When it comes to choosing ingredients for weight management supplements, those backed by robust clinical research are always worth a second look. Yes, a “clinically shown” claim still reigns supreme. But these days that doesn’t seem to be enough to keep an ingredient on a marketer’s short list of candidates for their next weight loss product.
The list of “must-have” claims is growing, and each claim demands a paper trail long enough for the regulatory folks to check the approval box. Ingredient suppliers that are prepared to respond with the proper documentation — and do so quickly — have a clear advantage.
Are the partners behind your product doing the following? If not, it may be time to make some tough decisions.
The whole team is empowered
How can a supplier accelerate this vetting process? The best way is to post basic ingredient information on its website. Another option is to organize its digital documents into an e-library of sorts so they are readily available to dispense when potential customers ask. This includes the front line … the folks who pick up the phone, answer the “Contact Us” form on the website and respond to whatever version of the “[email protected]” email address.
Remember, this is basic information about ingredient features, and it is needed long before the conversation can turn to costs, minimum orders, lead time, and other deal-making issues. Waiting for the sales team to return from a trade show or the CEO to return from her overseas trip (yes, a real excuse) may mean a missed opportunity to have an ingredient be part of the next blockbuster product.
Here is a list of suggested documents (signed and dated, please) that your supplier’s e-library should have. (Note to suppliers reading this: Consider batching a set for each of your ingredients—or at least your top ingredients). These documents answer many of the preliminary product feature questions that marketers have about potential ingredients:
- Raw Material Specification (with excipients)
- Allergen Statement, including the FALCP allergens (e.g., milk or milk products, egg, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat)
- GMO-free or Non-GMO Statement
- Organic Certificate
- Gluten-free Statement
- Yeast-free Statement
- Corn-free Statement
- Animal-free Statement
- BSE-free Statement
- Natural Statement
- Country of Origin Statement
- Kosher/Halal Certificate
First-rate customer care
An e-library is a great resource to help a supplier’s entire team quickly respond to inquiries from potential customers. In addition to product specifications, various certificates, and “free of” statements, your supplier should have easy access to frequently asked questions, sell sheets, health professional fact sheets, and other product-related information. Armed with this information, your partners will be fully prepared to rapidly respond to just about any ingredient query … and one step closer to “Approved.”