Part I of this series Important Considerations When Choosing Branded Ingredients can be found here.


Consumers are often searching for specific health benefits when they look to purchase supplements. Ingredient suppliers invested in supporting the brands that they work with are doing their own work to gain a greater understanding of consumers’ needs and wants. This enables them to more effectively guide the brands that they work in translating the science and technical information into the messaging and benefits that will most appeal to consumers.

The natural products ingredient market offers a nearly endless array of options, from commodity ingredients to highly specialized branded ingredients trying to fulfill a niche in the market. As in any marketplace, there is a wide spectrum when it comes to ingredient quality, supplier support, market relevance and value.  Aside from the question of what do consumers value? There are several other things to be taken into consideration to help ensure success in formulating new products including safety, identity, potency, and support from concept to market. Each piece is important and should play a key role in any decision to move forward with a new ingredient and choosing an ingredient supplier.


The ingredient must be free from adulteration or misbranding, cannot be contaminated with excess heavy metals or microbes, be free of undeclared allergens, and must be safe for human and /or animal consumption. Although this may seem obvious, safety is fundamental, and full documentation on the ingredient should be readily available.

Identity & Potency

Analytical methods should be used to confirm the identity and potency of the ingredients. It is easy to be fooled; for example, this past year elderberries were in high demand and tight supply. As a result, many companies found their elderberry products had been adulterated with other ingredients to spike polyphenol and anthocyanin levels. Confirmation of identity and potency should be made available upon request.

Support from Concept to Market

Exceptional products can take a village to build. Service should start with the first contact, through product development, product launch all the way through the work it takes to ensure the product is a continued commercial success, this includes:

• An understanding of their customers business and product line to provide ideas for next-generation products that align with their brand
• Product design – provide formulation assistance and guidance on how the ingredient is best used within the customers’ desired parameters
• Labeling guidance – nutritional information, claims, use of trademarks, etc.
• Ongoing Support – updates on new science and ongoing marketing support
• Creation of brand awareness at the consumer level through marketing
• A true ingredient partner understands the marketplace, consumer needs, regulatory compliance, and much more. They are a resource for their customer.

What does this all mean?

Consumers want to understand what is in the bottle and how it can benefit them. They want to know what the key ingredients are, what they do and the science behind them. A good supply partner will help your product achieve success in the market through collaborative efforts that increase consumer awareness through consumer-focused marketing and education on these branded ingredients. Choosing a branded ingredient for your product is no easy task, you want to have full confidence in both the ingredient and the company providing it to ensure that you are setting your product up for success.