The new era of personalized medicine is upon us. As consumers gain more access to information on what makes their bodies unique, the health and wellness category is becoming laser focused thanks to genomic testing and better designed lab tests. Our own Dr Geo Espinoza says ,"No two people are the same, and the only way to treat disease effectively is to see that there is no one way. Treatment is usually better when personalized (Read more here on personalized medicine from his blog)."
A recent study from Nutrition Business Journal called the Practitioner Issue offers up some valuable information on how product formulators can better meet the needs of consumers and their doctors. Number one is follow the science. With leading health journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association traditionally taking a hard line against dietary supplements, many practitioners turn a blind eye to studies that are too small and too flawed.
Four factors stood out among the practitioners surveyed:
- Practitioners only get clients, when they see results, so efficacy is paramount.
- Practitioners are hungry for educational opportunities from brands.
- Brand loyalty is strong in the practitioner channel.
- New brands face challenges breaking in to the new channel.
The latter point brings up an interesting conundrum. While it may be tempting for your company to always look for the next unknown ingredient, practitioners want formulations backed by clinical science that shows repeatable results. That may be as simple as the right form of a tried and true vitamin, mineral or botanical. "Among practitioners surveyed by NBJ, clinical trials for the products was the third most important factor in choosing what brands they’d sell, right behind efficacy and trust. For practitioners, especially the MDs, science is always the question and the answer is always “more,”" wrote Rick Polito, NBJ's editor and chief.
The top three reasons a physician chooses a brand include:
- Efficacy of formulations
- Trust in the manufacturing process
- Clinical trials related to the brand.
So whose responsibility is it to provide efficacy and trust? That would be both manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. So the next time you are tempted to formulate with the next hot ingredient with cold science, think again. Practitioners want evidence-based nutrients that provide healthy outcomes and trust.
As the NBJ study concludes, "Naturopaths, chiropractors and acupuncturists have always been central to the plot, but more MDs join the integrative medicine community every day, and the growing field of players now includes more certified nutrition specialists and health coaches than ever before. Dentists, optometrists, physician assistants and specialist are now part of the story. Nutrition is making inroads—and sales—in professions where penetration was shallow to nonexistent in years past."
For more information on retail and professional practitioner lines of dietary supplement lines that trust the gold standard science from Cypress Ingredients, click here. For more information on how to include our scientifically proven ingredients in your products, click here.
By Kimberly Lord Stewart, Director of Content Strategy, Cypress Ingredients and editor in chief and director content for Today's Practitioner.