Are you interested in starting your own supplement brand? One of the most important steps to starting your own supplement brand is choosing a supplement manufacturer.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of choosing the right supplement manufacturer and we’ll present some helpful information and advice to make sure you’re choosing the right manufacturer for your new brand.
Are you ready to learn how to choose the right supplement manufacturer for your new supplement brand? Here’s everything you need to know.
The importance of choosing the right supplement manufacturer
The supplement industry is booming. Demand is incredibly high, the market is huge, and growth is on the horizon. According to GlobeNewswire, the global dietary supplements market size is projected to reach USD 230.73 billion by 2027, registering a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.2% from 2020 to 2027.
But, that doesn’t mean that competition isn’t steep. The dietary supplements market represents a highly competitive landscape. Key market players like Amway, Arkopharma Laboratoires Pharmaceutiques, Abbott Laboratories, and Archer Daniels Midlan dominate the market space and have been implementing various strategic initiatives to stay on top.
With such a competitive market, it’s crucial to make sure your products stand out from the rest. Here’s where choosing the right supplement manufacturer comes into play.
The best supplement manufacturers will do more for you than simply produce the recipes you ask them to. The best supplement manufacturers will…
- Use quality raw materials and ensure quality products.
- Offer thousands of raw materials to choose from so you can create unique and personalized formulas.
- Offer advice in terms of formulation.
- Offer multiple supplement formats and help you choose the right one for your market.
- Offer various packaging formats so you can customize your product.
- Have a team of in-house graphic designers to help you design custom labels for your brand.
- Offer advice and guidance to help you market and sell your product.
- And more!
Essentially, your supplement manufacturer will be like your business partner, with you every step of the way to help you grow and develop your brand. Choosing the right manufacturer could be the difference between becoming a successful supplement company and throwing in the towel early.
How to Choose a Supplement Manufacturer
The first step to choosing a supplement manufacturer is making sure they have their own lab and manufacturing facility where they produce their supplements.
Many of the largest contract manufacturing companies in the USA outsource their manufacturing to other labs and act as the middle-man between you and actual supplement manufacturers. While there’s no real issue with having a middle-man, at the end of the day, you’ll have less control over your products and longer lead times. You’ll also likely have to wait longer for an answer to your most pressing questions as your agent communicates with your manufacturer on your behalf.
Remember, your supplement manufacturer is like your business partner. It’s much easier to deal directly with your partner than to constantly contact their secretary.
Credibility & Professionalism
The next step to choosing a supplement manufacturer is checking their credentials. There are three certifications that you should absolutely make sure your manufacturer has:
- FDA Registered Facility – All supplement manufacturers are required, by law, to register their facility with the FDA. Once registered, the FDA regulates and certifies both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients, making sure they’re safe for the marketplace.
- GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) – GMP is a system set in place to ensure that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. If a manufacturer possesses a GMP certification, it means that they follow the GMP guidelines that cover all aspects of production including (but not limited to) raw materials, premises, equipment, and staff training.
- UL Certified – UL accredited third-party certification provides assurance that a certified product, material, component, or service complies with the technical requirements of the referenced standard. If a manufacturer is UL certified, it means they’re subject to application and information submission, product evaluation, product testing in lab, manufacturing facility inspection, product confirmation, and product sampling, test results review and acceptance, contract signed and products listed and annual plant inspection and retesting.
Other certifications worth looking into are more specific to your niche market. Such certifications include:
- Organic Certified – Certified organic products are produced without any genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
- Kosher Certified – The Kosher certification process involves sending a mashgiach to the production facility to ensure that the product complies with halacha (Jewish law). The mashgiach supervises both the ingredients and the production process.
- Halal Certified – IFANCA Halal certification has religious advisors/consultants to advice in matters related to proper procedures and ingredient approval for a religious point of view.
Quality of Raw Materials
The quality of the raw materials will, for obvious reasons, greatly affect the quality of your finished product. The best manufacturers understand the importance of using high-quality raw materials and will go to great lengths to ensure that their raw materials are of great quality.
While certain certifications like the GMP Certification and the UL Certification are good indicators that a manufacturer uses high-quality materials, you should also try to find out information about the manufacturer’s suppliers. How do they choose their suppliers? Do they have a thorough application procedure in place before agreeing to work with new suppliers? They most certainly should!
Manufacturing & Equipment Capabilities
Once you have a better sense of the supplement manufacturer’s credentials and the quality of their products, it’s a good idea to look into their manufacturing and equipment capabilities.
