For firms making nutrition products for brands, surviving and thriving were important in 2020, and the lessons learned are helping them prepare for the expected “recovery” ahead.

Steve Myers, Senior Editor

March 1, 2021

2 Min Read
Contract manufacturers reflect on 2020 challenges, eye ‘new normal’.jpg

When it comes to making supplements and functional products, contract manufacturers do some heavy lifting, helping brands from sourcing and development to packaging and labeling. With so many clients depending on such partnerships to keep retail inventory stable during the pandemic-laced year that was 2020, contract manufacturers were under intense pressure to shore up sourcing and production. Through all this, they still had to keep an eye on the future to stay competitive in a world driven by innovation and progress.

Natural Products Insider talked to several contract manufacturers about how they adapted to the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic and how they continued to invest in the future. Included in this discussion were:

Hot product categories during the pandemic beyond immune

“…the demand for antioxidants and for mineral supplements including zinc were profound, and frankly, continue unabated.” - Mark LeDoux, Natural Alternatives International (NAI)

The fate of transparency and sustainability efforts during 2020

“…over this past year we’ve been able to make strides in improving transparency both internally and externally… Sustainability continues to be an area of opportunity, and we’re working with our clients to help improve our efforts in this initiative.” - Scott Steinford, CEO, Health Wright Products

Adapting to the lack on in-person business and networking

“We took these challenges as an opportunity and saw that by working online, we get better and faster feedback from new clients.” - Blaž Gorjup, chairman and founder, PharmaLinea Ltd.

Innovation activity, 2020 vs. 2021

“…technology and engineering are areas in which I feel most ambitious looking ahead.” -  Adel Villalobos, CEO and founder, Lief Labs

Key issues facing the dietary supplement industry

“Only with greater GMP compliance can our customers be assured they are receiving the product they requested, and industry be assured of an even playing field.” - Mike Finamore, CEO, Gemini Pharmaceuticals Inc.

To read this Q&A, check out the Insight into contract manufacturing – digital magazine, as well as bonus online Q&A: Pandemic & politics and Ingredients & scale.

About the Author(s)

Steve Myers

Senior Editor

Steve Myers is a graduate of the English program at Arizona State University. He first entered the natural products industry and Virgo Publishing in 1997, right out of college, but escaped the searing Arizona heat by relocating to the East Coast. He left Informa Markets in 2022, after a formidable career focused on financial, regulatory and quality control issues, in addition to writing stories ranging research results to manufacturing. In his final years with the company, he spearheaded the editorial direction of Natural Products Insider.

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