To answer all these questions and more, Michael Hartman, PhD, Plexus Worldwide Vice President of Research and Development, joined the NutraCast in a wide-ranging interview that underscores what he has learned working in the dietary supplement industry for two decades.
When it comes to choosing a contract manufacturer, Hartman said that there are two major factors to consider: expertise and capacity.
“I think the two big things are the experience of that contract manufacturer specific to the delivery format that you're trying to produce. Contract manufacturers have expertise in multiple deliveries, but occasionally, you'll find ones that may be specialized in powders, ready to mix powders, others may be specialized in capsules or hard-pressed tablets. So identifying the actual experience and the expertise of that contract manufacturer is going to be important,” explained Hartman.
“The other thing is capacity. What is the capacity of that manufacturer in terms of volume and depending on the size of the brand you have to align with the right size contract manufacturer? So if you're a company that's doing maybe 10,000 units a year, that's going to limit what contract manufacturers you are going to want to work with and conversely if you're doing millions of units per year you need a contract manufacturer that has the ability to scale and produce at that large quantity. So the two things are really expertise and capacity. Identifying those two things early on I think leads to a seamless partnership down the road,” he added.
As a researcher, Hartman said he always has his finger on the pulse of trends. “I can't give away any secrets, but I can say that there are certain things that we're looking at that are really going to benefit people as we come out of this time period. I really feel like there's going to be some renewed interest in weight management, the research is starting to show that at least in the United States that there's been a significant portion of the population that have gained weight over the last year. And then also with that idea there’s active nutrition, maybe outside of what we have previously thought of as sports nutrition for people that are exercising that are just getting outside and getting some physical activity. The other thing the pandemic brought to the forefront was this idea of convenience, so I think the ready-to-drink category is really going to explode over the next year. So these are all things that were very aware of and are working towards,” said Hartman. “We are always working on something --my favorite product is the next product.”
To hear more about what’s trending and when Plexus plans to release their next product, listen the NutraCast.
NutraCast is a podcast that focuses on insights from inside the nutrition industry. It is a production by NutraIngredients-USA. Music by Kevin Macleod.