Trend Watch: Marketing Superfoods with Health Claims
Superfood supplements are those that contain concentrated forms of nutrient-rich foods, also known as superfoods. These supplements are marketed by health and wellness brands as a convenient way to obtain the health benefits associated with consuming these foods (such as leafy green, nuts, berries, etc...), without consuming them in their natural form. Though, they are typically advertised as an addition to a varied and balanced diet rather than a full substitute for it.
Superfoods are typically high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds, such as phytochemicals and flavonoids. Supplement brands market superfood supplements in various ways, often emphasizing the potential health benefits of consuming these foods. They may use claims such as "boosts immunity," "supports heart health," or "promotes healthy digestion." Brands may also highlight the convenience of these supplements, such as their ability to provide a concentrated dose of nutrients in a small package.
Some brands may use celebrity endorsements, social media influencers, or other marketing tactics to promote their superfood supplements. In this blog post, we’ll overview some of the techniques we’re seeing brands use to market their superfood supplements effectively to consumers using clinically backed health claims.
How Do Supplement Brands Use Health Claims to Market Superfood Supplements?
Supplement brands use health claims to market their superfood supplements by highlighting the potential health benefits associated with consuming these foods. For example, a brand might use a health claim such as "boosts immunity" to suggest that their superfood supplement can help support the immune system. Other common health claims used to promote superfood supplements include:
Supports cardiovascular health
Promotes healthy digestion
Supports brain health
Promotes healthy skin
These claims are often supported by research on the health benefits of the superfoods included in the supplement. For example, a brand might cite studies that show that consuming blueberries can help improve cognitive function, and then use a health claim such as "boosts focus" to promote their blueberry-containing supplement.
Consider “Big Picture” Validated Health Claims Instead
Supplement brands can also support their product’s health claims through clinical research on their formulas as a whole. This is more effective than simply citing existing research for individual ingredients because it demonstrates to your customers that your product’s ingredients work in conjunction with each other and that the specific combination you offer touts validated health benefits.
Are Health Claims Regulated?
Health claims for dietary supplements are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In order to make a health claim, the supplement brand must provide scientific evidence to support the claim. The FDA then evaluates the evidence to determine if the claim is supported by scientific research. Health claims that are not supported by sufficient scientific evidence are not allowed.
This is furthered by the recent tightening of regulations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which now requires product claims to be validated through some form of research, such as clinical trials or consumer perception studies. (Make sure your brand knows the new rules!)
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