25.04.2024

How to Start a Supplement Company in 2024

The supplement market, expected to reach a staggering $327 billion by 2030, presents immense opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to make a mark in the health and wellness industry. However, starting a new business venture can be a daunting and overwhelming task. 

This guide aims to simplify the process, walking you through every crucial step from the initial concept to market launch. We’ll cover defining your vision, conducting market research, navigating regulations, choosing between white label and bespoke product development, and deploying effective marketing strategies. 

This guide will serve as a comprehensive resource for aspiring entrepreneurs ready to seize the opportunities in the dynamic supplement market. Let’s dive into the first critical step: deciding your path in this promising industry.

 

 

Decide Your Journey

When starting the creation of a new supplement, there are two main routes you can take: opting for ready-to-sell, often termed White Labelproducts, or developing a fully bespoke product, often known as Private Label”. Each choice offers its unique set of benefits and drawbacks. 

Understanding these differences thoroughly is essential, as well as identifying which option best matches your budget and project requirements.

Ready for Sale (White Label)

Ready-to-sell supplements are products pre-manufactured by a contract manufacturer, typically arriving in generic packaging such as pots, tubs, or pouches. Your role involves simply adding your branding labels, making them market-ready for your customers. 

These products often feature low minimum order quantities (MOQs), presenting a more accessible entry point for those on a tighter budget. Ready-to-sell supplements can be prepared for dispatch in significantly less time, usually within a week, contrasting sharply with bespoke options, which may take upwards of 12 weeks to complete.

However, with ready-to-sell products, customisation in terms of ingredients is not an option, potentially leading to a market offering that mirrors that of competitors. To differentiate your product, a robust marketing strategy becomes essential. 

Additionally, since these supplements are pre-made and stored until sold, their best-before dates tend to be shorter compared to made-to-order bespoke products. Pricing is influenced by the principle of economies of scale; lower order volumes mean higher per-unit costs, making these supplements more expensive on a per-unit basis despite the lower initial investment.

 

Benefits of Ready for sale supplements

  • Low MOQ
  • Short lead times
  • Proven Quality

 

Cons of Ready for sale supplements

  • Generic products
  • Shorter best before date
  • Higher individual unit cost

Bespoke (Private Label)

Bespoke supplements are tailored specifically to your vision, involving collaboration with a specialist formulator to craft a product that’s entirely unique. This route allows you complete creative control over the creation process, with the main consideration being your target unit cost. You’ll have the liberty to select every aspect, from the ingredients and their sources to opting for branded, organic, or vegan components, enhancing your ability to make distinct claims about your product. 

This level of customisation not only distinguishes your brand but also significantly increases its potential for success. Additionally, you can choose the type of packaging, deciding between custom designs and standard options to further personalise your offering.

However, opting for a bespoke supplement means higher minimum order quantities and costs. Creating a custom product is a meticulous process that cannot be rushed, requiring more time to achieve a finished supplement that meets your standards. 

While the development process can be expedited by modifying an existing formula with a new key ingredient, the registration of entirely new products may face additional hurdles, varying by the regulatory requirements of your country of sale.

Benefits of Bespoke supplements

  • Fully customisable
  • Lower unit cost

Cons of Bespoke supplements

  • Longer lead times
  • Higher MOQ

Ready-Made Supplements vs Bespoke Supplements

Market Research

After choosing your preferred approach, the next crucial step involves conducting market research to identify a niche. This process enables you to gain insights into the current market landscape, understanding what products are available, which ones are thriving, and where there might be opportunities for your brand to fill a gap. 

Thorough market research is instrumental in enhancing your likelihood of success, as it arms you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions and strategically position your supplement in the market.

Market Research Tools

Numerous valuable free and premium tools are available to assist you in your market research efforts.

 

Trends

Monitoring trends is a crucial aspect of market research, and Google Trends stands out as an exceptional resource for this purpose. With Google Trends, you can discern whether interest in a specific topic is increasing or declining and the best part  – it’s FREE

Consider the example of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) gummies, which experienced a sharp increase in global interest in January 2021, but then saw a steady decline in attention. This trend analysis is invaluable if you were considering capitalising on the ACV craze, highlighting that it may have been a fleeting trend.

