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Author: Alexandra Lecomte

Reinventing nutraceuticals through innovation and consumer insights: Vitafoods 2024

“Innovate, network, and learn.” Three propositions that the 2024 edition of Vitafoods did not fail to present to its 20,000 visitors. Like every year, key trends emerged from the event, shaping the future of the nutraceutical offer. However, keeping up with the changes in a dynamic sector while differentiating themselves from the competition is challenging. One key: identifying, trusting, and responding to consumer insights in the most appropriate way possible.

Present at Vitafoods, the BOTANI BRANDS team analyses two trends observed at Vitafoods 2024.

Gummies get a makeover: innovation at Vitafoods

Unsurprisingly, gummies remain in the spotlight once again at Vitafoods this year – a success also reflected in the sell-out figures of French pharmacies: in just two years, the market has grown from €38 million in 2021 to over €88 million in 2023. This impressive growth of more than 132% is primarily driven by the sleep category, which accounts for 35% of the market, followed by products for sore throats and those for energy and vitality.1,2


Gummies are no longer just about being tasty. The new generation of this initially fun dosage form aims to be more technical and especially more nutritional. This specific positioning is reminiscent of acacia gum lozenges, which, in addition to being rich in fibre, are very low in calories, flavour-revealing, and have a significant environmental and societal impact (see our full article on this topic here)3.

Thus, Vitafoods presented liquid-filled gummies (allowing the incorporation of thermosensitive or naturally incompatible actives), multi-layered gummies to enhance a complex mode of action, or soft-textured gummies that can contain enough actives to limit the dosage to a single daily intake.

Other manufacturers played the “nutrition” card to bypass one of the most limiting characteristics of this dosage form: excessive sugar content. As a result, some 2.0 gummies sport a Nutri-Score A, while other European industrial experts do not hesitate to exploit the double potential of fibres (especially inulin) both as a texturiser and as a prebiotic ingredient.

Prebiotics fuel innovation: a focus on the new ingredients zone at Vitafoods

Prebiotics are also in the spotlight. Alone or combined (with probiotics or post-biotics), their presence in the nutraceutical landscape is increasing.

Driven by advances in research and the growing awareness of populations about their intestinal and immune health, this market is booming: it posted a global growth of 29.5% over the period 2017-2022, with a value of $2.58 billion in 20224.

These fibres promote the growth of “beneficial” gut bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium being the most well-known) by serving as their food substrate.


Galacto-oligosaccharides, fructo-oligosaccharides, beta-glucans, chicory fibre, and inulin… all these compounds have a prebiotic effect and are increasingly seen as future pathways for mineral absorption, blood sugar regulation, digestion, immune function enhancement, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study by Kirsten Berding et al. published in Psychopharmacology (Berl) in January 2021 even revealed that specific dietary fibre supplementation (polydextrose) improved cognitive performance5.

The New Ingredients Zone at Vitafoods carved them a place of choice. Some examples include:

  • Biombalance® grape seed polyphenols from Berkem (since polyphenols have also been recognised for their prebiotic effect since 2017 by the ISAPP – International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics).6
  • Benicaros® from Nutrileads, a prebiotic derived from upcycled carrot juice that claims a low daily dose (300mg) and no intestinal discomfort.
  • Dulse algae cultivated by Arcadian, rich in xylan, a polysaccharide that constitutes its cell wall, and whose complex structure allows it to pass through the upper digestive tract intact to the lower intestine, where it serves as a substrate for the gut microbiota.
  • Hydrolysed guar gum from Zymebase, whose distribution in the body is improved thanks to its molecular weight of 20,000Da.

Health indications, daily dosage, assimilation by the body, source, and origin of prebiotics…: the innovation levers are numerous and promising for the future of this category.

Consumer insight: a catalyst for innovation and brand loyalty

A professional innovation trade show like Vitafoods, although rich in ideas and new concepts, represents only the “tip of the iceberg.” The innovation of tomorrow lies primarily in the habits, motivations, values, and needs of consumers.

Consumer insight could be defined as “the perception of an unresolved problem or dilemma in a product category. Consumer insight is thus the discovery of a need the consumer wasn’t aware of “7.

consumer insights

These insights are revealed through an in-depth analysis and knowledge of the target market and its consumers, their psychology, and their purchasing behaviour.

Through this reflection prism, some products highlighting innovation at Vitafoods take on a new dimension.

For example, orodispersible mini-granules in sticks offered by an Italian CMO to address the recurring (and still unresolved) issue consumers face in swallowing their dietary supplements. Capsules and tablets may hold over 60% of the market share in Europe8, but these classic and “reassuring” dosage forms are not necessarily easy to ingest. Should consumers have to crush a tablet or open a capsule to swallow its contents?

This practical barrier aligns with a more strategic insight for the dietary supplement sector: the pleasure of consumption (see our full article on this topic here)9. It’s no coincidence that food matrices like fruits (from Paradise Fruit), chocolate (from Althae Nutrition), creams, or jellies (from Gricar) are making inroads among traditional pills. These new forms reinforce the natural and historical links between “food and food-supplement,” bringing back pleasure and familiarity to consuming food supplements.

Consumer insights in the food supplement sector are numerous and understanding them is essential in building an innovative product offer.

With its in-depth knowledge of the nutraceutical market, the BOTANI BRANDS team offers to assist you in this process and to develop innovative health solutions with you, from A to Z, that are naturally aligned with the deep aspirations of your consumers.

Would you like to discuss tomorrow’s innovations and benefit from exclusive technologies through our privileged network of industrial partners?

