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Does Your Supply Partner Ladder Up with Consumer Demands?

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Selecting a supplier that can meet high consumer expectations is critical for market success.

Marketing words can become so overused, they lose their meaning. For instance, “transparency”, “sustainability”, and “quality,” are bandied about but many do not live up to the hype.

There are suppliers that can prove the words they use. For example, TSI Group can show customers that their ingredients are fully traceable, have strong sustainability practices and also provide technically enhanced raw materials -– all resulting in desirable cost savings, expediency in speed-to-market, and higher profits from increased sales.

According to a 2019 consumer survey, consumers are not gullible and will do their research: they want access to reliable knowledge they can trust to choose products and brands that align with their values. Glucosamine, one of the world’s most popular and well-known supplements, is a keen example:

  • 49% of people who extensively use glucosamine are influenced by sustainability concerns1.
  • 83% of Millennials say it’s important to buy from companies whose values align with theirs 2
  • 40% of people who take glucosamine regularly don't know how it is sourced and/or processed 1

Transparency

Transparency is often difficult to show. There are many stops in the road from the sea or ground to the consumer’s medicine cabinet.

Studies show that consumers expect transparency in knowing where the ingredients in the supplements they take come from, but the same studies show a gap between this desire and their actual understanding of what this process entails. Many commodity ingredients (such as glucosamine) have a supply chain that is a web of traders, brokers, exporters, importers, and distributors –- each adding complexity and opacity. Regulations require traceability in the form of documents, but these are not readily available to consumers, making it difficult for consumers to find proof.

TSI Group has always made transparency a core principle. Their leading branded ingredient – GlucosaGreen®​ -- is manufactured, imported, and distributed by TSI Group -- there are no third-party manufacturers, traders, or brokers. Additionally, TSI’s website – www.glucosagreen.com -- is published specifically for consumers, giving them direct access to the actual ingredient manufacturer.

Sustainability

Consumers care about sustainability. More than 60% of people worldwide who extensively use glucosamine are willing to pay a price premium for an environmentally friendly and sustainably sourced product.4

GlucosaGreen®​ is sustainable as it is not dependent on a fragmented supply of crustacean shells, the conventional source for glucosamine. Shellfish are also used as a starting material for other products, which further stresses and reduces the supply. Made from non-GMO corn, GlucosaGreen®​ produces only 2 percent of waste compared to shellfish glucosamine. GlucosaGreen®​ uses glucose as a starting material, which undergoes an efficient fermentation process. Glucose is widely available and is easily sourced (via non-GMO corn), even in difficult times. Fermentation is a simple process that has a minimal environmental impact.

This is also great news for pet supplement brands, as 84% of dog owners would pay more for pet supplements that have ingredients that are made through a “green” process. 3

Quality

Consistency is crucial in making the finished product. Whether that is in tablet size, quality, taste, colour, dosage, or any other criteria, brands that meet customer expectations every time will thrive.

However, achieving that consistency is not so easy when supply chains are as complex as they are with supplement ingredients. Finished-dose producers often need to process incoming raw materials, since keeping a consistent source is often a challenge. This is especially true when making tablets or capsules. The properties of one source may differ from another, even when both meet a certain given spec. This creates the need for additional processing that adds costs in handling, adding additional raw materials, lower yields, and testing. Eliminating most, if not all of these costs increases the bottom line.

For example, direct-compression (DC) granules enable production of smaller tablets with better hardness, uniformity, and disintegration time, and without chipping and capping, as well as reduces excipients, improves tablet aesthetics, improves operational efficiency, and reduces overall costs. Not all granules are the same, however. TSI Group has spent years perfecting the process to maximise all these variables and the result of this experience is OptiTab technology.

TSI tablet-grade glucosamine made with OptiTab technology can produce tablets with low friability even with no microcrystalline cellulose (typically used in direct compression) and about 1% magnesium stearate. For example, a manufacturer making a tablet that includes 20% glucosamine HCL, 8% chondroitin, 10% methylsulfonyl methane (MSM) and 6.6% green-lipped mussel was adding 24% MCC and was still unable to compress the tablet. When using TSI Group’s glucosamine HCl DC they were able to compress and in fact was able to reduce the amount of MCC in the formulation.

The next generation of wellness supplements is not in the future – it is here now. Ensure your supplier is more than a supplier, but a partner in formulating and production of dietary supplements that fulfil consumers’ increasing demand transparency, sustainability, and quality.  

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References:

1 ​Trust Transparency Center. (2019). 2019 2nd​ annual Trust Transparency Center Single Ingredient Trade Association Consumer Survey

2​Consumer Culture [5W PR 2020 Report]

3 ​Survey conducted by TSI Group November 2020, pet owners in the US

4 ​Trust Transparency Center. (2020). ITC Insights: Consumer Survey Glucosamine Focus

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