SupplySide West podcast: Effectively partnering with a contract laboratory

Choosing whether to test products in house or through a third-party contract lab can be a daunting task. Now Foods vice president of quality and regulatory affairs Aaron Secrist has tips on how to approach such a decision.

Sandy Almendarez, VP of Content

October 1, 2018

GMPs (good manufacturing practices) require an own label distributor/brand holder to test their products with scientifically valid methods, but it’s up to brands to decide if it’s best to test in house or by using a third-party lab. A lot of factors that go into that decision, including time, resources, expertise and equipment.

Aaron Secrist, vice president of quality and regulatory affairs, NOW Foods discusses the resources that a brand needs to set up an inhouse lab and when it makes sense for a brand to use a contract lab rather than keep the testing in house. Secrist and Sandy Almendarez, editor in-chief, INSIDER, cover:

  • The pros and cons of both in-house and outside third-party contract lab testing

  • What GMPs specially outline for supplement testing

  • What to look for when entering a partnership with a third-party contract lab

Links and Resources:

Got feedback? Email Sandy at [email protected], or tweet to @NatProdINSIDER using the hashtag #INSIDERPodcast

About the Author(s)

Sandy Almendarez

VP of Content, Informa


• Well-known subject matter expert within the health & nutrition industry with more than 15 years’ experience reporting on natural products.

• She cares a lot about how healthy products are made, where their ingredients are sourced and how they affect human health.

• She knows that it’s the people behind the businesses — their motivations, feelings and emotions — drive industry growth, so that’s where she looks for content opportunities.

Sandy Almendarez is VP of Content for SupplySide and an award-winning journalist. She oversees the editorial and content marketing teams for the B2B media brands Natural Products Insider and Food and Beverage Insider, the education programming for the health and nutrition trade shows SupplySide East and SupplySide West, and community engagement across the SupplySide portfolio. She is a seasoned content strategist with a passion for health, good nutrition, sustainability and inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in the health and nutrition industry, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a content-focused business leader. With specialization in topics ranging from product development to content engagement, creative marketing and c-suite decision making, her work is known for its engaging style and its relevance for business leaders in the health and nutrition industry.

In her free time, Sandy loves running, drinking hot tea and watching her two kids grow up. She brews her own “Sandbucha” homemade kombucha; she’s happy to share if you’re ever in Phoenix!


Speaker credentials

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University


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