Contact us


  1. GERS DATA top 15 sales figures for gummies
  2. Gummies: Trend or Real Dosage Form Revolution? Stephen Robert
  3. Acacia Gum and Gummies: The Story of a Beautiful Encounter – BOTANI BRANDS blog
  4. GM Insights Prebiotics market size, industry share and growth 2032
  5. Berding, K., Long-Smith, C. M., Carbia, C., Bastiaanssen, T. F. S., van de Wouw, M., Wiley, N., Strain, C. R., Fouhy, F., Stanton, C., Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2021). A specific dietary fibre supplementation improves cognitive performance-an exploratory randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 238(1), 149-163.
  6. Polyphenols and prebiotics – ISAPP
  7. Definition of insight –
  8. Mintel GNPD –
  9. Galenic innovation: the importance of combining effectiveness and pleasure in food supplements – BOTANI BRANDS blog

Plant-based dietary supplements: How can a brand secure and enhance its offering?

With nearly half of dietary supplements containing plant-based ingredients, the French nutraceutical market is striving to meet consumers’ increasing demand for naturalness. However, this successful trend is accompanied by certain pitfalls: issues of adulterating plant material are indeed common in the dietary supplement sector, despite existing regulatory frameworks and controls.

Many brands therefore understand the interest and importance of differentiating themselves by capitalising on the effectiveness and safety of using such products. Some supply chain stakeholders are even spearheading a new activism movement: providing more guarantees and transparency to consumers with a logo on the finished products, endorsing their quality and safety.

Perception of dietary supplements: between enthusiasm and crisis of confidence

It is no longer to be demonstrated that the dietary supplement market has been booming for several decades – the latest figures still indicate an 8% growth on the French officinal network in 20231 – and is driving numerous innovations (let’s take the example of “sensory” galenics, to which we have dedicated a complete article here2). According to a study by Harris Interactive Toluna3, 59% of the French reported consuming dietary supplements between 2020 and 2022. Paradoxically, the overall perception of this product category remains mixed, particularly among non-consumers: “Unclear“, “misleading“, “useless“, and “dangerous” are words frequently used to describe  the image that the French have of them4 expressing scepticism about the safety and the effectiveness of dietary supplements.

Enthusiasts of nutraceutical solutions lament a lack of proof of efficacy with their average satisfaction rating being 6.9/10. On the other hand, a lack of trust is frequently mentioned among non-consumers who feel the need for scientific and medical endorsement5.

the difficult choice of plant-based dietary supplements for consumers

Risks associated with the quality of plant ingredients

One may question people’s distrust. “Dietary supplements: how to decipher the real from the fake? – What are dietary supplements worth? – Are dietary supplements really effective? – Plant-based dietary supplements: health risks – Ineffective or even dangerous.6

Dietary supplements are regularly scrutinised and criticised in the press, raising questions that are equally important as they concern their safety. For those products composed of plants, the central issue revolves around the “real” nature and quality of the plant-based ingredients used.

These can be subject to risks of adulteration, i.e., any practice aimed at deliberately altering, modifying, or contaminating plant-derived products in order to deceive consumers or gain an illegitimate economic advantage.

This alteration can take various forms, such as the addition of foreign substances, dilution, or substituting lower-quality ingredients.

Each of these biases results in an inevitable gap between what is claimed on the labelling of the finished product and its real composition, which can deceive a consumer who has little choice but to “believe what is written.”

Note that unintentional mix-ups or accidental contaminations can also compromise the quality of a plant material and its derived ingredients.

Adulteration or the art of substitution

For example, elderberries (Sambucus nigra) became particularly coveted for their immune properties during the COVID pandemic. The American Botanical Adulteration Prevention Program (BAPP) issued an alert in 2021 revealing that out of 694 samples of elderberry-based products analysed, 119 (17.1%) were adulterated7. The falsification of these preparations frequently involved the addition of undeclared extracts of black rice (Oryza sativa), considerably cheaper than authentic elderberry extracts, as well as substitutions involving other plant extracts rich in anthocyanins and blue or purple food colourings…

From peanut husks masquerading as grape seeds to Japanese pagoda trees pretending to be Ginkgo biloba, all tricks are good to deceive phytochemical analysis devices – which are often not discriminating enough – and make substantial savings by opting for cheaper substitute plants. This results in a degradation of the effectiveness and safety of the concerned finished products.

Dilute to better dominate

In France, the DGCCRF conducted a surveillance survey in 2017 on plant-based dietary supplements available on the French market8. Monitoring focused on the composition and levels of active ingredients in the analysed products. The results revealed a non-compliance rate of 17%, mainly due to discrepancies between the quantities indicated on the labelling and the measured levels.

Perhaps the most frequent but also the most insidious falsification is that the claimed plant is indeed present in the finished product but in quantities too low to expect to achieve the effectiveness promised by the brand and expected by the consumer. According to BotaniCERT, a plant analysis laboratory and plant expert, 47% of plant-based ingredients analysed between 2020 and 2021 were “diluted or highly diluted.” 9

Transparency, effectiveness, and safety: a triple challenge for plant-based product brands

Consumer  demand for transparency is increasingly leading brands to have their products tested or certified by third parties, accredited independent laboratories. For marketers, the challenge is significant: to persuade consumers to choose “value” over price and find a reliable way to guarantee them effectiveness and safety. In 2022, Lisa Thomas, then Marketing and Innovation Director at Herbalife Nutrition, stated: “Third-party certification is an additional level of security offered to consumers. Although our company conducts rigorous audits of our facilities and product testing, there are certain areas where consumers want additional guarantees.”10

The approach, already widespread in the United States, is increasingly being adopted in Europe and notably in France with the recent launch of the first European quality brand for plant-based products.

transparency effectiveness and safety for dietary supplements for an happy consumer

The Botani+ quality brand just recently launched, already adopted

Created in 2023 by BotaniCERT, a French laboratory expert in the monitoring of plant raw materials, the Botani+ brand aims to guarantee consumers safe and effective products.11

Concretely speaking, obtaining the Botani+ brand results in putting a logo on the award-winning finished products.

