Retailers looking to raise profit margins, strengthen their brand and increase customer loyalty need look no further than private labeling. It’s easier said than done, of course. And yet, lots of retailers are doing it successfully. U.S. retail sales of private label foods and beverages reached $102 billion in 2013, outpacing the growth of the overall food and beverage market from the previous year, according to Packaged Facts (1).

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It’s no secret that natural and organic labeling is undergoing a change amid consumer and government scrutiny. In May of this year, Kellogg agreed to drop terms like "All Natural" and "100% Natural" on some of its Kashi and Bear Naked brand product labels as well pay more than $5 million to settle a class-action consumer fraud lawsuit (1). While the company’s representatives stood by their advertising practices, this is only one of many examples of lawsuits and bad press as consumers demand accuracy in labeling.

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Imagine owning and operating a company along with those closest to you.

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Suppliers and manufacturers understand that a supplement is useless if it fails to effectively deliver nutrients to the body. Companies want the best way to increase the bioavailability of some nutrients, like omega-3s and probiotics, and are turning to microencapsulation.

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Curcumin is well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because it is not soluble, its uses have been limited, but HerbaKraft has recently developed Curcusol, a concentrated and more soluble extract of curcumin. Curcusol can be included in a variety of functional foods such as health beverages, as well as capsules.

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While manufacturers are hard at work on new product formulations to better serve their customers, packaging companies are focused on the task of serving theirs, as well. Much thought and investment go into producing these containers before finished product makers can finally place their products into them. Here’s a look at the regulations, innovations and eco-friendly trends impacting the packaging sector.

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Cue 1970s game show music!

“Manufacturer #1 loves to make probiotics and has over 50 years of research experience in the field. Manufacturer #2 hails from the West Coast and recently invested in a handsome new 120,000-ft2 facility. Finally, Manufacturer #3 not only can tell you all about its branded raw materials, but also about its attractive bi-layer tableting technology.

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NDIs, GMPs, 483s, oh my! Getting your acronyms and shorthand terms down is just the start of navigating life as a raw materials supplier. A maze of regulations must be worked through before they can begin to comfortably sell their products, and lately it seems like the walls of the maze are shifting. Though a precise map of these issues may be impossible to draw, here, along with our insiders, we’ll attempt to at least provide a compass. Read on for the latest insight on new dietary ingredients (NDIs), product adulteration, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letters, health claims and related topics.

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Acceptance and compliance are basic concerns in designing better supplements. If consumers don’t take products as intended, the rest won’t matter. Beyond “large pill phobia” and “pill fatigue,” other factors driving supplement delivery innovation include enhanced assimilation, decreased transit time, improved taste and convenience, according to Trisha Sugarek MacDonald, B.S., M.S., director of R&D and national educator for Bluebonnet Nutrition Corporation, Sugar Land, TX. These issues will pop up throughout this feature as we examine various options.

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