 

Benefits of Google Trends

  • Free
  • Historical data from 2004 onwards
  • Simple to use

google trends ACV

 

Competitor research

Investigating your competition is crucial. A well-designed website might give the impression of a company being more successful than it truly is. Tools like SEMrush offer insights into the actual traffic a website receives, its sources, and other detailed information. 

Although SEMrush is a paid service, its comprehensive data makes it a highly recommended resource for a deeper understanding of your competitors’ online presence.

Benefits of SEMrush

  • Huge amount of data for both competitor and keyword research
  • Simple interface

Surveys

Surveys are an excellent method to gather information straight from your target audience. They allow you to ask questions directly relevant to your business, eliminating uncertainty. 

Platforms like Survey Monkey provide both complimentary and premium options. If you lack a ready network to distribute your survey, these platforms also offer services to reach your specified target demographic for you.

 

Benefits of Survey Monkey

  • Drag and drop editor
  • Conditional Formatting
  • Options to distribute the survey 

Finding Your Niche

Identifying your niche is a pivotal step in launching a new supplement. W. Edwards Deming, the renowned American theorist once stated, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion,” and his words ring true.

By conducting thorough research and pinpointing your target audience, you can customise your product and brand to meet the specific needs and preferences of these individuals, significantly boosting your odds of success.

Below are essential components of market research to consider:

 

Trend research

As highlighted previously, trends analysis play a critical role in market research. This applies whether you’re assessing the current popularity of existing products or gauging public awareness of a new concept you’re considering.

Trend analysis enables you to discern whether a specific supplement is merely a passing trend or if it has enduring popularity, indicating its potential to become a staple in the supplement market. When creating a bespoke supplement, it’s important to consider the time required to develop your product. A key question to ask is: will there still be a demand for your product by the time it’s ready to launch?

  • Identify supplements that are gaining traction
  • Determine which supplements are temporary trends
  • Confirm there is a strong demand for your product

 

Product Gap analysis

Product Gap analysis involves mapping out all competitors in the market and identifying areas where demand exceeds supply. Essentially, you are searching for a “Gap” in the market. This process can be intimidating for newcomers.

A straightforward approach to conduct this analysis is:

  1. Choose a product type and find ingredients that have the benefits you want the product to have. Pro tip – Use the prompt “What ingredients help with ______” on chatGPT to help with this.
  2. Create a list of the largest players in this market along with their ingredients.
  3. See which ingredients are shared between the competitors and remove them.
  4. You will now be left with the ingredients that make each of the competitors’ products unique.
  5. Cross reference this list with the ingredient list you previously made in step 1. 
  6. You may find there is an ingredient that none of the competitors use. This is the “Gap” you were looking for.
  7. This ingredient may not be used for a specific reason (Cost, legality, public perception). Undertake further research to determine the viability of this ingredient. 

 

This overview provides only a basic method of conducting a “Product Gap analysis”. We offer more detailed and comprehensive market research services, leveraging our industry expertise and proprietary systems.

Pricing

Conducting a pricing analysis is a vital component of market research, where you map out the prices at which competitors are selling their supplements. In recent years, this task has become more challenging due to the prevalence of subscription discounts and various first-time buyer incentives, which can obscure the true cost of products.

When undertaking this analysis, it’s beneficial to standardise the basis for comparison, such as selecting the 30-day subscription price. This approach ensures that you are not comparing a one-time purchase price, which is typically higher, against a subscription price from another company. Always consider the price per unit, as this will be crucial for later analysis.

Additionally, listing the ingredients alongside the prices allows you to evaluate the value for money each product offers and identify which brands command higher prices primarily through strong branding.

Key steps include:

  • Choosing a controlled price offering for consistency.
  • Listing the price per unit for clarity.
  • Aligning price points with ingredients to assess value.

Ideal Customer Persona

After completing sufficient market research, you should have a good understanding of the market and how you would like to enter it. The next step is to create your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP). 

 

What is an Ideal Customer Persona?

Often known as a buyer persona, this will be a fictional representation of who your ideal customer is based upon detailed market research. 

