerian root to provide natural sources of nutrition for various purposes ranging from sleep support and general immunity to overall health, Rootless, recently founded uses a similar approach, focusing on seaweed’s nutrient dense qualities.
Sourse’s chocolate bites that resemble a childhood favorite candy features biotin-infused bites for supporting stronger and longer hair and nails; and mood bites which contain vitamin D3 and saffron to help reduce stress, boost serotonin and lower cortisol. Kindroot’s adaptogen candies, which they cleverly call “adaptogems” was crafted by a herbalist and a candy scientist, represent a different kind of functional supplement vita-edibles blur the line between snacking and supplements.
Want to chat more snax?Join our Discord with over 1,870 snaxpals!
Want more greedy snaxboi? We curate daily on Instagram.
As the generation of instant gratification, it should come to no surprise that supplements would also evolve in the form of RTD’s ready-to-drink, because while powders are great form and having to add drops to our drinks isn’t necessarily time consuming or overbearing, if we can have it ready to go and have it double as a way of signaling, we prefer it. Below are some examples of supplement powders that have evolved to fit millennials RTD craze, equal parts convenient and aesthetically pleasing. If Athletic Greens is reading, here’s a question, wen RTD?
The protein powder market is an ever growing one, estimated to be worth $20 billion by the end of the decade, the RTD version of it is also poised to reach $2 billion during the sam period of time.
Slate is a prime example of the Millenial-fication of protein supplements, lactose-free, low sugar, and RTD, the Boston based brand has most recently raised $5 million in seed funding.
We discussed the rise of collagen RTDs in depth in a previous issue, we highly recommend you check it out here, but the TLDR is that vital proteins crawled so the DTC pastel likes of Dune could run, think bottled Botox.
In “Functional Unwinding” we deep dive into the rise of “adaptogenic everything” blending powder adaptogens into smoothies are not necessary when you have adaptogenic seltzers.
Back in 2020 we told you to expect a meteoric boom in this space considering gut health had become the new bliss. Here’s a fun fact, microbiome as a search term has increased over 300% since the mid 2010s
Kora represents the future of this category, a brand that is being created by MIT scientists specializing in microbiome, it represents the future of science backed function.
The global nootropics market has been valued at $2 billion in 2020 and is estimated to be growing at a CAGR of 15% until the end of this decade.
Update is a brand that represents the future of this category, as it also is a beverage that has used scientists to formulate an ingredient that would further increase focus as well as boost energy without a crash.
This supplement has seen a boost in sales and interest, with the market estimated to be valued at $1.2 billion by 2025. Studies have shown that magnesium helps as a mood regulator, and considering most adults are found to be magnesium deficient, this category is one that will continue to see increased growth, from BigFood to emerging players, magnesium RTDs keep coming out.
The global spirulina market was valued at $400 million back in 2019 and is projected to reach almost $1 billion by the end of the decade, with a projected CAGR of 10.5%—popularized by Instagram wellness influencers in the past decade, blue smoothies decorated with fruits and nuts, and drizzled with date syrup, spirulina popularity has risen enough that we now have spirulina seltzers.
Ful is part of the climate positive movement in drinks, as spirulina is also known as an ingredient that helps recycles CO₂ emitted by other processes into the oxygen. Based in the Netherlands, Ful began as a bottled product and most recently released their spritzers.
The global chlorophyll extract market size was estimated at $250 million in 2021, and it is estimated to almost double in value by the end of the decade, registering an estimated CAGR of 8%. Usually taken as pill supplements or drops added into the beverage, it has most recently permeated into RTD.
Plant Water is a company based in Australia, apart from chlorophyll it also contains 18 blended nutrients and minerals sourced locally.
In “Wearable Wonka” we deep dived into the emerging trend of wearables-forward food, that is food that is being designed based on our biometrics tracked by these, as well as part of the “science backed function” movement. Two supplement companies of note in the intersection of this space are:
Good Idea: Brought to life by the founder of Oatly as well as the founder of Fiji water, an ingredient created by a renown female scientist, that is a supplement taken alongside meals to counteract sugar spikes, that in turn regulate energy, they have many examples of how they are using wearables to measure that their beverage actually serves a function.
