The food supplement industry is bigger and better than ever. From seniors looking for longevity to young people seeking mental and physical performance boosts, there’s something for everyone in the world of supplements — and plenty of money to be made.
Designing and producing great products combines science, engineering, and lots of research. But even the best supplements need proper packaging materials to realize their full market potential. With competition ramping up, packaging can be a decisive factor in product quality and customer perception.
Let’s discuss the do’s and don’ts of supplement packaging to help you know you’ve covered the bases and help you better reach your financial goals. Let’s get started.
What Is Supplement Packaging?
Whether they come in capsule, powder, gummy, or any other format, all modern supplements need to be packaged for consumer markets. Even wholesale suppliers must meet rising standards for supplement packaging when selling to retailers since products will navigate shipping routes and storage.
Therefore, nutritional supplement packaging must be addressed on a macro and micro scale, accounting for the full spectrum of supply chain challenges and ever-changing customer expectations.
The supplement industry is exploding, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 9% projected in the years to come. As a result, product packaging is now a domain of competitive differentiation as brands go head-to-head for slices of market share.
What Is Supplement Packaging Used For?
Supplement packaging isn’t inherently different from other consumer packaged goods (CPG) products, but it’s still a niche industry with a few unique considerations.
Product protection is number one when boxing up supplements, since the ingredients may be susceptible to environmental conditions like heat, oxygen, and moisture. The more fresh botanicals or probiotics in a supplement, the more barrier properties are deemed essential.
Supplement packaging has special labeling needs to ensure product transparency for both consumers and regulatory agencies. Companies are held to a high standard by the FDA and other organizations that seek to protect consumers and ensure ethical practices. A smart label design that catches the eye and includes the information required by law is a must.
Dietary supplement packing is more than just about looks — supplements must also be safe, with all the necessary information printed clearly on each package.
Finally, supplement makers need to set themselves apart from the crowd through packaging. Since branding is so vital to success in this space, it’s especially important to use the service of experienced graphic designers so your vision matches your branding. By and large, supplement products don’t vary too widely regarding their applications and quality.
Packaging can help brands make a name for themselves through imagery, design, user experience, and other winning features.
What Are the Types of Supplement Packaging?
Supplement makers have a broad range of packaging options for their products nowadays, with a mix of old and new technologies to choose from.
Traditionally, supplements have been packaged in rigid containers such as plastic bottles, glass jars, and similar formats with twist-off lids or flip tops. With plastic, tough exteriors with strong barrier properties are best. High density polyethylene (HDPE) is a common material for this purpose, while polyethylene terephthalate can serve as a good rigid alternative.
The standard “pill” container format is proven, but today’s supplement brands are forward thinking with their product design and package tech. Liquid vitamins are now more common, utilizing small glass vials and droppers to give users more direct access to active ingredients.
However, the most significant advancement in recent years has been flexible packaging solutions such as stand up pouches, flat barrier bags, and other formats that offer all the expected benefits and more.
These packages are made from materials such as kraft paperboard, layered polyethylene, along with metallized polymers and high-end BoPET. Producers have plenty of materials to choose from, and the custom packaging options are limitless with flex packaging.
As always, CPG makers need to consider the entire packaging strategy from the outside in, ensuring the maximum protection and efficiency for every layer. Tough paperboard containers are still preferred for shipping boxes. Of course, various wraps and laminates are often used to keep larger shipments of bottles or pouches together in transit.
How Do You Choose the Right Supplement Packaging?
There’s never a cut-and-paste answer to a supplement company’s packaging needs, so always explore these options in full and work with a team like Dymapak to create a custom plan.
In the meantime, be aware of how leading supplement brands are focusing their efforts regarding vitamin packaging, then apply cherry pick these best practices to yield the results you want.
Consider Customer Needs
Customers expect more from their supplements in every regard, from efficacy and cost-effectiveness to the user experience of storage and accessing these products on a daily basis.
Supplement users also expect transparency and clear instructions built into the packaging, with all the relevant information needed to use the product correctly. Extra features like child-resistant packaging, tear notches, and reusable materials are always a great bonus, which is our area of focus at Dymapak.
Match Product Purpose
The package should reflect the purpose of the supplement itself, with an intuitive user experience that matches the brand ethos. If snap-on caps feel outdated for the next-gen appeal of a supplement, consider changing the packaging format to something sleeker.
Powders should come with scoops, liquids should come with droppers, and other quality-of-life features must be included to keep customers happy and returning for the convenience factor.
Pick Flexible Packaging
Rigid packaging has been the norm in supplements for decades, but that’s quickly changing as flexible packaging solutions win out in nearly every category.
Stand up pouches and sealable bags have all the barrier properties you’d expect from classic containers, while cutting down on weight, excess material, and improving the customer experience.
Most importantly, flex packaging offers a contemporary look and feel that every brand can benefit from.
Determine Shipping Requirements
Supplements have a long way to travel to reach their destination and shipping requirements vary by region. The best packaging will offer a more generous timeframe and eliminate concerns about spoiling, breaking, or other potentially wasteful supply chain problems.
Keep in mind that supplements tend to be composed of organic material, meaning they have a window of time in which they must be consumed for maximum efficacy. While supplements might not be perishable, companies are incentivized to package for extended shelf life and the preservation of the product over time.
Don’t Forget Branding
Since so many supplements have similar formulations, branding is key to differentiation. Colors, fonts, and other captivating visual elements can mean the difference between a customer choosing your brand or a competitor’s.
Use packaging as a full-on exercise in branding rather than an afterthought.
Look for Sustainability
Retailers and customers both prioritize sustainability in the products they buy. Pair that with the fact that supplement users are more likely to eco-conscious, and typically have the disposable income to choose the more sustainable option.
Partner with a company like Dymapak which has leading recyclable flex packaging solutions to help give your brand an instant advantage.
Consider Future Expansion
The potential for growth in the supplement space is endless, as consumer needs are constantly evolving with trends and new clinical discoveries. This requires brands to be ready for the next big thing and have a packaging strategy in place for quick deployment.
The Bottom Line
With the supplement industry roaring, the time is now to tap into unique, high-quality packaging solutions. Industry leaders know that packaging will be a difference maker moving forward.
Connect with a trusted packaging partner ASAP and take your brand to new heights.
Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide | FDA
28 Health Supplement Packaging Designs We Love | Dieline
Packaging Considerations for Dietary Supplements | Nutraceuticals World