Cashing in on the wellness trend
Sales of vitamins and minerals represent a $6.5 billion book of business that’s growing at a 5.2% clip across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 3, 2013, according to IRI.
(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)
Don’t expect that growth rate to taper off anytime soon. Because not only is dietary supplementation a key component of many consumers’ overall health-and-wellness regimens, but dietary supplements also has been projected to save billions of healthcare dollars when healthcare costs are under a microscope.
A recent Frost and Sullivan report determined that supplementation at preventive intake levels in high-risk populations can reduce the number of medical events associated with heart disease, age-related eye disease, diabetes and bone disease in the United States, representing the potential for significant cost savings.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of total healthcare expenses are spent on caring for people with preventable diseases, with only 3% spent on prevention. That’s a significant upside opportunity.
Currently, product segments contributing large-scale growth to the category are gender-specific multivitamins, biotin, melatonin, Co Q-10, vitamin D, vitamin B-12 and vision formula multivitamins, noted Doug Jones, Pharmavite spokesman.
Probiotics, gummy vitamins and immunity health also are hot categories.
Mediterranean diet may reduce risk of diabetes
PHILADELPHIA — Older patients at high risk for heart disease who follow a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil do not need to restrict calories, increase exercise or lose weight to prevent diabetes, according to an article being published in Annals of Internal Medicine that was released Monday.
Lifestyle interventions that induce weight loss have been shown to decrease incident diabetes to as low as 50%. Researchers sought to determine if following a Mediterranean diet could reduce incident diabetes without counting calories, increasing physical exercise or losing weight. More than 3,500 older adults without diabetes and at high risk for cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either EVOO or mixed nuts or to a low-fat control diet.
Participants in the Mediterranean diet groups primarily ate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Their diets were rich in fats from EVOO or mixed nuts. Participants in the control group were instructed to reduce dietary fat intake from all sources. Dieticians provided periodic training sessions to help patients adhere to their diets and participants in all three groups were not required to restrict calorie intake or increase physical activity.
After four years, participants following the Mediterranean diets had a substantial reduction in the risk for Type 2 diabetes compared to those in the control group. Researchers conclude that a Mediterranean diet may have public health implications for diabetes prevention because it is palatable and sustainable.
Virgin Pulse launches wearable activity tracking device
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Virgin Pulse on Tuesday introduced Virgin Pulse Max, an engagement and activity tracking device, as well as a new mobile app, Virgin Pulse Mobile. Max directly integrates into the Virgin Pulse software platform, enabling users to create personalized challenges based on individual program goals and track activity such as daily steps, calories burned, distance covered and active minutes of exercise.
Combining features like Bluetooth, unique “bump challenges” and employer branding capabilities, Max makes it easy and fun to create a culture of wellness across any organization by engaging and encouraging employees with personalized messages that nudge them to meet their specific program goals. Virgin Pulse is currently the only corporate wellness provider to offer its own proprietary device, the company stated.
The company also introduced a new mobile app Tuesday, Virgin Pulse Mobile. Users can now view their game dashboard and status, accept challenges from colleagues and friends and track self-entered activities like swimming. The new app offers full integration with the new Max device via Bluetooth.
Max is a sleek, black and water resistant device that can be worn in various places including the hip, neck and wrist. Virgin Pulse provides a hub of consumer-focused strategies and innovative tools that combine to drive real change across every aspect of life — including physical, emotional, social and financial health to improve an employee’s total quality of life. Max is the latest addition to Virgin Pulse’s suite of products.