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Collaborating with a reputable, well-established supplement manufacturer is essential. Such manufacturers can adapt to ever-evolving market trends, including changes in dosage forms and delivery technologies, all while maintaining strict compliance standards.

10 Expert Tips for Finding the Right Custom Supplement Manufacturer

The global custom nutrition and supplements market, which soared to a staggering valuation of $43.4 billion in 2022 with a projected CAGR of 15.0% from 2023 to 2030, reflects a period of remarkable expansion. A surge in demand is propelling this growth as more individuals make conscious lifestyle changes, seeking supplements to complement their busy routines. 

In this landscape, today’s consumers are not only well-informed but also increasingly insistent on transparency from the supplement brands they choose to place their trust in. This demand for transparency is a pivotal driving force reshaping the industry. 

Amidst this backdrop, with a market saturated by countless manufacturers, emerges a pressing question: How do supplement brand owners find the right manufacturer that aligns with their needs, from R&D and formulation to delivery and lead times? 

It’s essential to recognize that choosing the right supplement manufacturer is imperative to the success of your nutraceutical company. As we dive deeper, we’ll explore the critical factors that demand your attention in this quest for the ideal custom supplement manufacturer.  

The Importance of Choosing the Right Supplement Manufacturer 

The quality of your product is directly tied to the manufacturer’s years of experience, the quality control measures they implement, and their ability to stick to stringent deadlines. A supplement manufacturer who possesses more years of experience under their belt is more likely to have devoted sufficient resources towards the research and formulation of their products and have a network of storage and shipping services to deliver their products on time at the ready.  

Take extra care to read and understand the terms and conditions listed in the contract. Conduct thorough research on what the fine print means and seek professional advice if required. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for important certifications like GMP, FSSAI, ISO, and NAFDAC. These can be confusing to comprehend but they are the hallmarks of a trusted manufacturer. Any reputable dietary supplement manufacturer you choose must adhere to these quality control standards. Vitaquest has maintained a stellar reputation with global regulatory agencies and is the first company of its kind to achieve the FSCC 22000 Food Safety System Certification.  

Important Tips to Help You Make the Right Choice 

You will need to consider many factors before selecting the right supplement manufacturer. The following expert tips will help you cover all the essential criteria and get you started on your journey. 

1. Understanding Your Supplement Manufacturing Needs 

Understanding your specific manufacturing requirements is vital when selecting the ideal supplement manufacturer. Before embarking on your manufacturing venture, it’s essential to have a clear vision. Define your product requirements meticulously, outlining what you aim to achieve with your supplements. Your success also hinges on catering to the right audience. Thoroughly research market trends and pinpoint gaps in the industry. Understanding your target audience’s preferences and needs is key to crafting supplements that resonate with consumers.

Additionally, different supplements require different forms and delivery methods. Discuss the details with the manufacturer and check if their suggested dosage forms and delivery technologies align with your needs.    

2. Explore Different Fulfillment Plans 

Based on your budget and business plan, talk to potential supplement manufacturers about their fulfillment options. Ensure you understand whether they can fulfill large orders and manage your inventory. 

3. Turnaround Times 

It’s important to have transparency on lead times before you sign a contract with a supplement manufacturer. Different manufacturers offer different manufacturing lead times. Find one that best suits your timelines, so you’re not caught off guard after placing an order. Many manufacturers advertise lead times as fast as 4 weeks. This is an unrealistic turnaround time, and it’s best to pay extra attention to where the manufacturer is cutting corners to deliver your products that fast. Bringing a low-quality product to the market can harm your business and customers. 

4. R&D and Quality 

Ideally, your list of potential supplement manufacturers should include companies that invest in thorough research and development when formulating products for their clients. This directly affects the quality of your supplement. Since the quality of these formulations impacts the health of your customers, it’s wise to do your due diligence.  

5. How Flexible Are They? 

When considering contract supplement manufacturers, ask about the range of products they can manufacture and the formats they specialize in. For example, if you plan to create a ready-to-drink (RTD) product, ensure your manufacturer has expertise in liquid manufacturing. If they lack this capability, seek out a company with a proven track record that can fulfill your requirements. You don’t want your project to serve as a trial for a manufacturer; instead, opt for one that can confidently meet your needs. 

6. Planning Your Long-term Strategy 

As your business grows and you get more orders, you’ll need to ensure your supplement manufacturer can keep up and scale with you. To figure this out, here are some questions you can ask: 

  • Raw Materials: How much purchasing power do they have & approximately how much do they keep on hand at any given time? 
  • Space: How much room do they currently operate in? Is there an opportunity for them to expand their current facilities or do they have plans to build or acquire additional space? 
  • Quality Control: How good are they at ensuring your products meet quality and safety standards? Do they possess expertise in manufacturing and getting products registered in foreign countries? 
  • Vertical Integration: Do they do everything themselves, like making the supplements, designing labels, and packaging? Or do they hire other companies for some of these tasks? 
  • Formulation Services: The quality and purity of ingredients, bioavailability, and clinically approved dosages are essential factors that impact a supplement’s success. Many manufacturers offer research-backed formulation services that save you time and effort. Can they work with you every step of the way – from concept ideation to production?

