When Jeff Hilton says “fascinating things” are happening in the supplement space, grab a chair and take notes. An old hand at health-and-wellness branding, the chief marketing officer and cofounder of BrandHive (Salt Lake City) has had both a front-row seat and a backstage pass to the industry’s evolution since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.
So when he predicts that we’re “in the early stages” of a major shift in how consumers approach health, he does so with some authority. And what his privileged perspective tells him is that an “entrepreneurial surge” is bringing about a bumper crop of brands backed by compelling stories, creativity, and resourcefulness to spare.
But those budding brands—and the industry as a whole—face a very different playing field than the one that existed back when nutritional supplementation meant taking the multivitamin you picked up at the grocery store. “We’re going through a thought revolution and a new-product revolution,” Hilton says, and the theme he sees underlying both is convergence: of channels, media, dayparts—even of foods and beverages with supplements themselves. It’s uncharted territory, for sure, but brands that follow these five key strategies will find “huge opportunity,” Hilton promises, as they navigate it.