This easily identifiable logo allows consumers to navigate through a wide and sometimes difficult-to-decipher range of offerings. It is proof that the product in question has successfully passed a series of chromatographic analyses, advanced techniques that allow the separation, identification, and quantification of the chemical components present in plant extracts.

Botani+ approved botanical quality

Phytochemical identification notably ensures that:

  • The plant is indeed the one claimed on the product labelling as well as the part used (leaf, root, etc.)
  • The plant is not mixed with other species
  • The material is not enriched with synthetic or natural molecules
  • Plant actives are present in sufficient quantities to unequivocally authenticate the species present

Dosing the actives ensures that the plant is not excessively diluted and that its concentration is sufficient to ensure the presence of physiological effects in the finished product.

Reassuring for consumers, the Botani+ logo is also a choice indicator for brands wishing to communicate on the rigor and seriousness of their quality approach. VIT’ALL+ and Nonna Lab12,13  were the first ambassadors of this new movement, providing even more transparency and quality in the plant-based dietary supplement market.

As a brand, sparking an initial purchase is one thing, ensuring it is purchased again is another issue. This depends on the satisfaction initially felt by the consumer, which will encourage them to come back to the same product. Effectiveness is essential because it guarantees the market longevity of the product. This is based on the choice of the formula and at least as much on the selection of ingredients.

Do you want to stand out among your consumers and highlight the quality of your range of plant-based products? BOTANI BRANDS is your trusted partner to assist you in launching Botani+ validated products, synonymous with quality, safety, and effectiveness. By combining the skills of our various experts, we are ready to efficiently and effectively orchestrate the development of your plant-based health product. Whether your brief is finalised or still in the consolidation phase, we are here to build on your project and deliver a turnkey solution.

Contact us to discuss your project


  1. GERS data 2023
  2. Galenic innovation: the importance of combining effectiveness and pleasure in food supplements – BOTANI BRANDS Article (
  3. 2022 Barometer of Dietary Supplement Consumption in France (
  4. Challenges and Opportunities of Dietary Supplements by Harris Interactive Toluna for NFBD 2019 (
  5. Statistics corresponding to the question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, are you satisfied with having taken/taking food supplements?”
  6. Headlines about Dietary Supplements
  7. BAPP – Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program – Case of Elderberry Adulteration (
  8. Report of the National Academy of Pharmacy “Dietary Supplements Containing Plants” (
  9. Botanicert – Case of Plant-based Ingredient Falsification – Internal Statistics 2020-2021 (
  10. Herbalife – Certification by Independent Laboratory (
  11. Botani+ First Quality Brand for Plant-based Products (
  12. VIT’ALL+ validated by Botani+ (
  13. Nonna Lab validated by Botani+ (

Galenic innovation: the importance of combining effectiveness and pleasure in food supplements

Galenic pertains to the presentation of a product and how its ingredients are formulated. Its main objective is to optimise the effectiveness of the formula by promoting optimal absorption of its compounds of interest. But it doesn’t stop there… The food supplement market has what it takes to reimagine galenic formulations in more sensory and appealing forms. Beyond a quest for innovation, the goal is to enhance the consumer’s experience and encourage them to complete their treatment. Let’s delve into these formulations that provide a boost to adhering to the treatment.

Galenic formulations for effective results

Galenic formulation takes its name from Claude Galien, the father of modern medicine and pharmacology1. It focuses on the properties of the key active ingredients in a formula, their dosage, and the most suitable way to administer them to ensure effective absorption in the body.

Dynamic and competitive, the food supplement market seems eager to embrace galenic formulation as a differentiation vector. Notably, 63% of French consumers state that the product format is a decisive factor in their purchasing decisions, according to the latest Synadiet observatory survey conducted in 20232.

Optimised release for enhanced bioavailability

The effectiveness of a finished product is based on the proper absorption of its active compounds. Whether they are water-soluble, fat-soluble, sensitive, in powder form, living or inert, the ingredients of a formula may have characteristics that require careful consideration of the appropriate galenic approach.

For instance, consider a sublingual spray recently developed by an Italian developer. Its patented nano-emulsion technology enables the solubilisation of lipophilic molecules insoluble in aqueous solutions, thereby improving the bioavailability of otherwise challenging-to-absorb molecules.

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E are excellent candidates for such a process. Not to mention, key ingredients in successful categories, such as melatonin for sleep or coenzyme Q10 for IN-Out beauty (evaluated as a “high-growth” category with +5.1% growth posted between 2018 and 2023, according to a study on 2024 marketing trends3).

Some CDMOs also offer three-layer tablets, an innovative galenic approach that enhances product performance. By layering ingredients through successive compression, this format allows the separation of incompatible compounds and their controlled release at different locations in the gastrointestinal tract.