You should explore other options if your supplement manufacturer can’t thoroughly answer these questions. Scaling up your production isn’t just about working with a company that uses state-of-the-art equipment to manufacture supplements. Making a mistake here can slow down your ability to manufacture and deliver products, which can upset your customers, retailers, and distribution partners.

7. What’s Their Story? 

Collaborating with the right supplement manufacturer involves placing a certain degree of trust in them. Understand the manufacturer’s story, their vision, and the goals they want to achieve. Ask important questions about their years of experience, staff structure, industry certifications, etc. Ask them to provide verified testimonials and if it’s possible to speak to some of their customers about their experiences working with the manufacturer. 

8. Perform Background Checks 

Conduct a background check on the manufacturer. Read online reviews and ratings on trusted platforms. Read case studies from their previous clients and get in touch with references provided by the manufacturer. I would also recommend checking to see if the FDA has issued a Form 483 to them or if any of the products they manufactured were recalled. 

9. Cheaper Isn’t Always Better 

Although choosing a manufacturer for their low manufacturing price estimates is tempting, remember that you get what you pay for in the supplement industry. Compare the services they offer, the quality, customization, and their expertise. Supplement manufacturing is a long-term investment – look at the bigger picture and avoid making mistakes that can cost your business and customers dearly. 

10. What Red Flags Should You Watch Out for? 

Finding the right dietary supplement manufacturer can be a daunting task. Here’s a list of red flags to watch out for before you agree to work with them. 

  • Unrealistic Promises: Avoid manufacturers that make lofty claims about production timelines that seem too good to be true. Exercise caution when presented with exceptionally low costs. In such cases, manufacturers typically cut corners on quality, ingredients, certifications, and other important factors that can affect your product, business, and customers. 
  • Lack of Transparency: Manufacturers who refuse to or are reluctant to share sufficient details about their processes are usually guilty of hiding something they don’t want to reveal to potential customers. Always ensure clear communication from the get-go and steer away from manufacturers who seem fishy. 
  • Inadequate Quality Control: Avoid supplement manufacturers who do not possess the required quality control certifications or have a history of product recalls. This means the manufacturer is not fully committed to formulating a clean and safe supplement.  
  • Limited Flexibility: Reputable supplement manufacturers are usually adaptable and happy to customize formulations based on your business goals. Be wary of manufacturers who are rigid in their ways and refuse to comply with standard formulation options.  
  • Lack of Experience: Possessing the right skillset can make or break your product. Partner with manufacturers with a proven track record and references who back their claim of producing high-quality supplements. This reduces the risk of production delays and errors, subpar quality, and other rookie mistakes.  

The Importance of Partnering with an Experienced Manufacturer like Vitaquest 

Collaborating with a reputable, well-established supplement manufacturer is essential. Such manufacturers can adapt to ever-evolving market trends, including changes in dosage forms and delivery technologies while maintaining strict compliance standards. 

Vitaquest International is a prime illustration of this expertise, backed by over 45 years of experience and acknowledged as a leader in the supplement manufacturing industry. Our reputation is fortified by a track record of in-house production for capsules, powders, and tablets, marked by an unblemished history of zero product recalls. Vitaquest remains the preferred choice for brands in search of a manufacturer committed to consistently utilizing high-quality raw materials and ingredients, coupled with state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities. 

To discover how Vitaquest’s custom contract manufacturing, state-of-the-art particle engineering services, expert packaging design, and convenient order fulfillment solutions can help you start or expand your dietary supplement business, call 800-526-9095 to speak to one of our knowledgeable sales executives or request a competitive nutraceutical manufacturing price quote. 

Patrick Brueggman - President and CEO - Vitaquest International
President & CEO Vitaquest International

Patrick Brueggman, with almost two decades in nutraceuticals and personal care, currently leads Vitaquest International as President & CEO. The company, with over 700 employees, is a major custom manufacturer in the supplement and functional foods business, creating 4,000 custom formulas for 500 brands in 50 countries. Prior to Vitaquest, Brueggman was Senior Vice President at Vantage Personal Care and had an 18+ year career at Ashland Specialty Ingredients. Throughout his career, he excelled in business turnaround, change management, team building, strategy development, and acquisition integration, consistently enhancing sales and profitability. Brueggman, holding a Bachelor of Science degree and a Six Sigma Master Black Belt from the University of Louisville, is also passionately involved in five integrative wellness centers in France and the US alongside his wife, Dr. Nouha Domloge.

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