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Educating the Trade: Technology Transforming VMS

on January 11, 2012

Skimming through the VMS section in a leading high street retailer, I am bombarded with the range of supplements on offer. Which one to choose? What is the difference? I suspect these are questions many potential consumers face. We are always excited to hear about the latest breakthrough ingredients and their benefits over the usual suspects that we have grown up with. But what about the advancements in technology? The possibility to provide greater efficacy and allow us to continue with the old favourites in a new format?

Looking at the Joint Health category, I selected at least 5 leading brands that contained the same active ingredient at the same level but with different pricing, with one noticeably stating ‘Sustained Release’. Asking the ever keen shop assistant how this would benefit over the others, she stated that the body would utilise this ingredient in the same way and therefore was no different. But I know this isn’t the case. Immediately I took it upon myself to educate the employees of the benefits associated with ‘Sustained Release’ that I had ‘apparently’ read about. Needless to say the assistant felt more enlightened and I felt as though this was a weird parallel universe where our roles had somehow been reversed. Surely it was she who supposed to be duly informing me?!

The product in question was Glucosamine 1500mg Sustained Release, which has a 12-hour release profile providing long-lasting support which has been shown in studies to be more effective than the standard immediate release form.

Bioglan Range of Supplements 2011

Bioglan – If you’re serious about health

The same can be said for Enteric Coated products. Fish oil with an enteric coating, allowing intestinal release of the fish oil rather than in the stomach therefore overcoming any fishy ‘burp back’ or the unsavoury fishy smell associated with most of the fish oils on the market. However as the European market is currently not all too aware of enteric coating, its benefits go unnoticed with the exception of the few who are savvy enough to understand its concept.

So, the real dilemma we face is not only to relay the benefits of the product, which is increasingly difficult with the current regulatory climate – but to educate the consumer, store managers and shop assistants alike about the differences with supplements utilising advanced delivery concepts. Our aim is to drive the whole category forward, to move to away from cheaper supplements that disappoint, to ones which provide real efficacy.

Published article can be found in January 2012 issue of Health Food Business magazine

More information on Bioglan and its range of supplements can be found on their website