How To Choose The Best Food Manufacturer – 10 Must Haves


Congratulations, you’ve chosen a food or nutritional supplement to sell.  Next a high-quality manufacturer is needed, but how can you find the best option?  A daunting number of questions pop up:  Do you want to stay local or manufacture abroad?  How can you ensure product quality?  What about on-time delivery?  Product manufacturing considerations can be confusing and overwhelming.  Use our must-haves to find the food or supplement manufacturer that works best for you.

1. Require Regulatory Compliance

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP’s) are FDA regulations for proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.  Consumers depend on these regulations to ensure products are safe and effective and so do you.

Ask potential manufacturers if they are in compliance with cGMPs.  Next, request a copy of current cGMP certifications and any other certifications manufacturers may have earned.  Choosing a certified manufacturer results in a transparent, high-quality and authentic food or supplement.

2. Choose Manufacturer Location

Should your product be manufactured in the USA or abroad?  After making your choice, ask manufactures about sourcing, how ingredients are handled and distribution.  Also ask if the company is the actual manufacturer.  Many USA manufacturers contract out services to other companies.  Ask for verification of regulatory compliance for all players.

Also ask how raw ingredients are obtained, how ingredients are stored and get information on shipping timelines.  Offshore manufacturers may have longer lead times.  Will this work for you?

3. Determine Order Minimums

Some manufacturers advertise inexpensive prices, but these prices require large orders.  Ask for minimum order quantity requirements.  Don’t waste time with manufacturers that don’t meet your needs.

Some manufacturers will negotiate an initial smaller-quantity order in hopes of a long-term manufacturing relationship.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.  Willingness to listen to your needs, and provide solutions signals a commitment to customer satisfaction.

4. Require Turn-Around Time Specifics

Knowledge of manufacturing turn-around times is essential to meet fulfillment deadlines.  Seek a company that will deliver your product on time and without last-minute delays.  Also will a larger order bump your timeline?  Are there any special circumstances that may affect timing?  For instance, holidays can have a major impact on shipping times.  Don’t let special circumstances surprise you.

5. Seek Experienced Manufacturers

Only consider proven manufacturer with happy customers.  Start by asking how long a manufacturer has been in business.   Experienced manufacturers know how to avoid mistakes, such as inability to obtain a rare ingredient in a timely manner.  You don’t want an essential ingredient shortage causing failure to deliver.   Avoid problems caused by lack of experience by choosing an expert.

6. Insist On High Ratings / Excellent Reviews

Does a supplement manufacturer deliver high-quality products and back them up?  Find out by asking for references from satisfied customers.  Sourcing sites such as Alibaba provide ratings and information on how long the company has been listed.  Only consider manufacturers with high ratings and excellent reviews.  Also search sources such as Ripoff Report and the Better Business Bureau t0 verify company integrity and avoid issues.

7. Find Good Communicators

Select a manufacturer that meets your communication needs.  Are emails and phone calls answered quickly?  Is the information provided thorough, and does it answer all questions?   Are interactions pleasant?  If the manufacturer’s time zone differs, do communication delays work ok for both parties?  Choose a company with a communication style that matches your requirements.

8. Insist On Quality Control Essentials

Ask for specifics on how a manufacturer maintains product quality.  Ingredients should be carefully controlled and tested for quality.  They must not sit on shelves for too long.  Quality control testing ensures the product label claims are met without contamination.

9. Require Special Ingredient Experience

If your product requires special ingredients, choose a manufacturer that has experience working with these ingredients.  Do they grow their own ingredients?  If not, how are ingredients sourced and how are standards ensured?

Also, if your product requires organics, choose an organic-certified manufacturer.  Only products made by organic-certified companies qualify for the USDA organic seal.

10. Select Order Fulfillment Requirements

Does your manufacturer have a warehouse for product storage?  How long can they store products?  Do they provide drop-shipping?  (Customer orders are forwarded to the manufacturer and the manufacturer ships the order directly to the customer.)  Drop-shipping reduces shipping cost but only if products are directly shipped from manufacturer to customer.

Bonus:  Special Services

Besides basic manufacturing, what other services does your food or supplement require?  Some manufacturers offer assistance with product labeling, package design and more.   Click here for clean label essentials.

