Supplement forms and packaging: what you need to know

October 20, 2023

How do you make your own product stand out from the crowd when your supplement products hit the shelves? First of all, your product form and packaging are the first parts of your product that customers will notice. They will either decide to trust your brand and make a buy, or move on to another product on the shelf. So what is the right supplement form for your needs? And what is the effective and affordable supplement packaging for you?

Today, we will look at how to choose the right supplement and will focus on the form and packaging of the supplement. We will analyze the different forms of supplements on the market and compare their appropriate dosages and ease of administration. Additionally, we'll explore common types of packaging and the differences in volume and transportability between them.

1. Choosing the suitable form of supplements

When choosing the right supplement form, we need to have a deep understanding of the market situation and the differences between different forms. The supplement market is full of variety and each form has its own unique characteristics. Next, we'll explore the supplement market and the differences between the various forms, including aspects such as applicable dosage, ease of taking, and price. This will help you better choose the supplement form that fits your product needs and target audience.

1.1 Market situation in the form of supplements

Supplements in the market come in various forms, including tablets, capsules, softgels, powders, gummies, and liquids. According to data from the market research company Grand View Research, in 2022, capsules were the main form in the supplement market, holding a market share of 30.30%. Gummies closely followed with a share of 20.2%. Notably, consumer preference for gummy supplements has been rising steadily and has gained popularity across different consumer groups. This makes the gummy category a potentially profitable market. According to Grand View Research's projections, the gummy market is expected to grow rapidly at a compound annual growth rate of 6.7%.

1.2 Comparison of Forms

When choosing a supplement form, we need to consider not only the advantages and disadvantages of each part, but also factor in the target user, product characteristics, and price. Below, we will compare the four main supplement forms: capsules, powders, gummies, and tablets, and offer suggestions for choosing based on different factors.

1.2.1 Comparison of Suitable Dosages

1. Powder

Powder supplements are typically processed to be concentrated, allowing them to provide larger effective dosages. Typically, powder supplements can contain >2 gram doses of nutrients, something that is difficult to achieve with other forms. If you're a brand owner who sells protein-related products, such as protein powders, powder is your best bet for delivery form. Because the dose required for protein delivery is too large for tablets and capsules, only powder can perfectly achieve the necessary dose size.

2. Tablets and Capsules

Tablets and capsules are best suited for smaller dosages (<2 grams) of vitamins, minerals, or antioxidant supplements. If you are a seller of supplements like Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, or minerals like iron and iodine, I recommend using these two forms. The daily doses of these supplements are quite small, so the dosage requirements are not high. If you're concerned about your customers' ability to swallow whole tablets and capsules, you can choose chewable tablets in tablet form. But, chewable tablets typically contain a small amount of sweetener.

3. Gummies

In recent years, vitamin-based supplements have gained increasing popularity. Their pleasant taste is not only favored among children and teenagers but also becoming increasingly popular among adults. Compared to other forms, gummies provide the smallest dose (<100 milligrams), so they aren't suited for delivering higher-dosage supplements. But, if your product line includes vitamin and mineral supplements, gummies are an excellent choice. Not only does it taste good, but gummy vitamins aren't candy after all and you can't have too many of them, and this applicable dose is more than enough.

FormsSuitable Dosages
Tablet< 2g
Capsule< 2g

1.2.2 Comparison of ease of taking

1. Powder

As previously mentioned, powders can accommodate significant amounts of active ingredients, but that doesn't necessarily make them difficult to consume. On the contrary, the active ingredients in powders eventually need to be ingested by people, so they must have a pleasant or easily concealable taste. Furthermore, powder supplements often include components that can be dissolved in liquids or easily mixed. Supplements like protein powder, for instance, don't pose any taste issues and are particularly easy to blend with water.

2. Tablets and Capsules

The common perception of tablets and capsules is that they can be challenging to swallow due to their size. But, there are times when they play an irreplaceable role in masking undesirable tastes. If you are a brand specializing in herbal supplements, you're probably aware that many herbs contain compounds that can make your supplement taste bitter and hard to swallow. In such cases, capsules are the most suitable form as they can effectively mask unpleasant tastes. And, it is not really difficult to solve the problem of the capsule size being too big to swallow. Because the size of the capsule is selectable, it has the following five sizes: "000" size, "00" size, "0" size, "1 " size, and "3" size.


Similarly, for brands offering mineral supplements, we recommend using tablets. During flu and cold seasons, mineral supplements are in high demand. The tablet form allows minerals to come into direct contact with the mucous membranes of the throat and tonsils, promoting faster absorption of active ingredients. For those of you who are concerned about swallowing difficulties, you can use the chewable tablet form.

From this point of view, they are actually easy to take.

3. Gummies

The ease of taking the fudge needs no introduction; the ease of consumption and the delightful flavor are what make it the most popular. If your supplement products are aimed at children and teenagers, I highly recommend this form. Vitamin gummies, with their candy-like flavors, are particularly appealing to parents of hesitant children who are reluctant to take traditional supplements. However, it's important to remember what I mentioned earlier: they are not suitable for delivering higher-dosage products due to their limited nutritional content.

1.2.3 Comparison of Prices

In all honesty, whether you're a brand name or retailer of supplements, this price of entry is what directly affects the pricing and profitability of your product when choosing a supplement form. Below, I've compared the prices of four different forms of vitamin C for your reference. To go straight to market, the products below are labeled with your label :

FormsNet content (Bottle/Bag)Price(5000Bottle/Bag)Price(10000Bottle/Bag)

Since vitamin C is viable in different forms, you can mainly consider its price. From an economic point of view, the powder and tablet forms of vitamin C usually offer the best value for money. In addition, vitamin C powders are easier to mix with liquids (e.g., water) than tablets and sachet dispensing packaging is favored by consumers. If you're more focused on the flavor preferences of your target demographic, then Vitamin C gummies may be a good choice. According to the Harris Poll1, about 28.0% of U.S. adults have tried vitamin gummies in the past year, with 53.0% of those who tried them saying they consumed them daily. While gummies may not cost much more than capsules, they have a better taste and therefore are likely to be superior to the other forms in actual sales.

But, the situation is different for herbal supplements. For herbal supplements, the need to mask the odor of herbal compounds may be a significant consideration when choosing a form. So, the only factor to consider might not be just the price. Even though tablets might be more cost-effective, capsules for herbal supplements have an irreplaceable role in masking the herbal odor.

2. Choosing the suitable supplement packaging

While the form of supplements is often the initial consideration for consumers when choosing a product, the packaging plays a vital role in determining whether it ends up in a consumer's shopping cart. Why is the packaging of supplement products so crucial? In the following sections, we will introduce several common packaging types and guide you on how to select the most suitable packaging based on the differences between these various types.

2.1 The Importance of Supplement Packaging

Supplement packaging serves a crucial role beyond protecting the product and ensuring it reaches consumers in optimal condition. It plays a central role in your interaction with consumers, significantly influencing their purchase decisions. Moreover, effective supplement packaging can set your product apart from competitors in the same category. There are various methods to package supplement products, and when selecting the best packaging approach, you should consider the protective capabilities, capacity, and transportation convenience offered by different types.

2.2 Common Packaging Types

1. Bottles

Bottles are one of the common packaging types for supplements, typically used for liquids, tablets, capsules, and gummies of forms. They come with a sealed cap to ensure that the supplement product remains unaffected by external air, moisture, or contaminants during transportation and storage. Bottles are often made from transparent PET plastic, white or colored HDPE or PP plastic, and sometimes transparent or colored glass. Transparent glass bottles make it easier for your consumers to see the contents, while colored glass helps to protect against UV interference.

2. Jars

Jars are another common type of packaging, usually made of plastic or metal. Jars are usually cylindrical in shape, but there are also square or other shapes. Jars, like bottles, come with a sealing lid, which protects the product. However, jars generally have a wider opening than bottles. Such wide-mouth shapes are generally ideal for powder supplements, such as protein powder supplements that are mostly packaged in jars.

3. Bag

Bags are generally made of soft plastic (PE or PP) or aluminum foil material and are ideal for storing supplements in powder, liquid, and gel form. Some pouch supplements offer single-dose portioning, which is ideal for traveling or taking on the go, as they are usually more space-efficient than bottles or jars.

4. Blister Packaging

Blister packaging usually uses plastic materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene (PP) or other plastic types. It usually consists of two parts: a clear bubble, which is used to wrap the product, and a backing, usually made of cardboard or plastic, which is used to support and protect the product. Blister packaging is mostly used for supplements in tablet and capsule form.

2.3 Comparison of Various Packaging Types

2.3.1 Comparison of Capacity

Different packaging types play a key role in the supplement industry, and their selection is usually based on several factors. One of these is capacity, a factor that affects the storage, use and distribution of the product. We'll compare these common packaging types to help you better understand which one is best for your supplement product.

1. Bottles

Bottled supplements come in a wide range of capacities, from small to large bottles. I've come up with the following more popular capacities based on the common bottle capacities available in the supplement market, as well as worked with many supplement brands, I have listed the following more popular capacities:

CapacityNumber of particles

With the above table, we can visualize the relationship between the bottle capacity and the number of pellets contained. Smaller bottle sizes are good for about 1 to 2 months of supplementation, while larger sizes are good for about 6 months of supplementation. And, these bottle sizes are all particularly suitable for vitamin and mineral supplements that are taken daily or over a long period of time.

2. Bags

Bags for supplements come in various capacities, with common multi-dose options including 500g/bag and 200g/bag, and smaller single-dose packaging can go as low as 2 grams. For single-serving powders, small bags are one of the best choices. These small bags are often in a strip-like shape, ideal for precise single-serving supplements. Additionally, there are small, flat bags suitable for single-serving vitamin tablets or capsules. Based on our experience working with various supplement brands, resealable stand-up bags are highly popular. These stand-up bags not only offer easy resealing to prevent leakage but are also perfect for packaging supplements like protein powder and collagen blends.

3. Jars

Jars are typically cylindrical and differ from bottles in that they have a larger opening. They also offer a much larger capacity, usually ranging from 500g to 1000g, and are commonly used for powdered supplements. If your product line includes items like protein powder, collagen powder, or mixed mushroom extracts, jars with their larger capacity are an excellent choice. Moreover, they often come with scoops for easy powder distribution.

4. Blister Packaging

Blister packaging is another form of packaging suitable for single-dose products, which generally accommodate supplements in capsule and tablet form. Blister packs commonly contain 4 to 10 capsules or tablets per plate. It also usually contains a day's supply of each packaging unit, which is ideal for products like vitamins.

2.3.2 Comparison of Transportability

Bottle supplements are highly resistant to crushing and can withstand external pressure and impact. But, due to the shape of the bottle, they take up more space in the packaging process. For purchasing the same supplement product, blister packaging is lightweight and makes the most of the space in the box, although a single plate can only hold 4 to 10 capsules or tablets; bags are usually easier to stack and store than bottles because they can be compressed as needed, thus saving storage space.

3. 3 Tips for Supplement Packaging

Supplement packaging is crucial for both brand manufacturers and retailers as it not only safeguards product quality but also plays a prominent role in the competitive market. Based on the content of this article and my experience as a supplement manufacturer, I have summarized the following three major techniques:

● Choose Natural and Soft Packaging Colors

Packaging should not only catch the consumer's eye but also effectively convey the product's value and appeal to encourage them to choose and purchase. Especially in health-oriented markets, consumers often seek characteristics like natural, organic, and non-GMO, and the packaging should align with these values. Therefore, opting for natural and muted color tones, such as cream, beige, and brown, or utilizing neutral shades like sage green, can convey the product's natural and organic attributes. This choice not only highlights the product's natural properties but also attracts those seeking health and balance. Additionally, using soft, bright, and bold color variations can evoke the positive energy required to sell health products, but it's crucial to ensure these colors align with the overall image and positioning of the product. By cleverly using color, you can create eye-catching packaging in the supplement market that captures and retains potential customers' interest.

● Use of sachet packaging

For many consumers, convenience translates to saving time and effort in their daily lives. They simply need to grab a single packet to know exactly what they are consuming, without the hassle of measuring powders or counting pills. When you provide single-use small packets or daily vitamin packs, you are offering them a straightforward way to ensure they get the nutrients they need and start their day without complications. These small vitamin packets are easy to grab and can be effortlessly placed in a wallet for later consumption with breakfast, eliminating the need to deal with loose vitamins and the risk of misplacing them.

● Stand-up pouches for Powder Supplements

Stand-up pouches are the ideal packaging solution for dietary supplements, especially for powdered products like protein powder, collagen blends, and other supplements. Most consumers prefer to have these products stored conveniently on their kitchen shelves, and stand-up pouches help them achieve just that. This packaging is not only space-efficient but also effectively seals the product, ensuring freshness and stability. Compared to bulky boxes or easily toppled bags, stand-up pouches provide a superior packaging solution, helping to prevent spillage and making storage easier for consumers.

Get the latest prices

Since launching in April of 2014, Reiheychem now manages additive supplier work for more than 120+ clients in 30+ countries. We'd love for you to join!
NO.999, qianshan Road, Hefei City,Anhui Province,China
(+86) 15249926606
Inquiry form