The prospect of swallowing bitter, tasteless or chunky tablets and capsules has always been off-putting for almost all consumers. Health and wellness, being a top priority for everyone, now more than ever before, nutraceutical and supplement manufacturers have zeroed-in on the perfect ‘delivery mechanism’ – orally disintegrating strips (ODS). Simple enough for elders and children alike, without compromising on efficacy and potency, this area is poised to score big.
Gone are the days when one has to take supplements in the form of pills. Many of us feel unpleasant sometimes due to its size or the taste and the way it has to be gulped down the throat. Companies are going the extra mile and looking for new initiatives to come up with user-friendly ways of providing supplements and orally disintegrating strips can be a game-changer in this field.
The Indian dietary supplement market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 17.28 per cent until FY2026, reaching $10 billion by FY2026. With a growing base of consumers looking for innovations in supplements, the orally disintegrating strips market seems to have a bright future in the coming years.
According to Lois Mo, Marketing Director, Health & Wellness, APAC, ADM, innovative supplements offering more format variety and personalisation can add value to consumers. Flexible, convenient, and enjoyable formats have returned to capture consumers’ interest and nutrient-rich strips are just one of the vast pools of nutritional supplement formats that have become increasingly common and popular in India.
Globally consumers are taking a proactive approach to improving their health and wellness. As a result, many brands are turning to functional ingredients that can support health concerns in a wide range of delivery formats that fit with their lifestyle, are convenient and taste great.
Due to the pandemic, millennial consumers are over twice as likely to buy more vitamins and are seeking supplement experiences that are both convenient and enjoyable and this is where the future of the strips market stands.
Scottsdale-based Refyned has completely changed how vitamin supplements can be taken, creating a convenient and pleasant way toward better nutrition. The unique oral-film technology allows Refyned to use lower doses in each supplement, which in turn can reduce long-term side effects and overall, be more effective. The supplement strips are portable and easy to consume are currently offered for two specific nutritional needs, with more varieties to be released in the coming months. It has two products Sleep+ and D3 Sunshine Support.
David Trecek, CEO, Refyned, said“We’re confident we have created a product that will appeal to consumers who are looking for a better way to take supplements.”
Leading FMCG direct selling company Amway India has introduced a range of nutrition supplements in the form of mouth dissolving jelly strips under its flagship brand Nutrilite. The company’s D-fence – the mouth dissolving jelly strips containing Vitamin D3 to support bone health and immunity.
Today, with the youth spending time mostly indoors, leading to sunlight deprivation and deficiency in Vitamin D, and with prolonged exposure to blue light radiation from various digital devices, it is equally important to address the need to maintain bone health and eye health as well along with maintaining overall health and immunity.
Says Anshu Budhraja, CEO, Amway India said, “Giving impetus to our focus in the areas of personalised and simplified nutrition, especially for the youth, we expect this new range to meet their expectations and everyday nutrition needs and thereby contribute significantly to our overall nutrition category.”
Bengaluru-based startup BonAyu Lifesciences has been innovating drug delivery through thin strips. The startup has raised $1.3 million. Their recent breakthrough was increasing the dosage limit from 40 mg to 150 mg. The thin strip gets absorbed through the mucous membrane and directly goes into the blood and the absorption rates are much higher.
Swiss-based health and wellness company NanoVeda has developed fast-dissolving nutritional strips. Rakshit Mehta, Founder, NanoVeda, a health and wellness company says, “With NanoVeda strips, we offer a smarter way to health by making it easy to take your pills without taking pills. Just peel, place a strip on your tongue, and the nutrients and ingredients are quickly absorbed into your body because of the advanced nanotechnology we use.”
Strips are easily dissolvable and result in quick action and high effectivity and come with zero sugar content. Compared to current tablet formats that enter the blood system through the gastrointestinal intact, such formulations often require higher doses and generally have a delayed onset of action. Oral strips, on the other hand, enter the blood system through absorption which yields quicker onsets of action at lower doses.
Brand preference, facilitating consumption, improving compliance, and also limiting dosing errors which help avoid counterfeiting are the biggest benefits. Besides, strip packaging has excellent moisture resistance, gas barrier, and light-shielding properties, allowing the protected quality and guarantee of every single tablet. Secondary packaging such as pillow packaging is also not required.
Hitesh Dhingra, Founder, The Man Company opines, “Before foraying into the wellness category, we invested years in meticulous and comprehensive research and development. Our research concluded that strips are significantly more beneficial, convenient, and cost-effective than traditional nutraceutical methods.”
According to Gaurav Kaushik, Managing Director, Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals, “Child resistance and elderly-friendly is another most valued benefit of strips. Besides being user-friendly, it is also a fast and production output friendly for industry, easy availability of machinery, can be operated by semi-skilled labourers and cost-effectiveness and major factors in support.”
According to ADM Research, the future of the strips market is one that brands should pay close attention to, as alternative dosage formats continue to gain consumer support.
Orally disintegrating strips of strengths 1 mg and 2 mg have been developed in India. Looking at the current trends of Orally Dissolving Film (ODF), such film technology has become more popular due to its unique advantages like good patient compliance, bypass first-pass metabolism and non-invasive direct systemic bioavailability. At the same time, ODF technology needs a more sophisticated manufacturing facility to control its critical process parameters, keeping bioactive intact under high manufacturing temperature and pressure and less drug loading capacity, which remain a major challenge for the new product development.
Companies are optimistic that the strip market will continue to flourish. Users today are positively focusing on adopting holistic wellness approaches. Mostly because a large number of millennials and Gen Z consumers are suffering from lifestyle issues like irregular sleep cycles or lethargy and want to nurture their immunity strength. To address these modern problems, modern solutions are required. This is where the advent of the nutraceutical strips market is stirring up the hitherto wellness category.
Many companies are in this field and are always on the lookout to grab the market share with innovations. With growing consumer awareness and user-friendly features, the orally disintegrating strips market will flourish in days to come.