You can delve into great detail with the various facets of an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), but it’s important to maintain focus and not overextend. When creating a new supplement, here are the key elements you should concentrate on while developing an ICP:

 

  • Income bracket – What is their earnings range? How much disposable income do they have?
  • Demographic – What are their gender and age? 
  • Interest – What are their interests?
  • Information Sources – Where do they typically gather information? Do they use news outlets, social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok), magazines, or local gyms?
  • Similar brands – Which brands do they currently follow? Which are they likely to be aware of?

Target Sale Price

Now you have completed your market research and have created an Ideal Customer Persona, you can get your target sale price. This is an incredibly important step as this price will be used to calculate your Target Manufacturing cost. 

Remember the pricing analysis you did before? This is where that is incredibly valuable. You will be combining the price analysis and your Ideal Customer Persona, specifically the Income bracket part. 

  • Using your ICP and work out how much they will be able to spend. You don’t want to create a premium product if your ICP are students that have very little disposable income.
  • See if any competitors are selling at that price – you want to avoid pricing your product the same as a competitor, unless you can offer a better product with more ingredients or higher dosages.
  • Make a decision on your Target Sale Price.

Target Manufacturing Cost

Next, you’ll need to determine the target manufacturing cost. To guide this calculation, you can use the 30,30,40 rule, which outlines how to allocate the sale price per unit across different areas of your operations.

For example, let’s assume your Target Sale Price is £30 per unit:

  • 30% for Manufacturing – £9
  • 30% for Marketing – £9
  • 40% for Overheads and Profit – £12

Based on this breakdown, your target manufacturing cost would be £9. With this figure in mind, you can explore ready-to-sell (White Label) products at this price or approach a bespoke manufacturer and collaborate with a formulator to meet this cost.

When it comes to marketing, aim to spend around £9 per customer acquisition through paid advertising. Keep in mind, though, that this figure doesn’t fully account for repeat purchases and subscription models, which could justify a higher customer acquisition cost. Nonetheless, this serves as a practical initial benchmark.

Target Manufacturing cost

Pick your Path

Having successfully completed your market research, you should now have:

  • Ideal Customer Persona
  • Target Sale Price
  • Target Manufacturing Cost

With this information in hand, it’s time to decide on the production path that suits you best. Your overall budget will play a crucial role in this decision.

Ready for Sale (White Label)

So, you’ve opted for the Ready for Sale route. This decision is often driven by a limited budget and a desire to dip your toes into the supplement industry to see how it goes.

It’s important to understand that this method may require some compromises. 

  1. Product Sourcing
  2. Packaging
  3. Label
  4. Logistics
  5. Scale

White label supplement how to

Product Sourcing

Using the insights from your previous research, aim to find a product that both aligns with your Ideal Customer Persona and meets your Target Manufacturing Cost. It might be challenging to match these criteria perfectly, so be prepared to show some flexibility. Effective marketing can bridge any gaps that may arise in this process.

  • Find manufacturers who sell ready to sell products (White Label).
  • Find products matching your brief.
  • Be prepared to make compromises.

Supplement Packaging

Most ready-to-sell products come prepackaged. However, some manufacturers offer the option to purchase the product in bulk, allowing you to handle the packaging yourself.

To minimise costs, it’s most economical to use the standard packaging provided with the product. Nevertheless, if you’re prepared to invest more per unit, you can buy in bulk and acquire distinctive packaging separately, taking on the packaging process yourself.

  • Generic packaging is the most affordable option.
  • Purchasing in bulk and acquiring unique packaging separately costs more but can lead to better returns.

Supplement Label

Your label design has the potential to determine your brand’s success. As you are likely to introduce a product that’s already available on the market, it’s essential to differentiate your brand. Ensure your design resonates with your persona and adheres to best practices, yet stands out boldly. 

Develop a variety of designs and seek feedback from family, friends, or even potential customers. The effort invested in perfecting your design now can yield significant rewards in the future.

  • Differentiate your brand
  • Align your brand with Ideal Customer Persona
  • Follow best practices
  • Seek feedback and iterate upon initial designs

 

Supplement Label best practices

  • Clarity and Readability: Use clear, legible fonts and high-contrast colours to make sure that all text, including the product name, ingredients, and instructions for use, is easy to read.
  • Brand Consistency: Maintain consistent branding across all products. Your logo, colour scheme, and typography should align with your brand identity to build recognition and trust.
  • Simplicity: Avoid clutter. A clean, simple design often stands out more than a busy one. Ensure the most important information, like the product name and key benefits, is front and centre.

