Industry sales and projections may show that protein-based products collectively represent the biggest category and growth sector through 2020, but the fat loss and diet pill category is without a doubt the most lucrative. Marketing and sales promotions can get a consumer to buy almost anything once, but for a fat burner to have staying power in today’s market, it has to deliver on five key areas. Otherwise, your company’s marketing and promotional budget had best be nothing short of gargantuan to ensure the product achieves its sales projections. Here are some tips for diet pill formulation.
#1: High Voltage
The physiological action of liberating and burning fat can occur independent of the mechanisms that primarily influence heighted cognitive and physical energy states. However, consumers reward (demand) fat burner products that provide a serious boost to perceived energy, even when no scientific evidence supports that product as eliciting significant fat loss.
Nowhere is this more applicable than within sports nutrition, where a fat burner is essentially a pre-workout in capsule form. Caffeine has become ubiquitous within such products because of its consistent stimulant effects in most users. Other ingredients that provide both a stimulant and fat burning effect in diet pill formulation include synephrine and, to a lesser degree, carnitine analogs.
#2: Feel The Burn
A fat burner that not only gives a consumer a heightened sense of energy but also provides additional biofeedback that the product is “working”, even if only in the mind of the user, helps instill consumer confidence in the product. This allows ample time for the product to prove itself effective when consumed chronically. Such a tactic can support your social marketing efforts, too – “you can really feel this product working.”
Niacin has long been a low-cost favorite to achieve this goal; however, capsaicin and ginger extracts have become more common and are typically more effective ingredients at providing both a fat burning effect and noticeable physical effect after acute use. As with many dose-specific ingredients, I suggest dosing your diet pill formulation by bodyweight to ensure consumers get an effective and safe dose with less likelihood of experiencing unwanted side effects.
#3: Better to Fade Away, Than to Burn Out?
Unlike one’s time in the spotlight, nobody wants to feel like they “crash” after the peak effects of a fat burner wears off. Products that use too high a dose of caffeine, or add high doses of yohimbine or other such ingredients that primarily affect adrenergic receptors tend to elicit such a response after about three to five hours.
One way to give consumers the immediate response they’re demanding, without pushing them over a cliff after the peak effects have passed is to utilize time-release technology. Specifically, employing time-release technology on caffeine and other key actives can allow for more effective and safer dosing, while also helping to avoid the crash.
#4: No Garbage Can Needed
Even though consumers want a stimulant response and seem to want some additional existential experience to reinforce that the product is working, nobody wants to worry about getting sick shortly after taking a product. Though this experience has seemed to improve in recent years, it’s still worth mentioning here as a cautionary formulation mistake to avoid. I recommend investing in pre-market safety and efficacy studies, then also experimenting with your finished formulas on as many willing and informed subjects as possible so that you bring an effective and assumed safe product to market.
#5: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
In the end, diet pill formulation has to provide noticeable benefits so the user continues purchasing the product and recommending it to others. If a person only receives an energy effect and a burning sensation in their stomach after they consume your formula, then they’ll be more likely to switch brands. However, if your product also provides a visible effect on fat loss and body transformation when used over time, then you’ll be far more likely to have loyal consumers and a product with serious sales growth potential.
- Euromonitor International, as reported in: Daniells S. Protein powders: The heavyweight in the $16bn sports nutrition market. Nutraingredients – USA 17 Sept 2015.
- Euromonitor International, as reported in: Schmidt C. The Rise of Protein in the Global Health, Wellness and Supplement Arenas. 2014 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar, April 8-9, 2014. Arlington Heights, IL, USA.
- Zechner R et al. Cell Metab 2012;15:279-91.
- Lockwood C. Get Your Fix: How to use the 10 most common sources of caffeine. Ironman Magazine, April 2016:32, 34, 36.
- Committee on Military Nutrition Research, Food and Nutrition Board: Institute of Medicine. Caffeine for the sustainment of mental task performance: Formulations for military operations. National Academies Press, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 2001.
- Saito M & Yoneshiro T. Curr Opin Lipidol 2013;24(1):71-7.
- Schultz H. Zum XR farms out beverage brand, expands R&D for extended release caffeine ingredients. FoodNavigator-USA 14 Nov 2016.
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