Where is the omega-3 market going?
We don’t see the market slowing down at all. But I believe the next catalyst for consumers will be when omega-3s become prescribed for primary prevention along with statins and blood pressure medication, rather than just something your doctor might recommend to lower triglycerides or something to consider taking after a heart attack. What this will do for omega-3s in the natural products channel will just be incredible. The growth will be exponential.
Why would setting dietary reference intakes (DRIs) for EPA and DHA in the US be helpful?
We think DRIs will be really important for consumers to know how much they need and how much they are actually getting. Basically, we should stop guessing and start testing. It really helps if consumers can go to places like www.omega3test.com and do a test in their own home and prick the tip of their finger, send the blood sample into the lab and get sent the results, to see what their omega-3 levels really are. Look what this did for vitamin D. This is what is behind our ‘know your numbers’ campaign.
What’s next for omega-3s?
I think the next huge opportunity is brain health.
How can firms tackle the ‘yuck factor’ surrounding fish oil for some consumers?
There has been an incredible effort to get omega-3s into fun delivery formats for children or people that don’t want to take a supplement. We’ve got gummies and gel fishes and powdered effervescent omega-3s, which is just an exploding area.
What role do you see other sources of long-chain omega-3s beyond fish playing in the market in future?
We think algae will play a big role in the market in the future along with fish. We’ve got an algae omega product and I think as the market develops there will be room for all of these products.
What frustrates you when you walk into a store and look at the omega-3 supplements aisle?
My one concern is that marketers are misleading people that the way that fish oils are made has something to do with the mechanism of action – so you see these claims about cold pressed salmon as if it must be better. It’s also vital to read the label. Look at the dosage you are getting. And are you getting the natural triglyceride form or the ethyl ester form of fish oil?
Nordic Naturals does not use the FDA-approved qualified health claim on pack (‘Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease….’). Why not?
We don’t use the qualified health claim… because it is too qualified. There is clinical evidence out there that supports a much stronger claim than this.
Click here to read about novel delivery formats for omega-3s.