Acacia gum, a perfectly suited excipient for buccal administration

Some excipients also play an important role in the action and effectiveness of a formula. One can think of acacia gum (we have dedicated a complete article to it here4). This resin extracted from the Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. tree is not only a fibre with multiple nutritional properties but also a gelling agent perfectly suited for galenic forms like “suck gums.”

Its melting texture allows the gum to stay in the mouth for an extended period, thereby enabling the continuous diffusion of active ingredients into the buccal mucosa5.

Used for a long time in the pharmaceutical industry (an iconic example being the Euphon throat lozenger6), acacia gum is now making its way into the dietary supplement market.

For example, Cooper Laboratories turned to this natural texturiser for its product Collugomme Gorge irritée, launched in 20237. The acacia gum, also known as gum arabic, in Collugomme lozengers promotes the release of essential oils from eucalyptus and peppermint, forming a protective film that relieves irritated throats.

Lehning Laboratories also opted for acacia gum as an excipient for their “Pâtes suisses,” a range of nine sugar-free gummies, including one with vitamin D3, known for its lipophilic nature. The slow dissolution of these acacia gum-based lozenges is particularly advantageous for liposoluble compounds, as studies have shown that the more lipophilic a molecule is, the higher its transbuccal penetration capacity (Beckett and Moffat, 1971, 1969, 1968,9,10).

Galenic formulations for enhanced consumption pleasure

Breaking away from “pharmaceutical codes” marks a turning point for many players in the food supplement sector, leading to the emergence of fun, enjoyable, and even gourmet galenic forms. The goal is clear: make the consumption of food supplements more enjoyable to improve adherence and, consequently, support the effectiveness of the treatment (and ultimately, repeat purchasing).

The “pleasure” promise: a primary axis of food innovation

The World Food Innovation Barometer, a study conducted in 2023 by the Protéines XTC consultancy firm, reveals that pleasure remains the main driver of innovation with the potential to meet consumer expectations11. These expectations are segmented by XTC along five axes: pleasure, health, ethics, form, and practicality. The pleasure axis includes “variety of senses,” “sophistication,” “exoticism,” and “fun.” This is an undeniable source of inspiration for the nutraceutical sector, strengthening its ties with the food market by paying more attention to the “sensoriality” of its solutions.

Stimulating senses and curiosity

Making the consumption experience enjoyable with a hint of “come back for more” is the challenge to meet. Food supplements increasingly allows itself to appeal to consumer’s senses.

Starting with sight: many galenic innovations carefully take care of their physical appearance – consider, for example, UPSA x Nourished gummies – which stand out with their multi-coloured layers, each corresponding to a specific ingredient12.

Some developers are even beginning to explore the sense of smell, a crucial parameter in emotional perception and product memorisation, well-known mechanisms in the world of perfume. In line with this, a CDMO plans to launch scented capsules in 2024.

Some ingredient suppliers also exploit this olfactory and sensory dimension. For example, in 2022, an anti-stress active ingredient was launched, using the retro-nasal route to act on brain areas involved in managing emotions.

More specifically, hearing can also contribute to enhancing the consumer experience. Pullmoll’s “Les Bienveillants” claim to provide an “enhanced experience” with free audio sophrology exercises offered with the purchase of a box of Relaxation gummies.13

Taste above all

Unsurprisingly, taste remains the most worked-on sense to transform a food supplements treatment into a gustatory and nutritional experience. Young brands like Nonna Lab have embraced the relatively underexplored idea in Europe but already well-established in the United States14: “combining pleasure and health” by offering nutraceutical ingredients in a food matrix. Nonna Lab, presenting itself as a Foodceutic laboratory, opted for a chocolate ball, justifying that “the French consume an average of 7 kg of chocolate per year,” and “one out of every two people does not complete their food supplements treatment.”15

In the United States, a company has developed a patented freeze drying  technology that allows it to offer a “100% fruit delivery system”, a galenic form composed solely of freeze dried fruit purees to which nutraceutical ingredients can be added (without risking alteration). The experience aims to be both tastefully enjoyable and clean-label: these fruit bites contain no added sugar or flavour, colouring, and are almost calorie-free (except for those naturally present in the fruits).

Nutrition, quality, and safety: indispensable pillars

Galenic innovation in nutraceuticals sometimes comes at the expense of the nutritional and qualitative aspects of the formulations. Hence, it is crucial for these stakeholders to demonstrate that the novelty of their solutions does not compromise their quality.

Chocolate pearls from Nonna Lab are Botani+ validated, an approved botanical quality trademark.

For instance, the chocolate pearls from Nonna Lab are Botani+ validated, a quality brand that assures consumers that the formulas are safe and effective (with plant-based ingredients having successfully passed a set of phytochemical controls)16.

Discover Botani+. An approved botanical quality trademark.

Embark your consumers on an unforgettable sensory journey! BOTANI BRANDS puts its expertise at your service through a team of experienced experts, specialised in natural ingredients and product development. From defining the formula to creating a distinctive galenic form, we can manage your project from A to Z.

Our goal is clear: to build a solution that offers a unique consumer experience, with no compromises on quality or formula effectiveness.

Many brands have already trusted BOTANI BRANDS in their quest for galenic and sensory innovation. To benefit from our expertise, feel free to contact us!

Trust us and get in touch to discuss your project

“It is always necessary to know the limits of what is possible. Not to stop, but to attempt the impossible under the best conditions.”

