What You Need to Know About the Kosher Nutraceuticals Market

The term nutraceutical combines the words nutrient and pharmaceutical. Thus, products in this genre are geared to provide therapeutic benefits, to prevent illness, in addition to nutritional value.  

OU Kosher Certifies B2B and B2C Products and Companies

There are two broad categories: medicinal food and dietary supplements, both of which come in many forms.  OU Kosher certifies many companies in both areas. Like most industries, some companies produce industrial products and sell business to business while others produce consumer products with raw materials.  On the industrial level companies produce vitamins, enzymes, botanical extracts, and many other items which are used as active ingredients in nutraceutical products. 

At the other end of the industry are producers of finished consumer items such as tablets, capsules, powders, and liquid products. There’s also a middle tier of producers making raw materials by adding value through a proprietary process before sending the materials to a manufacturer of consumer items. Still others will blend and put kits together to make it easier for the final processor. OU Kosher can help find suppliers and manufacturers in all areas of production.  Working with companies on all levels of this industry makes OU Kosher uniquely qualified to help clients in finding approved suppliers.  

Raw materials for nutraceutical products are sourced from all over the world. We work with small manufacturers, such as Brewster Nutrition and Plant Science Laboratories who produce specific unique ingredients, to larger well-known companies such as ADM and DSM Nutritional Products.  

One interesting aspect of this industry is that a sizable percentage of the companies selling to consumers are not the manufacturers. These companies develop formulas and products but look for others to manufacture for them. This imbalance might be in part due to stringent government regulations as well as the need to produce on a scale necessary to make a facility profitable.   

The OU sees more applications from the marketing companies where the OU symbol offers their products added value. Here too the OU works with both small and large companies. Some of these companies are exclusively focused on the kosher market, such as Maxi Health Research, while others have a much wider consumer base such as New Chapter. In terms of kosher, when the company applying for certification doesn’t own the plant it creates extra challenges in the process. Since the plant belongs to one company and the OU’s relationship is with another, we need to work out methods of obtaining the information we need without intruding on the proprietary information of others. Fortunately, we have been able to work this out.  

One of the Fastest Growing Trends in Nutraceuticals 

One of the hottest niches in this market is gummies. While gummy candies have been around for more than a century, but it is only in the last ten years or so that companies have been selling gummy products as nutritional supplements According to one research group, the value of this market in 2014 was 1.19 billion USD while in 2017 it was 3.42 billion USD and still growing.1.  Gummies combine a bit of the candy industry with the nutraceutical world and offer a convenient platform to provide the consumer with active nutritional ingredients. This combination provides the consumer with a convenient and tasty platform to obtain health benefits.  

Another area which has seen a great deal of growth is CBD oil. Hudson Hemp and Hempire State Growers are two companies which have become certified by the OU that provide hemp oil. Typically, companies that extract the Hemp oil sell their product to others to prepare consumer ready goods. Interestingly, gummies are a popular method for delivering CBD.  Gummies offer two advantages for CBD oil. It helps mask some of the natural hemp taste and it is ingested which provides more bioavailability than topical applications.   

Since ingesting is the best way to maximize the benefits of CBD oils, companies are looking for ways to make CBD available in regular food. This is a new and developing area utilizing state-of-the-art technology and proprietary methods. Recently we have started to see applications in this area.  

With so many unique raw materials in play in this industry, there are times when companies have difficulties obtaining koshered approved materials. The OU can be a great resource in locating these raw materials. We have an extensive database and familiarity with producers all over the world enabling us to bring the producer and user together.  

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Gary Magder