Martek joins omega-3 branding trend

By Clarisse Douaud

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Docosahexaenoic acid

Martek Bioscience's flagship vegetarian source of DHA has become
the brand life'sDHA, joining a trend in the omega-3 industry to
target and promote consumer awareness of the healthy ingredient.

With the tagline "healthy brain, eyes, heart"​, Martek's DHA is set to compete with other branded omega-3 ingredients, such as Ocean Nutrition Canada's playful Meg-3 fish logo.

The announcement could signify that consumers are not only paying attention to such ingredients to begin choosing among them, but also that formulators are more and more willing to co-brand their products.

DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that is a structural fat in the brain and eyes as well as an important component of the heart. Studies have linked an adequate consumption of DHA to the promotion of brain, eye and heart health.

Martek makes DHA sourced from micro-algae and holds approximately 80 percent of the US infant formula market for this ingredient. Martek executives had not responded to enquiry about its plans for the brand prior to publication deadline. But if branding omega-3 is as successful for Martek as it appears to have been for Ocean Nutrition, the payoffs for clients could also be significant.

"Some of our customers have experienced a 60 percent growth using our brand,"​ Ocean Nutrition executive vice president of global sales and marketing Ian Lucas told

Lucas says his company's strategy has been to cross-promote with the manufacturer of a finished product and therefore go straight to the consumer and try to educate them about omega-3.

The end result of promotion can be brand awareness, which can lead more manufacturers to agree to share their brand space with an ingredient.

"We've gotten such broad exposure with the brand that this is a source of competitive advantage,"​ said Lucas. Ocean Nutrition's Meg-3 contains both DHA and EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid, which has been linked to anti-inflammatory benefits. Lucas claims the Meg-3 brand can be found of 50 percent of supplements sold in North America, but that customers are not obliged to brand when they use its ingredient.

"We'll sell people our ingredient and they don't have to use the Meg-3 brand - it has to have relevance for the consumers."

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