Finding the right supplement manufacturer for your nutritional needs doesn’t have to be a stressful and difficult task. With a few pointers about what to look for in a supplement manufacturer, you should be good to go. The key is in asking the right questions.
A general guideline would include looking at the legal side of things. Ensure that the company is following all safety rules and FDA regulations. But more specifically, here are some things that can help you zero in on the right supplement manufacturer for you.
The first and most important thing to look for in a supplement manufacturer is certification. Most manufacturers should be certified or be a member of the following:
NSF – this is a third-party GMP certification that shows a manufacturer’s standards are well above board the normal standards.
Natural Products Association (NPA) – The NPA comes up with standards of manufacturing for natural products and make it easy for consumers to identify such products.
Your products can also benefit from labels like “Gluten-free”, ‘GMO-free”, kosher and vegetarian certificates. Look for manufacturers who have such certificates.
While a certification may put you at ease about a certain manufacturer and can certainly help you make a decision, it does not always guarantee a reliable manufacturer.
Take a look at the associations and certifications of NutraScience Labs. It’s also useful to have a manufacturer that is capable of product testing so that you are assured of a high-quality supplement.
- Prop 65
Any chemical and medical manufacturing company in California should be more than familiar with Prop 65.
Prop 65 is a law in the state of California that’s aim was to prevent manufacturers from dumping toxic chemicals into water bodies in and around the state. After the law went into effect, the state published a list of harmful chemicals that contains over 800 carcinogens and reproductive toxins that manufactures were cautioned to void using in their supplements and other medications.
Manufacturers that are suspected of using such chemicals in their products are issued a Prop 65 warning which customers can use as a decision maker. Any manufacturer that has been issued multiple warnings is best avoided.
In California, you need to look for a manufacturer who is well aware of Prop 65 laws and has shown due diligence in compliance.
- Take a Tour of the Facility
There’s nothing like taking a tour of the facility and seeing first-hand how the company manufacturers supplements. Ask them about documentation and how they adhere to the FDA’s general manufacturing practices. The FDA enforces its GMPs so it’s wiser not to take a short-cut on high-quality manufacturing.
- References and Reputation
Some companies have been around for ages and some are new. You can ask the company for a list of references. If they cannot, due to confidentiality issues, you can turn to online references. Most websites have testimonials on their website. Third-party review sites may also offer some help. Use the Better Business Bureau. Make sure their names are listed in trade events and shows and other industry leaders have high regard for your prospective manufacturer.
Other things to look at are storage facilities and order fulfillment services. These are very helpful if you’re a startup. You don’t need to invest much in personnel and infrastructure if a manufacturer is willing to store your products and ship them to your customers.