Take the mystery out of supplement manufacturing with the choices above.  Then use your knowledge to delight customers with high-quality, on-time products.


Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.



Hot 2019 Trends For Functional Foods

We’ve been scanning hot new research to discover new functional food trends. Join us for a sneak peek into the dietary supplement space.

People today are increasingly more conscious of their health and overall wellbeing. This sparks innovative trends for vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements.  Smart business owners can use trends to create new products that excite customers.

Trend #1 – Probiotic Performers

Consumers purchase probiotics to maintain health, promote their health and reduce the risk of disease.   Probiotics (the “helpful” or the “good bacteria) are delivered via functional foods, drinks and supplements.

Dairy probiotic products have traditionally delivered profits for companies, but non-dairy products offer new opportunities. DairyReporter states, “The non-dairy beverages segment is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 9.6% from 2017 – 2022. With a rise of more than 30% in sales of refrigerated probiotics drinks and juices since 2016.”   The drink figures include yogurt, but new trends show customers are eager for variety, including probiotic juices, almond milk, water, herbal tea, and coffee.

Scientific studies are proving that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in the human digestive system affects overall health. Probiotics play an instrumental part in maintaining gut health.   See the World Journal of Gastroenterolog  for recommendations on probiotic use.

Trend #2 – Brain-Boosting Foods

The movie Limitless made $161 million USD. The film features NZT a fictional, nootropic (brain-boosting) pill that allows the main character to power-up his entire brain. This premise caught the interest of millions of people.

Although NZT doesn’t exist, nootropics aren’t science fiction.   The Complimentary and Evidence Based Alternative Medicine Journal (CEBA) reports the best nootropics for memory are widely studied and impactful in supporting healthy memory.

Functional food recipes can be the most powerful nootropics. The book Genius Foods, talks about many ingredients that support brain function.  Beans, greens, nuts and seafood are all natural food sources for nootropics.  Creating products containing the most potent nootropic foods is a sure-fire way to take advantage of new trends for snack foods and sports nutrition.

Brainboosters address scientific findings in neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of nerve cells in the brain to overcome injury and disease and to adjust to new situations or environmental changes. This means we can change our brain structure.

Additionally a peer-reviewed scientific journal, PLOS One, reports interesting nootropic results. A Taiwanese study showed median survival time for dementia patients was 3.39 years without nootropics, and 6.62 years with them.

Elderly people wish for nootropics, as do brain-weary college students and others wanting to improve brain function, which is almost everyone. Your company can capitalize on this upcoming moneymaker.

Trend #3 – Dietary Supplements with Eco-Conscious Packaging

We’re entering a new era of packaging.  Some dietary supplement brands have already switched to environmentally sustainable packaging as more consumers become eco-friendly and demand the same from their brands .

In 2019, we expect to see less plastic and more compostable packaging. Additionally, Mintel’s 2018 Global Packaging Trends Report highlights customer wishes for less packaging and less waste. Other trends include e-commerce-friendly packaging, easy to understand clean labels and contemporary packaging attractive to young consumers.

Trend #4 – Mitochondria Powers Up the Ketogenic Diet

A few years back, the buzzword was microbiome.  The 2019 trend is mitochondria . These “power plants” of our cells convert food and oxygen into the energy that our bodies require to thrive.

The best way to support healthy mitochondrial function is to consume more fat. Yes, but only healthy fat. This created a demand for the Ketogenic Diet and consumers are seeking low carbohydrate ketogenic products to help them choose the right kinds of fats and build energy.

Smart niche entrepreneurs are creating natural products that appeal to Keto enthusiasts. According to PRNewswire the U.S. diet industry is worth $66 billion. This offers plenty of room for newcomers.

Trend #5 – Collagen

Collagen attracts a lot of interest as a bioavailable source of protein.  People add it to smoothies; and lattes, to promote healthy joint growth, glowing skin, and gut healing.

In 2019, look for opportunities to create and market collagen products, which improve skin elasticity and moisture. Ideas include new drinks, gummies, collagen powders, vegan-friendly collagen offerings, and even marine collagen powders to treat osteoarthritis and joint disorders.