Logistics

Some manufacturers offer dropshipping services, while others operate on an ex-works basis, which requires you to coordinate the collection and delivery from their premises. In such cases, partnering with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) is necessary. Many prominent 3PLs offer website integrations that automate order processing and delivery, streamlining your operations and conserving both time and energy.

Starting out, you might manage dispatches from home if you have the space, but be aware that this can quickly become unsustainable as your business grows due to the considerable amount of groundwork required. Utilising Amazon’s Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service presents an alternative fulfilment solution.

dropshipping vs 3pl

Scaling your Supplement Business

At this stage, your aim is to generate sufficient revenue to progress towards a bespoke product order. While ready-to-sell supplements serve as an excellent starting point due to their lower initial investment, they are not ideal for long-term growth because of their inherent limitations.

Building a substantial and loyal customer base mitigates the risk associated with introducing a new product. As you expand, you’ll start to recruit specialised team members and transition your business out of the initial ‘start-up’ phase into a more established operation.

  • Move onto bespoke orders
  • Recruit specialised team members

Bespoke Supplement Manufacturing

Venturing into bespoke supplement creation is a thrilling endeavour. You’ll be crafting a product that’s distinctively yours – a process that is time-intensive but promises to be rewarding in the end.

  1. Custom Supplement Formulation
  2. Product Experience Testing
  3. Packaging
  4. Labelling
  5. Supplement Product Registration

Bespoke Supplement Manufacturing

Custom Supplement Formulation

Remember when you calculate your Target Manufacturing Cost? This is where this is vital. Unlike with Ready for sale supplements, bespoke supplements can be customised to fit within your budget.  

This information helps to shape a realistic product. Working alongside your formulator, you’ll craft a complete formulation that takes into account the specific version and source of each ingredient, influenced largely by cost considerations.

Your formulator’s role is multifaceted:

  • They will collaborate with you to create a complete and customised formulation.
  • They will work with our supply chain team and source each ingredient, keeping in mind that the cost will vary based on origin.
  • They will ensure that your product complies with legal standards in your intended sales region.
  • They will confirm that the formulation is practical and feasible for manufacturing.

It’s worth noting that your manufacturing costs will decrease with larger orders due to economies of scale. As such, your initial order, typically the smallest, will usually be the most costly.

Product Experience

This particular stage may not apply to all supplement formats, such as tablets or capsules. However, for consumables like drinks or gels, it’s critical to sample the product to ensure it has a palatable taste.

Even if the ingredients are optimally beneficial, a disagreeable flavour can be detrimental to its success. The initial taste experience is often a deciding factor for customers contemplating repeat purchases.

Some ingredients, despite their significant health benefits, can dominate the taste and colour of a product, potentially compromising its overall appeal.

 

Example Ingredients that are overpowering in taste

  • Green Tea 
  • NAC
  • BCAA
  • methionine
  • T-creatine
  • Bacopa monnieri  

Packaging

Ensure your branding is reflected in your packaging choices. It’s important to match the packaging quality with the product’s positioning; a high-end product deserves more than basic packaging, while a standard product might not need the extra expense of luxury packaging.

Budgeting for each unit is key — bespoke packaging will invariably incur higher costs. However, investing in superior label design can elevate the perceived value of even standard bottles or tubs, much like Optimum Nutrition has demonstrated.

  • Align branding to packaging design
  • High quality labelling can improve basic packaging 

 

Renewable Packaging

As the market moves towards more renewable options, it is worth being aware of the latest renewable packaging options.

 

Compostable Packaging:

  • Compostable materials are capable of breaking down into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil.
  • They require composting conditions (like the right level of heat, moisture, and microbes) to break down.
  • Compostable products are designed to turn into nutrient-rich material, which can support plant growth – this process must happen within a specific timeframe, typically within 90 days in commercial composting facilities.
  • Compostable packaging is not necessarily suitable for home composting unless marked as such.