Romain Gary


  1. Galien, Galen, the true father of medicine – Véronique Boudon
  2. 2023 Barometer of dietary supplement consumption in France – Toluna Harris Interactive
  3. Nutraceutical market trends for 2024insights by PharmaLinea & IQVIA
  4. Acacia Gum and Gummies: The Story of a Beautiful Encounter
  5. Medication Absorption – Oral Administration
  6. Euphon medication based on acacia gum
  7. Collugomme from Laboratoire Cooper – acacia gum lozenges for sore throat
  8. Beckett, A.H., Moffat, A.C., 1968. The influence of alkyl substitution in acids on their performance in the buccal absorption test. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 20, Suppl:239S+.
  9. Beckett, A.H., Moffat, A.C., 1969. Correlation of partition coefficients in n-heptane-aqueous systems with buccal absorption data for a series of amines and acids. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 21, Suppl:144S+.
  10. Beckett, A.H., Moffat, A.C., 1971. The buccal absorption of some barbiturates. J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 23, 15–18
  11. 2023 global food innovation barometer –
  12. UPSA x Nourished – 7 layers of well-being
  13. Auditory stimulation with free sophrology audio exercises by Pulmoll
  14. Market Study by Botani Brands – food and nutraceuticals: at the intersection of two worlds
  15. Chocolate pearls Nonna Choc from Nonna Lab
  16. Botani+, Quality brand for plant-based products

Discovering trade shows in 2024: concrete sources of innovation for self-care and nutraceuticals

Genuine treasure troves of information, professional trade shows nourish innovation processes giving rise to future developments. These events provide visibility to ingredients, finished products, galenic formulations, and technologies ready to be in the limelight. To you, stakeholders in the self-care and nutraceutical markets: whether you are unable to attend in person or are seeking an outside perspective, we commission our experts to find the best connections and information tailored to your project goals.

Trend revealers

In the natural health and self-care sector, some trade shows have been long-standing essential events, such as Vitafoods or Natural Expo West across the Atlantic. Other newer shows, like I Feel Good in Paris, highlight specific themes like sustainable development and “Green and Clean” beauty, whether it’s In or Out.

Trend revealers of self-care and nutraceuticals with BOTANI BRANDS, Natural Selfcare Architects

These venues for meetings and exchanges enable to tangibly progress on identified projects while staying attuned to the market while grasping nuances and upcoming trends. It’s also possible to spot what could become a breakthrough innovation, a differentiating lever, a strategic partnership, or simply the result of thoughtful consideration.

Discover concrete sources of innovation for self-care and nutraceuticals with BOTANI BRANDS, Natural Selfcare Architects.

Key dates for trade shows in 2024: Mark your calendars!

The self-care and natural products trade shows are plentiful and punctuate the year, so get ready, take note!

Nutraceuticals6-7 March 2024 (Barcelona, Spain)
CBD Expo23-25 March 2024 (Paris, France)
Supply Side East16-17 April 2024 (New Jersey, USA)
Vitafoods14-16 May 2024 (Geneva, Switzerland)
The New Well8-10 June 2024 (Paris, France)
I feel good17-18 September (Paris, France)
Natexpo23-24 September 2024 (Lyon, France)
Nutrevent1-2 October (Lille, France)
CPHI8-10 October 2024 (Milan, Italia)
Supply Side West28 October – 1 November 2024 (Las Vegas, USA)
FIE-HIE19-21 November 2024 (Frankfurt, Germany)

Our expertise at your service

Observation, listening, curiosity, and endurance: our senior experts will be your eyes, ears, taste buds (and legs) and will be the opportunity to meet with key players in your market to discuss their proposals and grasp their value and strengths. Our understanding and knowledge of the self-care sector enable us to identify opportunities aligned with your strategy and areas of interest.

Opportunity identification (trends, innovations, potential partnerships), networking, and collecting relevant data… We start with your specifications to identify and gather pertinent elements that will fuel your developments. A presentation of the identified potentials with pre-evaluations in regulatory, scientific/medical, technical, and marketing aspects will then pave the way for advancing towards the realisation of these projects for your brands.

Our experts can subsequently continue to support you up until these product developments see the light of day.

Don’t wait, contact us to discuss your expectations and objectives

Head lice: how to effectively join nature

The recurring question remains: how to effectively get rid of head lice? The presence of these bloodsucking parasites is far from pleasant, and both children and parents want to to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Over the past decades, head lice treatments have evolved significantly to meet the general public’s growing demand and adapt to the resistance developed by the insects. The ultimate goal is to provide an effective solution while moving towards more natural options while ensuring the safety of the product for both humans and the environment.

Development of the head lice care market

The global market for head lice treatments is growing rapidly: it was valued at $93.47 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $156.44 million by 2029. This represents an estimated annual growth rate of +6.65% for the period 2022-2029. 1

Seizing this strong market demand, head lice products have proliferated in recent years without always having their suitability or effectiveness validated.

“We want to raise awareness among patients and the general public that head lice treatments have become a significant commercial market, escaping serious therapeutic evaluation of certain products and therapeutic strategies,” warned the French Society of Dermatology in a 2019 statement. 2

Two main treatments categories

Initially, the market was dominated by neurotoxic insecticidal products such as pyrethrins or malathion, which target the nervous system of adult insects and nits. However, their effectiveness has been compromised by the emergence of resistance among lice to these substances. They are also criticised for their potentially harmful effects on health, leading to a search for natural solutions by consumers.

The French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) took measures to limit the use of malathion, requiring a medical prescription and strengthening contraindications and precautions in response to its adverse effects (neurological disorders: headaches, nausea, vomiting, and very rarely, seizures in children). In this context, these products, once classified as drugs, have been withdrawn from the French market. The latest product of this type, Prioderm®, has not been manufactured since the end of 2018.3

Nowadays, the most commonly used treatments are dimethicone-based, a synthetic compound belonging to the silicone family. These products act mechanically by “suffocating” lice and nits, depriving these parasites of oxygen and preventing them from breathing. They are often referred to as “suffocants.”