Hot trends for dietary supplements and functional foods continue to evolve as science releases new findings. Keep watching this space for new developments and utilize them to increase your bottom line. 


Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.


Susan Ulery utilizes her legal background plus 20 years of manufacturing expertise in the dietary supplement industry to help clients overcome regulatory challenges.


Sample Confidentiality & Nondisclosure Agreement For Natural Products & Functional Foods

Want to view a sample  NDA / Confidentiality agreement?  Here’s a template.  You can use it to craft your own agreement by replacing the asterisks with your information.  Next have an attorney review your agreement to make sure it works for your company.

Sample Confidentiality & Nondisclosure Agreement

THIS CONFIDENTIALITY AND NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT, ( the “Agreement”), is entered into this * day of * 20**, by and between *INSERT YOUR COMPANY NAME, a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of  *, and *INSERT NAME OF BUSINESS PARTNER * (each a “Party” and collectively, the “Parties“).

1                In connection with the discussions between the Parties and the potential retention of * to provide *INSERT THE SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED *YOUR COMPANY has disclosed, and will be disclosing to * certain confidential or proprietary information regarding *INSERT SERVICES *YOUR COMPANY’s business, all of which information shall be deemed “Confidential Information.” The Confidential Information shall include written, oral, electronic and all other forms of confidential information of *YOUR COMPANY disclosed by *YOUR COMPANY to *BUSINESS PARTNER before or after the date hereof in connection with the Services. Pursuant to this Agreement, *YOUR COMPANY is the Party disclosing Confidential Information and is referred to herein as the “Disclosing Party” and *BUSINESS PARTNERis the Party receiving the Confidential Information and is referred to herein as the “Receiving Party“.
2                In consideration of the disclosure referred to in Paragraph 1 hereof, the Receiving Party agrees that:
(a)         All Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party shall be kept strictly confidential and shall not be sold, traded, published or otherwise disclosed to anyone in any manner whatsoever, including by means of electronic transmission, photocopy or other reproduction, without the Disclosing Party’s prior written consent, except as provided in Paragraphs 4 and 5 below; and
(b)         All Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party will not be used by the Receiving Party except in connection with the Services to be provided by *BUSINESS PARTNER to *YOUR COMPANY .
3                The Receiving Party shall not use or otherwise appropriate or sell the Confidential Information for personal uses or gain (and shall prohibit any person under its control or influence from using the Confidential Information for any such purposes).
4                The Receiving Party may disclose the Confidential Information without the Disclosing Party’s prior written consent only to the extent such information is:
(a)         already in possession of the public or becomes available to the public other than through the act or omission of the Receiving Party in breach hereof;
(b)         required to be disclosed under applicable law or by a governmental order, decree, regulation or rule;
(c)         is acquired independently from a third party that, to the knowledge of the Receiving Party, has the right to disseminate such information at the time it is acquired by the Receiving Party; or
5                The Receiving Party shall be entitled to disclose the Confidential Information without the Disclosing Party’s prior written consent to the employees, officers or directors of *BUSINESS PARTNER  (the “Representatives“), to the extent the Representatives need to know such Confidential Information for the purpose of assisting the Receiving Party with the Services. evaluation and execution of the Transaction, are informed of the confidential nature of the Confidential Information and agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement.
6                The Receiving Party shall be responsible for ensuring that all of its Representatives to whom the Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party is disclosed under this Agreement shall keep such information confidential in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and shall not disclose, divulge or use such Confidential Information in violation of this Agreement. The Receiving Party shall be liable to the Disclosing Party for any breach of this Agreement by a Representative of the Receiving Party.
7.1           The Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party shall remain the property of the Disclosing Party, and the Disclosing Party may demand the return or destruction thereof at any time upon giving written notice to the Receiving Party. Promptly after receipt of such notice, and subject to Paragraph 7.2, the Receiving Party shall return or destroy all of the original Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party and shall destroy all copies, reproductions or extracts (both written and electronic), including all material based on or using the Confidential Information created by the Receiving Party or its Representatives, in its possession and in the possession of it Representatives to whom it was disclosed pursuant to Paragraph 5 hereof.
7.2           The return or destruction of the Confidential Information referred to in Paragraph 7.1 does not apply to:
(a)         the extent the Receiving Party is otherwise required by law to retain a copy of the Confidential Information or any document incorporating Confidential Information or
