Liz Coraima Campos
Founder
Cora Blends
/
Startup Contributor

Revolutionizing the Supplements Industry

By Liz Coraima | Mon, 05/02/2022 - 18:00

The notion that mindless eating and unrestrained consumption have few health consequences, and that those consequences can be remedied without altering lifestyle with chemicals, has spread throughout the food and supplements industries, resulting in the creation of pills to burn fat, pre-cooked meals and powdered nutritional supplements full of chemicals that affect the overall health of consumers.

A study on toxic and addictive foods from the University of California at San Francisco, blames food-processing industries for creating an environment that has accelerated the decline in the nutritional value of our food. These products often contain a toxic "brew" of synthetic chemicals that cause hormonal imbalances, resulting in food addictions and chronic obesity (which is incongruous, since they are products intended to complement the usual diet of consumers and improve the overall health).

Our collective immaturity on health issues has been an opportunity that the supplements industry has taken advantage of for decades, regardless of people's health.

When I started Cora Blends, I and the team of specialists who participated in the formulation of the superfood blends always had a firm idea of creating products with 100 percent natural ingredients, free of sugars and preservatives. We wanted to provide real nutrition, especially to women who were tired of trying products that didn't help them achieve their goals.

During the market research process, I realized that there are hundreds of supplement brands out there that do not follow COFEPRIS regulations. Many of these brands advertise their products as “natural,” free of artificial gums, preservatives, colors or flavors but if we examine the ingredient label, we see that many of the ingredients are synthetic and not from natural sources as claimed.

Others simply do not declare all the ingredients contained in their supplements, violating labeling regulations. These types of products are also classified as “miracle products,” which promise to relieve ailments, remove pain or cure diseases without presenting any technical-scientific evidence, taking advantage of people's urgency and causing health risks.

This problem is nothing new but it is worrying since, at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a boom in these types of companies.

According to the Global Wellness Economy, during COVID-19, healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss were the only segments among the other wellness segments that maintained positive growth, from US$912 billion in 2019 to US$446 billion in 2020. However, this growth should not be interpreted as “consumers eating healthier during the pandemic.” In fact, the opposite could be the case. This sector captures (again) spending on certain categories of foods, beverages, and supplements that are labeled and marketed as healthy but are not, however, an indicator of healthy diets.

Likewise, this problem of supplements goes hand in hand with the culture of diets and education regarding how to nourish ourselves. Half of the diets that have emerged in the last 20 years have tried to convince consumers that some combination of denatured foods can still be eaten safely, if not beneficially, promising to serve as a shortcut to health without having to drastically change your diet. More than providing benefits, pills to burn fat, powdered nutritional supplements, etc., affect the health of the consumer.

The food supplements industry requires profound changes at the level of the changes that are taking place at this time in the health industry and regarding people’s needs:

Values and ethics

Ethics and values are extremely important factors, especially in this sector that deals with people's health. When creating a business, often these factors are taken very lightly but they are the pillars and foundations of a company, which will differentiate your brand from the market. And although it reads easily, believe me, there are many companies that do not put their ethics and professionalism into practice.

Scientific support

Start your own research projects to carry out clinical studies with which to obtain the necessary scientific evidence for your own healthy declarations and product formulations. The more studies behind a product, the more trust the customer has and the more prestige a company will have.

Education for the consumers

Consumer needs have changed drastically in the last two years. Along with this change, we as brands in this sector need to renew ourselves in terms of education, through the creation of platforms where consumers can find safe and scientific information that allows them to have a better understanding of what they are consuming and what they need.

Safety in food supplements

Placing safe consumer products on the market must be the priority objective of all the agents involved in this market. The area of work in the field of safety of food supplements is twofold. On the one hand, we must make advances regarding the safety problems that are intrinsic to each ingredient and, on the other hand, regarding the safety problems derived from the possible contaminants and adulterants that they may contain.

As an entrepreneur and health coach, it is essential for me to create a sustainable and successful company, not only for its business plan or marketing strategy, but also to offer quality supplements that improve the consumers’ life, and to continue innovating in the wellness sector through scientific research and also to offer nutritional education that helps to transform lifestyles.

Photo by:   Liz Coraima Campos