Unlike previous treatments, there are no signs of resistance observed with these compounds. However, precautions related to their flammability are imperative, such as avoiding hair exposure to heat after treatment (hence precautions such as “Stay away from a heat source” or “Let hair air dry”).

Coconut oil, a natural alternative

This vegetable oil is extracted from the coconut (Cocos nucifera). It is widely recognised for its uses in cosmetics and hair care based on its moisturising and nourishing properties. 4,5 It is also employed as a natural and mechanical method to eliminate lice. It belongs to Class I of medical devices and also acts as a “suffocant.” Specifically, when coconut oil is generously applied to the hair and scalp, it coats lice and nits. This layer of oil blocks their respiratory openings, depriving them of oxygen. The parasites lose their internal fluids, dehydrate, and eventually die.

Clinically evaluated effectiveness

A 2009 English study evaluated the effectiveness of a shampoo based on an emulsion derived from coconut against head lice infestation in children.

The study took the form of a school trial, where students were treated on days 0 and 7, then checked on days 8 and 15. A trial in the family environment was also conducted, where the product was applied by parents three times within two weeks.

The results of the school trial showed that after 8 days, 61% of children were lice-free after using the coconut oil-based shampoo, compared to only 14% of students treated with a permethrin-based product.

Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide that acts by disrupting the nervous system of insects and causing paralysis, leading to their death. Suspected of being an endocrine disruptor 6,7, permethrin is no longer used in head lice products.

In the family trial, where all family members were treated, the cure rate reached 96% with coconut oil.

A plant-based product effective under some conditions

In response to increased demand for natural products, it is understandable why coconut oil is increasingly favored by consumers.

However, effectiveness is not consistently guaranteed among existing products. The nature of coconut oils varies depending on the origin or harvest period of the raw material.

This plant variability directly influences its fatty acid composition and, consequently, its efficacy in eliminating lice, as fatty acids are the compounds responsible for suffocation.

Fortunately, evidence of guarantees exists! Some suppliers have developed strict specifications to certify the same composition from one batch of material to another. The specifications include a unique fatty acid profile whose efficacy on lice and nits has been tested and proven to be 100%.

The numerous advantages of coconut oil against lice

The numerous advantages of coconut oil against lice with BOTANI BRANDS, Natural Selfcare Architects.


One of the many advantages of coconut oil is its low allergenic potential 8,9. Coconut oil is extracted from the coconut pulp and generally does not contain proteins responsible for many food allergies.

This lack of sensitising effect makes it an ideal product for the whole family, including babies, young children, and pregnant women.


In addition, some head lice treatment manufacturers pay special attention to the environmental impact of their products: the coconut oils used in their lotions are said to be “easily biodegradable” according to OECD 301 F standards.

OECD 301 F standards refer to a series of test methods developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to assess the biodegradability of chemicals and substances in the aquatic environment.

Biodegradability is a fundamental aspect in the formulation of cosmetic and rinsed products.

From this perspective, the use of dimethicone (the main head lice treatment belonging to the silicone family) may raise questions.

Christine Lafforgue, former president of the French Society of Cosmetology (2018-2021), a biologist and chemist by training, addressed the issue in an interview 10: “In truth, the only danger of dimethicone is its environmental impact. It is a component that is not biodegradable and is harmful to the health of the planet. European regulation REACH tries to prioritise the use of dimethicone, to see if its production can be limited to certain products. It is necessary to reflect on the product’s interest in relation to its impact on the environment.”

Enjoyable use of head lice treatment, is it possible?

Hypoallergenic and non-irritating, coconut oil is perfectly suitable for family and regular use.

Thanks to confidential manufacturing processes, some suppliers have even managed to make the oil non-greasy for optimal comfort.

As a brand, it is now possible to integrate into your range a natural and proven effective head lice treatment: non-irritating, non-greasy, environmentally friendly, and silicone-free!

The effectiveness of this solution relies on exclusive and specific sourcing of raw materials as well as a solid mastery of the technical formulation.

Thanks to privileged links with European industrial partners, BOTANI BRANDS experts accompany you in formulating an effective and ready-to-use product.


Sources :

  2. Global Lice Treatment Market – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2029 – Data Bridge Market Research
  4. Varma, S. R., Sivaprakasam, T. O., Arumugam, I., Dilip, N., Raghuraman, M., Pavan, K. B., Rafiq, M., & Paramesh, R. (2018). In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil. J Tradit Complement Med, 9(1), 5-14.
  5. Deen, A., Visvanathan, R., Wickramarachchi, D., Marikkar, N., Nammi, S., Jayawardana, B. C., & Liyanage, R. (2021). Chemical composition and health benefits of coconut oil: an overview. J Sci Food Agric, 101(6), 2182-2193.
  6. Sheikh, I. A., & Beg, M. A. (2021). Structural Aspects of Potential Endocrine-Disrupting Activity of Stereoisomers for a Common Pesticide Permethrin against Androgen Receptor. Biology (Basel), 10(2), 143. DOI: 10.3390/biology10020143. PMID: 33670303. PMCID: PMC7918290.
  7. Sheikh, I. A., & Beg, M. A. (2021). Structural Aspects of Potential Endocrine-Disrupting Activity of Stereoisomers for a Common Pesticide Permethrin against Androgen Receptor. Biology, 10(2), 143.
  8. Stutius, L. M., Sheehan, W. J., Rangsithienchai, P., Bharmanee, A., Scott, J. E., Young, M. C., … Phipatanakul, W. (2010). Characterizing the relationship between sesame, coconut, and nut allergy in children. Pediatr Allergy Immunol, 21(8), 1114-1118. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.00997.
  9. Fries, J. H., & Fries, M. W. (1983). Coconut: A review of its uses as they relate to the allergic individual. Ann Allergy, 51(4), 472-481. PMID: 6354008.
  10. Interview de Christin Lafforgue sur le dimethicone –,2056442.asp