(b)         the extent the Receiving Party reasonably considers it necessary to retain a copy of the Confidential Information or any document incorporating Confidential Information to defend itself from a claim or potential claim in connection with the Transaction.
8                If the Receiving Party is, or considers itself to be, compelled to disclose any of the Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party, the Receiving Party will provide the Disclosing Party with prompt notice prior to any disclosure so that the Disclosing Party may seek in a court of law or other appropriate body to:
(a)         challenge the obligation of the Receiving Party or any other person to make that disclosure, or to otherwise prevent or restrict that disclosure; or
(b)         secure an order or other ruling or remedy to protect or preserve the confidentiality of the relevant information.
If such an order or other remedy is not sought or obtained (or disclosure is not able to be otherwise prevented or restricted), the Receiving Party will furnish only that portion of the Confidential Information which is legally required to be disclosed, and the Receiving Party will cooperate with the Disclosing Party’s counsel to enable the Disclosing Party to obtain an order or other reliable assurance that confidential treatment will be accorded the same.
9                The Receiving Party will take all reasonable steps to protect and preserve the confidentiality of the Confidential Information, including ensuring that it has effective security measures to safeguard all Confidential Information from unauthorised use, copying or disclosure (and ensuring that its Representatives have the same). In particular, without limitation, the Receiving Party must not (and must ensure that its Representatives do not) enter the Confidential Information (or allow it to be entered) into any electronic system, network, database or program not solely operated and controlled by it.
10             The Receiving Party must promptly notify the Disclosing Party and must promptly do anything reasonably required by the Disclosing Party to prevent or restrain a breach or possible breach of this Agreement or any infringement or possible infringement of the Disclosing Party’s rights arising from this Agreement by any person (and must ensure that its Representatives do the same).
11             The Receiving Party must not (and must procure that each of its employees, officers, directors, related entities, and each of their employees, officers and directors and advisers do not), without the prior consent of *YOUR COMPANY, directly or indirectly solicit, initiate or enter into any discussions or negotiations with any person other than *YOUR COMPANY in relation to any agreement, arrangement, proposal, expression of interest or offer similar to or in connection with the Services and /or the Confidential Information.
12             Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be deemed or construed as creating a relationship of partnership, association, principal and agent or joint venture by or between the Parties. Nothing in this Agreement nor the furnishing of the Confidential Information pursuant hereto shall be construed in any way as creating an exclusive relationship between the Parties.
13             The Disclosing Party, its related bodies corporate, and each of their officers, directors and employees shall have no liability whatsoever for any loss of any kind (including, without limitation, any consequential or economic loss) with respect to any use of or reliance upon the Confidential Information by the Receiving Party or any of its Representatives, including any opinion formed or conclusion drawn by the Receiving Party or any of its Representatives as a result of examining the Confidential Information. The Disclosing Party does not by provision of the Confidential Information to the Receiving Party waive any client privilege in respect of the Confidential Information.
14             This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Utah. No amendments, changes or modifications to this Agreement shall be valid except if the same are in writing and signed by a duly authorized representative of each of the Parties hereto. This Agreement comprises the full and complete agreement of the Parties hereto with respect to the disclosure of the Confidential Information and supersedes and cancels all prior communications. In the
event of any breach or threatened breach by any Party of the terms hereof, the other Party shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief, and such Party shall not plead in defense thereto that there would be an adequate remedy at law. Any such relief shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, money damages or any other legal or equitable remedy available to such Party. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which when executed and delivered shall be an original, but all of which shall constitute one and the same instrument. Neither Party shall assign any of its rights or obligations hereunder without the prior written consent of the other party. Subject to the foregoing, this Agreement shall be binding and inure to the benefit of each Party’s successors and permitted assigns.
Executed as an Agreement
*YOUR COMPANY                                                 *BUSINESS PARTNER
____________________________            ___________________________
Signature of Member                                               Signature of Member
____________________________           ____________________________
Name                                                                            Name


Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.

