DIY Supplement Formulas: What to Know
Americans love do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. It has never been easier to build, remodel, fix, and repair. DIY not only saves money but by investing your time and energy, you often end up with something better. Something that gives you greater satisfaction and joy.
Are you a health nut? Do you tweak your recipes to make them just a little bit healthier? To harness nutritional power, do you add things like protein powder, flaxseed, turmeric, cinnamon, kale, etc.?
Maybe it is time to cash in on the booming dietary supplement industry and start your own supplement brand.
The 2021 Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) dietary supplement survey reveals supplement use is at an all-time high with 80% of American’s taking one or more supplements. That is a significant seven-point increase from 2020. And most people taking supplements (79% of Americans) report they trust the supplement industry.
With the proper research and development, marketing, manufacturing, and packaging, your supplement brand can take off.
Dietary Supplement Market Trends
CRN reports the Covid pandemic triggered sales for immune-boosting products with Vitamin D selling 10 points higher (52% versus 42%) in October 2021 than in October 2020. In addition, Zinc was 7 points higher (22% versus 15%), and Vitamin C, 5 points higher (40% versus 35%).
Grand View Research’s 2020 Dietary Supplement’s Report forecasts areas for supplement market growth from 2021-2028. In 2020, the global supplement market was valued at $140.3 billion. They report vitamins held the largest share of the market (31.4% or $32.75 billion) with Botanicals following close behind.
Botanicals derived from plants or plant parts become dietary supplements when extracted or made into teas, tinctures, infusions, or decoctions. The increasing popularity of the vegan diet is driving the herbal and botanical supplement market.
Grand View Research predicts sports nutrition products to be the fastest-growing submarket of the seven-year forecast period with an expected 13.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for proteins and amino acids supplements.
How to Create Supplement Formulas
At this point, you might be thinking, “I’m going to start a vitamin company and make out big.” Unfortunately, there is a difference between knowing there is a market for your DIY supplement formula and selling it. To do well in the market, you need to dig deeper.
Do your research or contract with a company that knows the market. There are many points to consider for your supplement to take off.
Who is your target audience? What will entice them to purchase your product? Do you make it yourself or use local manufacturers? Here are some key factors to consider.
1. Target Audience
- Who are you are trying to help with your supplement? What is the problem you are addressing?
A general vitamin to fill nutrition gaps? Reduce joint inflammation? Promote cardiovascular health? Missing nutrients in vegan diets? Sports nutrition to help build lean muscle mass?
- What age group?
Are you looking to improve cognition for the elderly? To help children meet recommended fiber amounts? Aid Vitamin D absorption for the overweight segment of the population or the elderly?
- Are you aiming to reach a specific type of person?
Outdoor enthusiasts? Business people? Sports fanatics? Gamers? Irish Step Dancers? Sedentary weekend warriors?
Once you have a specific target audience, it is time to start researching. Research the raw ingredients and dosages to benefit your target audience. In addition, you need to know the most appealing supplement form for your audience.
Grand View Research indicates key success factors for a new supplement are research and development (R&D). If you include raw ingredients that are clinically shown to benefit your target audience but not in the appropriate dosages, then your supplement flops. If you have the right formulation, but your supplement is not in an appealing form, it will not sell well either.
Instead of doing it all yourself, take advantage of the expertise of a contract manufacturer’s R&D team. A few minutes of talking to a supplement developer can save hours. An R&D team points out formulations and forms that sell well and helps tweak your custom formula to hit your target audience.
In addition, a contract manufacturer knows the ins and outs of good manufacturing practices (GMP) as regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Raw material identity testing, manufacturing quality control, employee training, equipment cleaning, and final product purity and potency testing is well in hand with a qualified manufacturer.
R&D can also guide you through your brand’s supplement labeling requirements since the FDA strictly regulates health and structure/function claims.
The more specific you are during your supplement’s development, the happier you will be with the final product. Do you want your product to be vegetarian with no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners? Do you want it certified Organic, Kosher, or Halal?
What form do you want your product to take? (Older people prefer taking a pill or capsule. Younger people prefer a powder mix, chewable tablet, gel, or gummy.)
How do you want your product packaged? Plastic or glass bottles, jars, stick packs, sachets, or blister packs? Do you want to include a 30-day supply per packaged amount? Or maybe a 60-day supply?
Do you want your product stamped ‘Proudly Made in the USA’?
Reduce confusion when working with a contract manufacturer by communicating specific details. You don’t have to know every detail. But having a good idea moves R&D in the right direction from the get-go. For example, it could be as simple as:
“I want a certified organic relaxation product in a vegetarian capsule. I want it packaged in a 30-day quantity in glass bottles.”
The English phrase “You have to spend money to make money” applies to the dietary supplement market. Regardless of whether you work with a contract manufacturer or decide to manufacture your brand in-house, you pay upfront for ingredients, equipment, labor, and marketing.
The advantages of working with an established contract manufacturer include:
- Expanded resources, including specialty partner companies like graphic designers and labelers,
- An established raw material supply chain for best cost and quality,
- Reduced overhead cost (Instead of owing equipment and a facility and paying employees, you rent them for a short amount of time.), and
5. Marketing Your Brand
What we have covered so far is only half of the equation when selling dietary supplements. No brand sales without a marketing plan. How can you best reach your target audience? Some products sell well in associated facilities like the gym or sporting events. (Little bottles of energy mix sell like mad at Irish Step Dance Competitions.)
However, the bulk of dietary supplements are bought online with 77% of sales occurring on Amazon.com. Use online platforms with search engine optimization wording to attract your targeted audience. If it is a high-quality product and you market it right, people will buy it.
Choosing a Co-Packer
Co-packers or contract manufacturers can help develop, manufacture, and package your brand without the headache of doing it all yourself. The best co-packers are honest and transparent about their processes, specialties, costs, and turnaround times. Ask questions and then ask more questions to make sure you have the right company for your brand.
For one of the best Utah supplement Co-Packers, contact Origin Nutraceutical today! We specialize in capsules and powdered mixes. We follow our motto: Customer service is the origin of success.
The content of Origin Nutraceutical’s website is for information only, not advice or guarantee of outcome. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Origin Nutraceutical is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. No individuals, including those taking Origin Nutraceutical products, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnosis or self-treat any health-related condition. Origin Nutraceutical gives no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness or applicability of the content.
By: Jae O. Haroldsen
“CRN Reveals Initial Data from 2021 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements.” Council for Responsible Nutrition. 2021. https://www.crnusa.org/newsroom/crn-reveals-initial-data-2021-consumer-survey-dietary-supplements
Dietary Supplements Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Ingredient (Vitamins, Proteins & Amino Acids), By Form, By Application, By End User, By Distribution Channel, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 – 2028. Grand View Research. 2021. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/dietary-supplements-market
Wallace, Brian. “Why Amazon is King of the Supplement’s Market.” Grit Daily. 2021. https://gritdaily.com/why-amazon-is-king-of-the-supplements-market/
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