Acacia Gum and Gummies: The Story of a Beautiful Encounter

100% plant-based, rich in fibre, low in calories, flavour-enhancing with a significant environmental and societal impact: acacia gum possesses all the necessary qualities to captivate gummies, the playful form of supplements currently booming in the food supplement market.

Acacia, a Gum with Nutritional Fibre!

Acacia gum, also known as gum arabic, is a resinous exudate extracted from the Acacia senegal (L.) Willd tree. Sudan and other sub-Saharan African countries such as Chad, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania are the main producers of these solidified sap fragments 1.

Once harvested and dried, these precious amber aggregates are either crushed or transformed into a versatile powder by industrial stakeholders, with two of the major players being French companies: Alland & Robert and Nexira. Together, they represent over half of the global market for gum arabic 2.

BOTANI BRANDS: The Architect of Your Natural Solutions for the Development of Gummies and 2.0 Lozenges with acacia gum.

This texturising agent, also labelled as E414, is highly sought after by the food industry due to its emulsifying capacity, stabilising properties, and ability to capture flavours, making it an essential ingredient in beverages and sweets.

Beyond its technical properties, acacia gum is also valued for its high fibre content (ranging from 91% to 97%) and beneficial nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Since December 2021, the FDA has authorised the qualification of acacia gum as a “dietary fibre.” 3

This means that its beneficial effects on human health are officially recognised, including the reduction of postprandial glycemia, improvement of digestive comfort, and its role as a source of prebiotic fibres 4.

Acacia gum also has the notable advantage of not contributing to tooth decay. As a non-fermentable carbohydrate, it does not feed the mouth bacteria responsible for acidifying dental plaque 5.

Gum Arabic: Ecological and Sustainable Production

Before becoming an indispensable ingredient for Western industries, acacia gum primarily serves as a source of income for entire villages in the Sahel region.

Generations of men and women have learned how to cultivate gum-yielding trees (in the wild, only one in 10,000 acacia species naturally produces resin). They also know the purely manual methods for tapping the trees to extract their valuable sap, as well as cleaning and drying techniques that ensure the production of high-quality gum.

The production of gum arabic also protects the soil from erosion thanks to the tree’s root system, which slows down desertification. These “gum trees” store CO2 and contribute to soil fertilisation by providing significant amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and proteins. Senegalese acacia plantations also help maintain high biodiversity along the edge of the Sahara.

Major industrial stakeholders involved in the transformation of this resin must ensure that producers are adequately compensated for the difficulty of their work and their expertise. The two main stakeholders, Nexira and Alland & Robert, are committed to sustainable development practices that aim to protect this resource, improve producers’ income, and contribute to the development of this supply chain 6,7.

The BOTANI BRANDS team guides and supports you in formulating acacia gum-based nutritional gummies.

Emiga, a company specialized in sourcing this matter8, has also distinguished itself with the creation of the “Niger Acacia Senegal Plantation Project.” 9

Initiated in 2005 by Thierry Dulon and his associate Boureima Wankoye This project was originally part of the Kyoto Protocol’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Its objective was to restore deforested and degraded lands in Niger by empowering rural communities to adopt sustainable agroforestry through the cultivation of indigenous species, specifically Acacia senegalensis.

Thierry Dulon explains, “Thirty-three village communities have received carbon credits, and the income generated by cultivating acacia has enabled them to invest in healthcare, education, and the construction of seed farms.

Acacia gum is not just a plant-based gelling agent. Its added value lies in the nutritional and sensory properties it offers to consumers of food supplements. It provides the rapidly growing gummy market with an innovative, healthy, and sustainable alternative to the more traditional fruit pectins.

When Gummies and Acacia Gum Make a Perfect Pair

In search of the ideal texturising agent capable of combining taste pleasure, technological properties, and nutritional benefits, gummy manufacturers see the potential of incorporating this plant resin directly from Africa.

These food supplements, resembling candies, are primarily composed of fruit pectin extracted from food industry by-products. Based on its dual technical and nutritional role, acacia gum possesses all the advantages to diversify this market segment and enhance the “health” aspect of gummies, which is sometimes overshadowed by sugar and taste.

Thanks to its emulsifying properties, acacia gum stabilises flavours and essential oils, providing an optimised sensory experience for the consumer 10. Its texture enables forming a protective film in the mouth and throat mucosa, with the prolonged release of  active ingredients.

The brand “Pâte suisse” from Lehning Laboratories has successfully highlighted the health positioning of acacia gum by featuring it in a complete product range of nine “sugar-free Swiss pastilles.” These gummies are formulated with polyols (sorbitol and maltitol syrup), low-calorie sweeteners 11.

Lehning’s communication states, “Made from 100% natural acacia gum, Swiss pastilles fulfill all daily needs, including soothing sore throats, relieving coughs, improving sleep, and addressing vitamin deficiencies.