 

Biodegradable Packaging:

  • Biodegradable materials are designed to break down with the help of microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi, without the need for a specialised composting facility.
  • There is no specific time frame for biodegradable materials to break down, and depending on the environment, the process can take from months to years.
  • Biodegradable doesn’t always mean eco-friendly; the process could produce methane if it occurs in an anaerobic environment (without oxygen), like a landfill.
  • The term ‘biodegradable’ is less regulated than ‘compostable’, which can sometimes lead to misuse by companies.

Compostable packaging vs biodegradable packaging

Labelling

A bespoke supplement demands a label that reflects its uniqueness and aligns with your brand ethos. It should not only be distinctive and eye-catching but also convey the bespoke nature of your product.

For a bespoke supplement, it’s particularly important to create a design that speaks to the refined preferences of your target customers. Involve your Ideal Customer Persona in every design decision to ensure your label resonates with those you aim to reach. Adherence to industry best practices in label design is non-negotiable, but there’s ample room to innovate within those parameters.

  • Emphasis on bespoke ingredients in your supplement
  • Align with branding with Ideal Customer Persona

Registration

The registration requirements for your product will vary based on your intended sales region. Registering with the appropriate regulatory authorities can be a lengthy process, occasionally extending to a full year. 

Your account manager should be well-informed about these timelines and will guide you on what to expect for product registration durations. It’s crucial to factor in these timelines when scheduling your product launch to avoid any impact on your product’s Best Before Dates (BBE). Ideally, you want to prevent your inventory from languishing in storage while awaiting regulatory approval.

  • Registration can take a significant amount of time
  • Factor in to manufacturing timeline to avoid product sitting in storage for too long

 

Here is a selection of countries where the registration process for a new supplement product can exceed six months:

  • Vietnam 
  • Peru 
  • Kazakhstan
  • UAE
  • Thailand
  • South Korea
  • Egypt
  • Morocco 
  • USA

 

Marketing your Supplement

Marketing your supplement is a crucial part of ensuring its success. Robust marketing efforts can compensate for product shortcomings, but even the most superior supplement can fail to reach its potential without effective marketing. A well-crafted marketing campaign encompasses numerous considerations. 

As a new company owner, you’re likely to take on the marketing responsibilities initially to minimise expenses. Here, we present the fundamental elements you must master to elevate your brand.

  1. Brand
  2. Marketing Channel
  3. Website
  4. Advertising
  5. Keys to success
  6. Mistakes to avoid

Brand

Determining what your brand represents is pivotal. Crucially, it should resonate with your Ideal Customer Persona; the more aligned your brand is with your target audience, the greater the likelihood of success. 

However, be mindful of not narrowing your niche excessively—consider long-term scalability. For instance, if your initial product targets females but you intend to expand to male products later, opting for a gender-neutral brand identity from the outset could facilitate a smoother expansion.

 

Branding Materials you Need to Create

  • Company Name
  • Company Mission Statement
  • Logo
  • Colour Palette
  • Email Signatures
  • Brand Guidelines

Website

Websites today serve as the digital equivalent of a storefront, playing an essential role in your business’s visibility and accessibility. However, the expense of creating and maintaining a website can escalate rapidly. 

It’s crucial to be pragmatic about your budget. Investing in a custom website often leads to a point of diminishing returns, where the benefits gained are not proportional to the money spent.

 

Off the shelf themes

Off-the-shelf website themes are affordable, pre-designed templates that come with a user-friendly “drag and drop” builder, typically costing between £70 and £100. These themes are ideal for those on a budget who lack coding skills. 

However, the functionality of these themes is limited, and while plugins can extend their capabilities, they may introduce bugs that are difficult to fix without technical expertise. It’s crucial to adapt your design approach to work within the limitations of these templates, rather than attempting to force a custom design that might not be compatible.

 

Off the shelf pros

  • No coding experience needed
  • Low set up cost

 

Off the shelf cons

  • Restricted to builder limitations
  • Bug fixing can be difficult

 

Woocommerce vs Shopify

The two leading and most popular e-commerce platforms are WooCommerce and Shopify, each with its distinct features and considerations for selection.

 

Shopify

Shopify is renowned for its simplicity and ease of setup, making it a preferred choice for many small to medium-sized e-commerce sites. It operates as a dedicated e-commerce platform and offers a user-friendly, drag-and-drop page builder. 

