The weight-loss segment seems to yo-yo with the same frustrating frequency as many of the dieters using the products. A promising new ingredient comes out with exciting claims, consumers buy it up in droves, weight is lost and money rolls in. Then come the reports of health risks, maybe even deaths, attributed to the ingredient. Suddenly the boom busts and consumers change their buying patterns out of fear and mistrust.

“Reputability, efficacy and safety are bigger issues in this category than any other,” said Juliana Erickson, marketing manager for InterHealth Nutraceuticals, supplier of Super CitriMax as well as Meratrim. “Wild claims combined with negative media coverage have made many consumers wary.”

But according to Scott Steil, president of Nutra Bridge and sales manager for category heavyweight 7-Keto, the more suspect ingredients that get pulled off the market, the better it is for those that have the research to back up their efficacy and safety. “What we’re seeing right now is that everything old is new again. For the most part the active ingredient in most new products is something that’s been around, that has clinical trials behind it, is pre-DSHEA, or has an NDI or GRAS status,” explained Steil.