The manufacturer, specialising in children's nutrition, manufacturers a range of gummies and soft 'bites', including pre and probiotics, multivitamins and calcium blends that can be found across the US, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Europe and elsewhere under various brands.
In the coming weeks, the company will launch a prenatal high omega-3 chew, specifically for pregnant and breastfeeding women, a move Anlit's VP of sales and marketing Shai Karlinski says alligns with the company's wider strategy of strengthening its presence in adult nutrition.
Five years ago, Anlit was selling 100% of its products to children, Karlinski told NutraIngredients, but today around 50% of the gummies line and 15% of the bites line are sold as adult dietary supplements.
“At a certain point, we started noticing the major trend is that with more and more of the products that we sell to our customers, we started having feedback that they give it to their kids but also take it themselves sometimes... And when you look around, it's not just our product, we see more and more products like gummy bears starting to be developed for adults,” he said.
It was about three to four years ago the company started to specifically develop gummy and chew products for adults, he said, including multivitamins, probiotics and omega-3s.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global gummy vitamins market was worth €2.16bn in 2016 and will grow to €3.37bn by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.2%. Multivitamins represent the lion's share of the market, for now.
Why step away from children's nutrition?
Within the next two years, Karlinski said Anlit will drive its bites line further into the adult nutrition market. Within five years the company wants its total business to be more than 65% focused on adult nutrition.
“The reason is very simple – the size of the market,” he said. “Children are, let's say, between the ages of three and 14, the rest are adults. The second reason, and the more important and relevant reason, is that more and more adults understand there is another option [to taking supplements].”
The presence of chewables and gummies in nutraceuticals, he said, has risen dramatically in recent years, increasing interest that is driven by consumer demand for supplements are not “a burden” to take.
“Of course, we're not going to neglect children's nutrition and we will bring new things out in the future but I think it's part of growing up and maturing. A few years ago, the slogan of Anlit was 'vitamins that kids love' and four or five years ago we changed it to 'supplements and more', so we've already been preparing for this movement from kids products into what we call family products,” he said.
Anlit already has prenatal multivitamin gummies that retail in the US, Karlinski said, but developing the omega-3 product will give the company more exposure in the prenatal vitamin supplements category – set to be worth €454m by 2024, according to Transparency Market Research.
However, prenatal is not the easiest in terms of product development because of challenges around taste and mouthfeel, since pregnant women tend to be more “sensitive to flavors”.
The R&D teams behind Anlit's prenatal high omega-3 chew are all-female, he said, and had worked with consumer profile data to develop a product suited to pregnant women.
The chew has a creamy mouthfeel and citrus taste profile, he said, despite containing 150mg omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil (126mg DHA, 24mg EHA) and the small, fish-shaped “friendly format” enabled easy swallowing.
“We see more and more products for women that are in a more friendly format, be that edibles or drinks... This is where the industry needs to go.”
Beyond prenatal, Karlinski said Anlit sees lots of opportunity in adult nutrition.
“I think condition-specific segments of adults are very, very interesting and we are now working with some companies on solving some issues in that regard, it's definitely a very hot issue in our company,” he said.