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.
- 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.
- Mercier P., & Poitras, P.. Gastrointestinal symptoms and masticatory dysfunction. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology, 7(1), 61-65. (1992)