However, Shopify can become prohibitively expensive when transitioning to a custom-designed site, with costs for a five-page site ranging from £10,000 to £25,000 or more.

 

WooCommerce

WooCommerce serves as the e-commerce extension for WordPress, which is often used for B2B sites but is also viable for B2C e-commerce. It supports a variety of user-friendly builders and excels due to its vast selection of plugins, enhancing its functionality. 

However, this strength is also a potential weakness; plugins can introduce bugs, and WooCommerce updates may disrupt the functionality of existing plugins. Without a developer on hand, this could lead to significant issues, including website downtime.

Each platform has its advantages and challenges, so it’s crucial to consider your specific needs, technical resources, and budget when choosing between WooCommerce and Shopify.

Pro tip – Use this handy tool to see what platform any website is running on https://builtwith.com/

WooCommerce vs shopify

The key to a successful ecommerce store

Streamlining the purchasing process is vital for your website’s success. While aesthetic appeal matters, it’s the user journey—from arrival to checkout—that should be intuitive and smooth. 

Remove any potential hurdles that might drive visitors away or cause frustration. Pair this streamlined approach with incentives like subscription and first purchase discounts to boost your conversion rate and achieve a strong Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

  • Streamline the purchase process as a top priority.
  • Focus on a user-friendly journey, not just aesthetics.
  • Ensure a logical, frictionless path from landing to checkout.
  • Eliminate potential frustrations for site visitors.
  • Offer incentives like subscription and first-purchase discounts.

Advertising

Creating appropriate marketing materials and content tailored to each of your selected channels is essential, with a need to adapt the content style to fit the varied demographic profiles of each platform. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has traditionally been a key strategy for promoting new supplements. However, Google ads, which tend to be more costly, are typically bypassed by emerging brands due to budget constraints.

In contrast, advertising on Instagram and Facebook has become increasingly popular, where high-quality creatives coupled with a seamless user experience can yield a Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) in the impressive 10x range. Nonetheless, attaining such high returns is the result of extensive work and constant experimentation. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for initial campaigns to achieve a more modest ROAS of 1x to 2x.

  • Create content to match Persona and marketing channel
  • Avoid google ads unless you have a sufficient budget
  • Use high quality creatives and refined user experience to get high ROAS

 

User Generated Content and TikTok

The surge in TikTok’s popularity and the influencer wave have ushered in a new breed of content: User Generated Content (UGC). In this approach, influencers are compensated to craft and share content themselves, frequently featuring them utilising a product on their personal pages.

This tactic capitalises on the influencer’s established follower base, shifting ad expenditure from a recurring expense to a single payment made directly to the influencer.

Take a look at some great UGC examples – View examples.

Marketing Keys to Success

Mastering marketing is a challenging endeavour, with some suggesting it’s an ever-evolving field that can never be fully mastered. Nonetheless, there are several strategies you can employ to significantly improve your chances of success.

  • Iterations
    • Constant iteration is key, utilising A/B and multivariate testing to refine your approach. Not every initiative will hit the mark, but by conducting various tests, you’ll identify the top-performing campaigns and understand the elements of their success. This knowledge is invaluable for shaping your future campaigns.

 

  • Email Marketing
    • In the realm of e-commerce, an email address holds immense value, akin to oil. When harnessed effectively, email campaigns, particularly those with targeted incentives, can yield significant results. Automation platforms like Klaviyo can streamline this process, ensuring that the right messages reach the right people at the optimal moment in their customer journey.

 

  • Incentives
    • At times, potential customers may need a nudge to complete a purchase. Incentives such as discounts, deals on multiple items, or complimentary gifts with initial subscriptions can effectively tip the scales for those contemplating a transaction.

 

  • FOMO
    • Leveraging the fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a highly effective strategy to boost sales, as it taps into a common human emotion. Implementing tactics such as limited-time offers or releasing special editions of your product with unique labels can capitalise on this powerful motivator.

 

  • Reviews
    • Securing positive reviews for your product can play a crucial role in persuading sceptics. Consumers are often hesitant to try a new health supplement, especially one with no reviews, as it’s a new formulation on the market. Good reviews help build trust and credibility, encouraging potential buyers to make a purchase.

 

  • Customer Journey
    • It’s crucial to tailor your marketing content to align with your customers’ journeys. If a potential customer is unfamiliar with your product, directing them straight to the checkout page is ineffective. Instead, recognise that such customers are at the top of the sales funnel and need to be engaged with introductory content that educates them about your product first.

 

Mistakes to avoid

  • Legality of Marketing Claims – You must navigate strict health claim regulations creatively. For example, in the UK, direct terms like ‘fat burner’ are prohibited, even if the product is designed for this purpose. 

 

  • Targeting the Right Audience: Ensure alignment between the product, customer persona, and platform. Presenting an irrelevant product to the wrong audience on an unsuitable platform is a surefire way to waste advertising funds.

 

  • Price vs. Quality: Avoid overemphasising price at the expense of quality. Customer retention through repeat business is key, and poor-quality products won’t secure a loyal customer base.

 

  • Timing Market Trends: Be wary of joining trends too late. For instance, manufacturing a product at the height of its popularity risks missing the trend and being stuck with unsellable stock once public interest wanes. Take into account lead times when planning a product launch.

 

  • Differentiation in Saturated Markets: When entering a crowded market, ensure your product stands out with a unique selling proposition (USP), exceptional marketing, or by leveraging an existing loyal customer base.

Supplement Manufacturer Accreditations

When picking a supplement manufacturer, it’s important to choose one with the right accreditations. These ensure the products are made in a safe and clean environment using high-quality ingredients. 

However, figuring out which accreditations matter and which are just for show can be tricky.

 

BRC (BRCGS)

BRC, also known as BRCGS, is the highest accreditation for food manufacturing in the UK. It addresses all facets of manufacturing. Other systems and protocols, such as HACCP, are included under this accreditation. This means that if you are BRC certified, you won’t need to obtain these other, smaller certifications.

Recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative as the leading accreditation, BRC assigns a grade after an audit, with the highest possible being AA. It’s important to ask your manufacturer about their specific grade, as simply having the accreditation is not sufficient.

 

NSF GMP

NSF GMP is a U.S. accreditation that adheres to FDA 21 CFR.111, representing the highest standard for dietary supplements in the USA. 

This is significant because the U.S. has a distinct approach to dietary supplements compared to EU countries. Holding this accreditation is crucial for anyone looking to sell dietary supplements in the USA.

 

ISO9001

You might have noticed manufacturers displaying this certification, but it is quite general and not tailored specifically to food manufacturing. It serves as a quality management system that verifies adherence to quality procedures, applicable to any type of business. 

Therefore, this certification alone does not indicate that a manufacturer meets high standards; it only shows they have passed a broad management assessment. Exercise caution with manufacturers who highlight this certification as a primary credential.

 

ISO14001

This certification demonstrates a company’s commitment to environmental standards. However, it is not directly relevant to the manufacturing of food supplements. While it is a valuable certification in terms of sustainability, it does not provide any indication of a manufacturer’s quality.

 

HACCP

HACCP is a management system designed to ensure food safety by analysing and controlling biological, chemical, and physical hazards across all stages of production—from raw material procurement to the distribution and consumption of the finished product.

This system is often part of a broader certification like BRC. If a manufacturer holds HACCP as a standalone certification, exercise caution; it might indicate that they lack a more comprehensive certification that typically includes HACCP.

 

GMP (as a standalone)

If a manufacturer has only a standalone GMP certification, it usually means they have been audited by a secondary company. While these audits are often conducted to a high standard, they are not as comprehensive as a BRC certification. There are various levels of GMP, some issued by local councils and local governments, some by medicinal regulations.

The phrase GMP is often used as a quality stamp by manufacturers with low-level certification. In the UK, the most rigorous GMP certificate is issued by MHRA.

 

5* Food hygiene rating

This rating is not relevant to manufacturing at all. It might be awarded for the quality of a kitchen but not for a manufacturing facility. Be cautious if a manufacturer has this rating, unless their facility includes different operations that justify it.

Supplement Factory

Written by Supplement Factory

Our team of industry experts not only work towards producing the highest standards of sports and health nutrition products, but also lend their knowledge towards educating the industry on the latest advances in products, ingredients and formulations.

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