Ketone IQ: There’s no denying we’ve seen the rise of keto diets, as state of ketosis offers a myriad of benefits, at CES this year the first ketone measuring wearable was announced, in line with science backed function trend. RTD ketosis is on the rise, and Ketone IQ offers it in a shot format.
Seizing New Supplements
Whether it’s Gen Alpha and Gen Beta (those born post 2025) the rise in supplement snacks aimed at children is still an untapped market, see Yoga Superfuel, as well as a growing interest in menstrual supplements (seed cycling, PMS support) see Phasey and most recently, the rise in pre and post natal supplements in the form of snacks, see Tend.
In the old days you were either a Joe Rogan, sup’bro biting into a piece of raw meat while uploading TikToks of you wearing a “Kale is Bullshit” tee, or you may have been Goop’ed by Gwinny Paltrow, even after spending time in the ER trying to remove an overpriced jade egg out of your body. For the longest time, it felt like taking supplements meant belonging to either side of this “supplementrum” —that is until Sea Moss Girlies came into the scene. Founded by Kate Glavan, and Emma Roepke, (both 23) their community of over 25K followers and 4K Geneva members, composed of predominantly teens and young adults, what is known now as the go-to source and hub for for GenZ folk who are interested in wellness.
As opposed to the one-person cultish vibes that both Sup’Bros or Gooped exude, centering it around a leader Joe Rogan and Gwyneth Paltrow’s exploration and take on wellness, Sea Moss Girlies offers a more community-oriented approached, using their spaces whether on Instagram, Geneva or their infamous podcast to explore “What the fuck is seamoss?” and other qualms the new generation may have around the commodification of wellness, there is no leader, everyone can partake in identifying as a Sea Moss Girlie. They speak their generation’s language better than any media company trying to pose as cool by adding “bestie” at the end of every tweet, they communicate to their congregation in the likes of memes and shitposting, shying away from pristine “Girlboss” vibes that plagued our generation for too long, creating content that’s equal parts educational and chaotic.
Sea Moss Girlies represents the future of supplements that combines commerce, community and tech, through SUPPL, the young founders aim to take on the friction points that exist in the wellness space, bridging education gaps that exists, which is something that in the past has been exploited to shill you out products based on pure cult-belief as opposed to building out the actual needs of a community. Their vision involves communal testing, wearables and a gamified supplement experience that involves a digital universe where you can create a “SUPPL” you. As I stated in Bon Appetit last week, the era of GOOP-style snacks is coming to an end, and thank goodness for that. Sea Moss Girlies represent a more hopeful and community oriented supplement world, one that fosters curiosity and interest in wellness, but also leverages tech to help back their function.
A subsidiary of the Snax Television Network
Shhhhhhhhh!!!! My favorite show’s about to start “What’s New, You Ask?”
Crooked Owl: Hard tepache is booming, soon to launch, Crooked Owl is the latest launch in this space.
Read the Ingredients: Functional bread loads that promote food literacy.
Daydrink: Obsessed with this coffee bean packaging, though I’ve been told it’s not the best for it.
EZZ: A relaxation drink hailing from Belgium.
Cheerie Lane: Have never seen popcorn pods, find it super innovative, wherein the pod is placed inside a pot and emerges as handfuls of popcorn in a few minutes.
Nebula: Recently launched plant based, sugar-free chocolate based in Austin.
Spoonful of News 🥄
Madre’s long awaited RTD, Desert Water is launching soon in May.
Ranch Rider releases a new margarita RTD.
PopUp Grocer opens in DC on May 6th.
Beyonce invests in Lemon Perfect’s $31 million series A.
Kraft Heinz launches dip and chips, taking a page out of Sabra.
Snax Concierge 🛎️
🔮 Check out our Discord for PROMO CODES of your favorites!
🔮 Share with your friends and let them know forecasting trends is the new astrology: