Bringing plant-based total omega-3 to nutrition markets
The Nuseed Nutritional team officially launched Nutriterra® Total Omega-3 for commercial sale into human nutrition markets fall of 2021. Following the success of the previous year’s commercial launch of Aquaterra® into aquafeed markets, interest in Nutriterra as new ingredient delivering plant-based total omega-3 to the human nutrition market is high. Like Aquaterra, Nutriterra is an omega-3 oil derived from Nuseed Omega-3 Canola. The seeds are harvested and crushed, with oil for Nutriterra undergoing additional refinement for human consumption markets.
Nutriterra has been in the Nuseed newsfeed frequently as it received industry recognition, including Friend of the Sea certification, building awareness and anticipation for our exciting new product that brings a land-based source of omega-3, along with several human consumption benefits including a total source of omega-3, and with less of fishy aftertaste.
Market research prior to launching Nutriterra provided critical insights into consumer preferences.
Identifying an unmet need – Over 80% of North Americans are deficient in omega-3
The Demand for long-chain omega-3 fatty acid is growing faster than the supply. Omega-3s are essential to human health, the definition of an essential nutrient is that we cannot produce it in our body and must consume it through our diet or supplements. The benefits of omega-3s are well known for supporting heart, eye, and brain health, but omega-3s are present in every cell of the body, which means that these nutrients are vital to maintaining overall wellness and a healthy immune system. The minimum daily recommended intake for omega-3 is 250 mg, yet the average North American only consumes 80 mg per day.
This established a need, but also begs the questions: Why aren’t people getting enough of this vital nutrient?
consumer sentiment – favor for plant-based total omega-3 with less fish burp
Current market research indicates that many people aren’t getting enough omega-3 from their diet because the primary sources are marine based, and most consumers aren’t eating the recommended 2-3 serving per week. Seafood is expensive, challenging to cook, and many simply do not like the taste. Omega-3 supplements are also mostly sourced from fish, and these supplements have a reputation for an unpleasant taste and aroma, as well as a phenomenon known as burb back. Traditional fish oil omega-3 supplements may taste mild going down but keep coming back as fishy. Having researched the nutrient gap, we still needed to know if Nutriterra was the right product to fill consumers’ unmet needs and preferences.
Nuseed conducted consumer research to understand how Vitamin, Mineral & Supplement (VMS) consumers would react to Nutriterra as an alternative to current omega-3 sources, as well as their attitudes and behaviors toward omega-3 in general. The Nuseed Nutritional team partnered with Qualtrics, an industry leader in consumer research, to survey over 1200 VMS consumers. We discovered a few key things that demonstrate untapped market demand for a product like ours:
- 40% of the respondents said they would prefer a plant-based omega-3. This number jumped to 64% after they read a description of Nutriterra.
- 90% saw significant advantages of Nutriterra over fish and algal oils – most notably the oil’s profile containing ALA, and DHA+EPA in a single source and our Friend of the Sea® certification.
- 76% said they are likely or very likely to try Nutriterra. The most interested consumers are current omega-3 users and previous users who stopped supplementing because the available options did not meet their needs.
Verifying product safety and effectiveness
Nutriterra was developed specifically for human nutrition and adds diversity to the Nuseed Nutritional portfolio. Like Aquaterra, Nutriterra underwent extensive testing and regulatory requirements to come to market. Nutriterra’s regulatory team lead human clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy. They are also responsible for demonstrating safety to global government agencies and have successfully earned approval to sell our products into several countries around the world. Most recently, this team lead the application for Nutriterra’s status as an FDA recognized New Dietary Ingredient.