How to Choose a Supplement Manufacturer

While it’s possible to start a cookie company at home, it’s not possible to go the home route with supplements. How do you choose a supplement manufacturer who excels at formulating the products you want and who can be trusted to deliver the specifications and quality you need? 


To create a top-of-the-line supplement, you need a top-of-the-line manufacturer. 


Here’s what you should look for in a trustworthy and capable supplement manufacturer, as well as some examples of how our manufacturing arm, Health Specialties Manufacturing (HSM), addresses each category.


Raw Ingredient Availability

Your manufacturer’s access to ingredient supply chains will play a big role in determining the ease and cost of your formulation and production process. Not only that, but a manufacturer with a direct line to global supply chains will be able to give you more insight into the origins and processes associated with the raw ingredients you choose to use, increasing your confidence in the quality of your final product.

The HSM Difference:

This is where finding a supplement manufacturer who can also act as a raw ingredient supplier can work to your advantage. Through HSM, we have exclusive rights to a multitude of raw ingredients, but it’s not this exclusive access alone that sets us apart. Since we are uniquely positioned to bring the raw ingredients in our storerooms to the market, we take a high level of responsibility for their quality. We’d never supply any raw ingredient that we wouldn’t use in one of our own branded lines, and our internal quality audits are some of the most rigorous in the industry.


Supplement Manufacturer Certifications

First and foremost, you want to work with a manufacturer who is cGMP certified and audited regularly by a third party to confirm that the correct policies and procedures are in place and followed consistently. Not only does this ensure that your products will be safe and sanitary, it also saves you the headache of product recalls or a bad reputation with consumers down the line.


Additionally, keeping in mind what specifications your final product needs to meet can help you narrow your list of potential manufacturers further by what certifications they’ve earned. If you want to use terms such as organic or kosher in your product marketing, you’ll need to make sure that your manufacturer has already met the requirements for certification in those areas.

The HSM Difference:

HSM is not only cGMP and Sports Certified (meaning that we comply with the list of banned ingredients by The Work Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA). HSM is also licensed by Health Canada, one of the two strictest regulatory agencies in the world. This means that you have the opportunity to penetrate markets throughout North America, but it also means that you’ll be hard-pressed to find another manufacturing facility that strictly adheres to as many safety, compliance, and quality protocols as we do. In addition to these essential credentials, we maintain nine federal, state, and third-party certifications like Kosher and Gluten-Free certifications, so that you can give your ideal customers the peace of mind they desire. 

Minimum Order Quantities

What quantity of product do you need to be produced? Many manufacturers will only allow you to contract an order quantity that will be most efficient for them, regardless of your business’s goals or distribution capabilities. This can leave you in a bind where your initial budget is concerned, but can also have budgetary ramifications down the road. Even if you can meet the initial quantity requirements without breaking the bank, be aware that if you haven’t built the business infrastructure to move such a high volume of product yet, you may be left with thousands of dollars of expired, unusable product before you even have a chance to recoup your initial cost.


The bottom line: be sure to ask what minimum order quantity you will be required to fulfill if you decide to partner with a manufacturer.

The HSM Difference:

We approach minimum order quantities differently than most manufacturers. We don’t have a set MOQ because we believe that each situation is unique. We’re more than willing to accommodate a lower production volume. We experience success when you do, and we put business and our relationship with you before the potential gain of a business deal. We’re more than willing to find an order quantity that fits your goals.


Quality Control Processes

Just as important as a potential manufacturing partner’s certifications and formulation capabilities are their QC process. To create a quality product, the manufacturer you choose must be able to guarantee the quality of your formulation. You’ll want to find out what protocols are in place to test and ensure the quality, efficacy, and longevity of your final product. This is where understanding a manufacturer’s certifications can be helpful, as they will give you a peek into what governmental or third-party regulations a facility abides by. To get a full and true view of how your manufacturer handles quality control, however, you will eventually want to visit the facility and audit their processes for yourself. 

The HSM Difference:

Our industry-leading science team combined with our regulatory and quality control expertise allows us to thoroughly vet all components — as well as the related production processes — of every formulation we develop. We adhere to the guidelines of some of the toughest regulatory bodies in the world and we’ve never had a product recall or failed a federal, state, or third-party audit.


We are extraordinarily thorough in our quality control oversight and procedures and have repetitive and numerous checks and balances throughout the process, from ingredient procurement to the final release of a finished product. We also move sample products (retains) immediately into our Stability Testing process via our environmental chambers to perform Accelerated Testing and Real-Time Testing, both of which qualify and support a product’s shelf life. 


Ready to get started with formulating your dream product? Contact our team today to see how we can partner with you to bring your supplement vision to life.

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