Could New Vegan Protein Gummies Change the Protein Landscape?

by Matt Weik

Taking two things that many people love and combining them can be hit or miss. Some people like corn and lima beans, but when you combine the two to create succotash they refuse to eat it. Now a manufacturer is bringing to market a protein gummy. But not just any gummy, a vegan gummy. We all consume protein—some of us more than others. Some of us even use gummy products as pre-workouts (or snacks). Could this combination be a great move for consumer satisfaction? Or a money sucking vortex sending the manufacture back to the drawing board?

Chew on this

A Canadian manufacturer, Herbaland, launched a line of vegan-friendly protein gummies called VeganFiber Protein Gummies. Personally, I like gummy products every once in a while, and obviously as someone who lives the bodybuilder lifestyle, I’m always looking for ways to take in more protein outside of the conventional real food options and protein supplements (such as protein bars and protein powders). I like when people think outside of the box and bring to market new ideas that solve problems.

Herbaland is no stranger to gummy products, though. They have a full line of vegan-friendly gummies ranging from vitamins, to minerals, to weight loss, and everything in between. They even produce kid-friendly gummies as well.

In today’s day in age, people are using protein powders, but they are starting to get bored with the concept. We all look for something new and exciting and I believe many people would rather be able to chew something than drink it. With the advent of protein chips, protein cereal, protein bread, and others, it’s brought excitement to the space. With Herbaland’s new gummies, it might just take off.

Launching an online-exclusive line of vegan protein gummies, Herbaland formulated five different flavors: Fantastic Fruit, Organic Banana, Wild Berry, Kiwi & Friends, and Papaya Paradise. All colors and flavors come naturally. While not exactly cheap for what you’re getting, each pouch of gummies will cost you $3.50 and will yield 10g of protein (organic yellow pea protein), 1g of sugar, 36g of carbohydrates, and 180 calories. Each pouch is considered one serving. The packaging is fairly attractive and colorful. But, in the grand scheme of things, if they aren’t sitting on the shelf of a retailer, the packaging doesn’t mean too much to me. It’s not like it needs to be super eye-catching to pull off shelf. If I’m online and I like the concept, I’m buying it. It’s that simple.

How will they do in the market?

For those who are extremely health conscious and are vegan, this is a great option compared to what we are used to seeing on the market in the supplement/protein space. However, for many, the $3.50 price tag will probably cause them to pass. Those who consume protein shakes (RTD’s) or protein bars generally pay anywhere from $2-4 per bar or shake which usually gives around 25-35g of protein—that’s more than double what the protein gummies yield.

One cool selling point, however, could be the fiber content. Something I feel many of us are lacking in our diets today, fiber is extremely important. Each pouch of protein gummies gives you 28g of fiber. If you are familiar with fiber supplements such as Benefiber, you’d know that there is only 3g of fiber per serving (and they want you to use 3 servings a day to give you 9g of fiber). I only know this because I put it in my coffee every morning to take in more fiber in my diet. Yet, even with so many servings required per day, Benefiber doesn’t hold a candle to these protein gummies.

What does the market say? The market says this product should do fairly well. The gummy market is booming right now and makes up around $1bn of the $41bn supplement market here in the US. Overall, the growth of this segment has been 25% when comparing the last two years.

Will these gummies sell? It’s hard to say just yet. Honestly, from my experience in the industry, with an online-only presence, they are going to need to market the heck out of the product to get any traction. They might be able to stir up some quick sales through trial of those already in their channel (current consumers using other products they sell), but trying to win over consumers in the sports nutrition space is going to be extremely hard. If they are smart, they should email everyone on their list and blast out a message that they just launched these new gummies. With the initial trial and assuming the product tastes good, it should create some buzz at least in the vegan-community and could even spill over into people who are interested in taking in more protein and fiber and are looking for products geared more towards overall health.

Will this make it in the bodybuilding community? Possibly, a very small group of the vegan bodybuilders might consider it. But in my opinion, that’s the only group in our small niche of an industry who would even give it a try. But I wish them the best of luck with their new protein gummy line. It’s nice to brands thinking outside the box and being innovative. While it’s a risk, it could be a risk worth taking if sales explode.

Menayang, Adi. “Herbaland Takes on Protein Category with Line of Vegan Gummies.” N.p., 12 June 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.