For starters, you may want to check the size of the facility and how many products they can produce in a day. A big facility with fast production rates means shorter lead times and less time waiting for your products. In general, a fast-producing facility should be able to produce at least:
- Tablet Compression – 30 milligrams of tablets per day
- Capsules – 20 milligrams of encapsulations per day
- Powder Blending – 120 kilograms of powder per day
- Film Coating – 15 milligrams of tablets per day
- Bottling – 360 kilograms of bottles per day
It’s also a good idea to make sure the facility has specific equipment to ensure that your products are safe for the marketplace. Such machinery includes:
- De-dusting machinery to help maintain a clean production space
- Metal detection equipment to ensure no metal shavings from equipment has entered the product
Creation & Formulation Capabilities
The next step to choosing a supplement manufacturer is researching their creation and formulation capabilities. You want to make sure that the supplement manufacturer you choose can create and formulate a wide variety of products.
There are a couple of key areas you can research to determine their creation and formulation capabilities:
- Types of raw materials and ingredients available. Below, is a list of the most popular types of ingredients for dietary supplements. Whatever supplement manufacturer you choose should have all 12 types of ingredients available.
- Omega fatty acids
- Amino acids
- Total number of raw materials and ingredients available. For each type of ingredient listed above, there are numerous subtypes. There are 13 types of vitamins, 16 essential minerals, 5 types of antioxidants, and so on. Ultimately, your supplement manufacturer should have thousands of raw materials in stock to ensure that you can create unique, custom formulas for your customers.
- Types of supplement formats. When choosing a supplement manufacturer, you should also check to see what kind of supplement formats they can create. In today’s market, the most popular (and therefore essential) supplement formats include:
- Flavors and colors. It’s no secret that offering flavorful products is a great way to give your brand a competitive edge in the supplement industry, but have you ever considered coloring your products? Coloring your supplements can be a great way to create a unique and unified brand image. When choosing a supplement manufacturer, make sure you ask what kind of flavor and color options they provide.
- Advice for formulas and formulation. This last point is perhaps the most important. The best supplement manufacturers will not only supply all of the ingredients and equipment to make your vision a reality but will also provide you with advice and guidance regarding your formulation. They should be knowledgeable about industry trends with new ingredients and offer you advice to enhance the effectiveness of your product and to reach a larger demographic of future customers.
Stock Products Available
Another important point to research when choosing a supplement manufacturer is whether or not they offer stock products. Stock products are supplements that are formulated and produced by your manufacturer that you can label and sell as your own products. There are two main reasons you should investigate a supplement manufacturer’s stock options:
- You can check out their stock products to get a better sense of their manufacturing specialties and capabilities.
- You may consider using one or more of their stock products for your brand. Stock products can save you time, money, and energy, allow you to offer lower costs with higher margins and provide you with an easy way to expand your product range.
Packaging & Labeling Capabilities
In the competitive industry of dietary supplements, packaging and labeling are extremely important. A great design can make your brand stand out from the rest and, more importantly, the right design can help you appeal to your specific niche customer, ultimately leading to increased brand loyalty and sales.
When choosing a supplement manufacturer, it’s a good idea to research their packaging and labeling capabilities. While not all supplement manufacturers offer these services, the best ones do, and choosing a supplement manufacturer with a strong design portfolio could be the difference between success and failure.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a supplement manufacturer is how long it will take them to produce your products. Ideally, you want to choose a manufacturer who can produce your products as quickly as possible so you can send them to market. That being said, if a manufacturer promises exceptionally short lead times, it could be an indication that they may be cutting some corners and, ultimately, producing low-quality products.
The standard lead time for supplement manufacturers is somewhere between four and eight weeks, depending on raw materials required, necessary testing, type of product, packaging choices, etc. When choosing a supplement manufacturer, ask for an estimated timeline rather than an exact number, and pay attention to transparency. When it comes to lead times, transparency is much more important than speed.
Once you create, design, and produce your product, it will be time to market your brand. It’s a good idea to research and consider the marketing services your supplement manufacturer can provide. While many supplement manufacturers don’t offer any kind of marketing services or advice, the best ones do, and it’s always great to receive advice and guidance from professionals who are familiar with the industry and industry trends.
Does your supplement manufacturer offer help with Amazon marketing? Building your brand on Amazon is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness and sales. Be sure to ask your supplement manufacturer about Amazon marketing.
Of all the points mentioned above, customer service is perhaps the most important of all. As mentioned earlier, your supplement manufacturer should be like your business partner, working with you to grow and develop your brand for years to come. You should feel confident that they’ll not only answer the phone when you call but also that they’re experienced professionals with your brand’s best interest in mind.
Choosing a supplement manufacturer is one of the most important steps to building and developing a supplement brand. If you’re interested in starting your own supplement company, use these 10 easy steps to help you choose the right supplement manufacturer for you.