The Mémé brand highlights the prebiotic properties of acacia gum as its star ingredient 12.

Mé-Mé’s communication  states, “Rich in fibre, acacia sap aids digestion and is recognised as a natural prebiotic and excellent anti-inflammatory. Mé-Mé gummies are highly recommended after meals or coffee.

BOTANI BRANDS: The Architect of Your Natural Solutions for the Development of Gummies and 2.0 Lozenges. The BOTANI BRANDS team guides and supports you in formulating acacia gum-based nutritional gummies that will attract users seeking effectiveness, sensory pleasure, and responsible consumption.


Sources :

  1. Dr. Aafi Abderrahman’s gum arabic
  2. Source UNCTAD: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  3. Acacia gum granted by FDA as dietary fiber
  4. Journal Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol 13 No.4 (2022) : « Bongartz, U., Erlenbeck, C. and Wohlfahrt, I. (2022) The Effect of Gum Acacia on Post-Prandial Glucose and Insulin Levels in Healthy Subjects. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 13, 424-438. .
  5. Arch Oral Biol 2008 Mar;53(3):257-60. T Onishi 1, S Umemura, M Yanagawa, M Matsumura, Y Sasaki, T Ogasawara, T Ooshima : « Remineralization effects of gum arabic on caries-like enamel lesions »
  6. Nexira commitments
  7. Alland & Robert commitments
  10. Gum arabic and essential oil
  11. Pâtes suisses de Lehning
  12. Gummies Mémé à la gomme d’acacia

Soft chews: a new wave from the USA

The United States is the world’s leading consumer of vitamins and food supplements with a market posting over 50 billion dollars in the nutraceutical sector.1 Like gummies, many innovations are born across the Atlantic to then conquer European pharmacies. History seems to be repeating itself with the appearance of a new galenic in this health niche: soft chews, the newer version of gummies. This latest generation of chewing gum is conquering more and more brands, seduced by their sensory qualities and their high content of active ingredients.

Soft chews: an innovation in food supplements

These “tender bites” initially intended for the confectionery sector have finally established themselves as an innovative and fun galenic for food supplements. Like gummies, soft chews offer a pleasant healthy format enabling enhanced consumer sensation.

They come in the form of small 4-to-5-gram squares with generally a recommended daily intake of one or even two units.

While allowing the use of active ingredients such as vitamins, minerals or plant extracts, this galenic is also particularly interesting for its organoleptic aspect: taste, smell and texture (finally!) become essential parameters in nutraceuticals.

More attractive and pleasant than typically pharmaceutical formats such as capsules or tablets, soft chews call for better consumer compliance with treatments.

Self care applications

In parallel with gummies, soft chews therefore embody a new trend in naturalin natural health products self-medication.

The American site iHerb, one of the most important platforms for online natural products sales, already has more than 1000 references.2

Dulcolax notably launched Dulcolax Soft chews composed of magnesium hydroxide (quantity of 1200mg per chew) intended to improve occasional constipation in Canada.3

The brand emphasizes mechanical and rapid effectiveness (“relief in 30 minutes”) of the natural health product on constipation and does not fail to highlight the nomadic and gustatory aspect of this solution: “With Dulcolax® Soft Chews, adults and kids (12+) have a tasty and convenient new way to get things moving.”

Moreover, the chewing induced by this form of chewing gum, is a major interest for formulations such as these, intended to accompany digestive disorders.

Science has long been interested in the impact of proper chewing on digestion, helping to reduce gastric reflux, bloating, flatulence, and stomach aches.4,5,6

So, why not offer pregnant women to chew soft chews to help them reduce potential pregnancy nausea? The Mega Food brand has thought of this with its Baby & Me 2 sachet of 30 naturally lemon-flavoured formulated soft chews made with ginger and organic honey.7

They are available and also respond to all the indications commonly found in nutraceuticals: immunity, energy, sleep, relaxation, hair, skin, memory and digestion…

The Dutch brand Celebrate has chosen to bet on this differentiating galenic with a range of single ingredient (iron or calcium) or multivitamin soft chews.8

Actives ingredients and sensory qualities of soft chews

In addition to their taste input, soft chews enable incorporating a large quantity of active ingredients. Dulcolax chews are a good example with 1200mg of magnesium oxide per unit.

While standard size gummies contain an average of 70 to 80 mg of active ingredients, they do not face the same capacity limitations as former versions.

The number of intakes per day is therefore reduced, thus facilitating the following of the treatment by the consumer.

From a technical point of view, this galenic allows formulators to consider numerous combinations and synergies of active ingredients without space constraints.

Developed without gelatin, soft chews are ready to be certified vegan friendly and contribute in this sense to a reasoned, healthy, and natural diet that is increasingly popular with consumers.

In addition to their functional benefits for the body, soft chews have many advantages in terms of their texture, taste, and appearance.

In addition to other classic galenic forms, these “soft pastes” are popular in terms of dosage and taste pleasure.

It is a safe bet that this galenic offers broad prospects for development in Europe in the wake of its American boom.

In order to position you at the heart of this new trend, Botani Brands supports you in designing your soft chews thanks to its relevant and effective approach to the formulation of natural ingredients.


Sources :

  5. Esther H-J Kim et al. Chewing differences in consumers affect the digestion and colonic fermentation outcomes: in vitro studies. Food & Function journal. 2022 Sep 22;13(18):9355-9371.
  6. Mercier P., & Poitras, P.. Gastrointestinal symptoms and masticatory dysfunction. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 7(1), 61-65. (1992)

Our references

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