Today's tough economy highlights the desire for marketers and retailers of supplements, powders and beverages to consider the ways they can trim expenses. Contract manufacturers are providing such services, in particular for retailers looking to private-label lines, which are seeing significant growth — Wal-Mart reported that 40 per cent of its products are now private label. Retailers large and small are following suit.
"Cutting down costs is an important aspect to countering the economic crisis," says Jason Provenzano, executive vice president at Nutricap Labs, based on Long Island, NY. "Discuss with your private-label manufacturer how you can cut costs, even in packaging and transport, without compromising quality."
A contract manufacturer with storage facilities, an advanced lab facility, flexibile production runs, and promotion and marketing intelligence would be a boon to any company seeking to trim costs.
The real trick for any party looking to outsource manufacturing in today's quality-scandal climate is, of course, to also ensure quality standards are met. With issues ranging from the June stage 2 GMP implementation for medium-size companies to adulteration scandals, safety and reliability have become even more paramount.
"This is all good news as every lab will now have to do what we have already been doing," says Provenzano. "All raw materials have been and will continue to be extensively tested before they enter any product. We have the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art testing equipment. Random raw material testing is done on a regular basis to ensure the efficacy of stock materials."
Provenzano says the GMPs that are being implemented in June should lead to contraction in the contract-manufacturing world as companies that cannot afford to make the cut close up shop.
"It will also place the dietary supplements industry on a visibly higher plane of quality and trust," he says. "I foresee many frantic phone calls in the future from companies that were price driven, or just not aware that their manufacturer was not qualified. Either way, Nutricap Labs can't wait for these opportunities."
GMPs will mandate documentation of processes, from equipment cleaning and use logs to batch production and control records. What sets Nutricap Labs apart from the competition is customer service and trust. "Trust is an important part of any industry," says Provenzano. "It is in times of testing that relationships play a crucial role. A good, open communication with private-label partners will give an advantage in working through the issues related to GMP compliance. A private-label manufacturer will understand your needs, and come alongside to meet those high expectations that will, in the end, ensure customer satisfaction."
The new buzz
Another notable area of growth is in the energy-drinks market. Provenzano noted that the company is receiving a marked increase in quotes from energy drinks marketers looking for a contract manufacturer to bring their ideas to fruition. Nutricap Labs can help with everything from ingredient choices to packaging and marketing angles.
Apart from caffeine and flavour options like pomegranate, Provenzano says any energy drink must contain certain other ingredients: "Clever marketing strategies, a nationwide distribution network, a name that creates instant brand recognition and the right kind of packaging."
Nutricap Labs also specialises in more areas than your average contract manufacturer, including top-to-bottom nutraceutical packaging and label-design services as well as order-fulfillment services and flavouring experts. Its experienced staff guarantees 24- to 48-hour quote turnaround time. With experience and quality at its disposal, Nutricap Labs offers a valuable option for today's economy.