6 Smart Marketing Tips for Food or Supplement Companies


You’ve created the natural product or food that everyone needs, but how will customers find it?  An innovative marketing strategy can create viral demand and boost sales.  Use our tips below to create a marketing strategy that sells your brand.

1. Verify Demand With Market Research

You believe in your product, but verifying product demand prior to manufacturing makes sense.  You don’t want to create 100,000 yellow Thneads if people only want blue.  Also don’t waste time and money marketing to the wrong customers.

Choose from a variety of ways to conduct market research.  Use online searches to study products similar to yours and extract sales information, or create a survey and discover ideal customer traits, such as age and socioeconomic status.  If you have customers already, ask them about their wants and needs, or find an expert knowledgeable about your market and ask for an opinion.

2. Wow Customers with Eye-Catching Product Packaging and Labels

Research your competitors packaging and labels before creating your own.  What do you find appealing about competitor products? What might look better?  Next, brainstorm creative ideas that might appeal to natural product or food customers.

For ideas view 50 Insanely Creative and Stunning Packaging Designs by the website Canva.  Take  your ideas to an experienced package and label designer.  It’s worth hiring a pro because your product needs to POP when people scan items on a shelf.

Also professionals know how to avoid pitfalls, such as FDA regulatory non-compliance, or costly mistakes with formatting and materials.  Eye-catching product packaging and an interesting label will launch your product off shelves and onto your balance sheet.

3. Tell An Interesting Story

Why did you create your product?  Maybe you wanted to solve a painful problem for you or someone else.  People love hearing interesting stories because emotions drive product sales.

For instance, Warby Parker was created after one of the founders lost his eyeglasses on a backpacking trip.  Eyeglasses were expensive, and he couldn’t afford to replace them, so he suffered through a quarter of grad school squinting at blurry text.   His friends had similar stories, and this inspired them to find an inexpensive way to offer high-quality eyeglasses.  Did customers like this story?  The company grew to a $1.2 billion in 5 years.

Give people a reason to care about your products.  You’ll boost sales.

4. Hire a Free Sales Force

How can you get strangers to sell your product to friends and family?  Create interesting and timely content that’s easy to share.  This transforms strangers into a free salesforce.

Facebook has recently implemented a policy against asking users to like, comment and share; but on other sites, such as YouTube and LinkedIn, it’s ok to ask users to interact, as long as you provide valuable content first.  Make sure to add clickable social media share buttons for easy sharing.

To boost social shares and likes, use eye-catching photos or graphics.   According to Lifehack, viral posts almost always utilize a unique image that users want to quickly share.   One Lifehack marketing image got 10,000 Facebook shares in less than 24 hours by using an eye-catching image that garnered a strong emotional reaction.

The image was edgy, and wouldn’t work for most companies, but this particular image spoke to their targeted audience.   Use your creativity to think up unique content that will make your own audience eager to share 10000+ times.

5. Create Time-Sensitive Coupons & Special Offers

Who doesn’t love bargains?  Ignite customer urgency with time-sensitive special offers.  You might offer a coupon good for 7 days, or a special offer for today only such as:  buy two products and get one free.  Customers won’t want to miss out on a great deal.

Also utilize cross-selling to offer an attractive package deal your buyers can’t resist, for instance a recipe book to go with your food.  This strategy can result in sales of multiple products instead of just one.

Another idea is to upsell by placing attractive images of a more expensive product (or accessory) next to your product.  Forbes reports Jetblue used an “even more space” legroom upsell to produce $190 million in additional revenue.  For more information view Forbes Upsell Beginner’s Guide.

When upselling, remember to keep your customer’s wants and needs in mind.  Someone seeking a $30 face cream might decide on a $35 anti-aging version, but probably won’t buy a $100 product.

Amazon has mastered cross-sell and upsell techniques.  Browse their site for products similar to yours to get ideas.  Finally, entice customers to buy additional products with a “return purchase” coupon.

6. Reward Customers for Referrals

Few sales pitches can best a personal referral from someone you trust.  The Neilson Online Survey reported people are four times as likely to buy when referred by a friend. Many companies overlook referral programs, but if current customers already like your product, why not utilize them to garner sales?  People are willing to tell their friends and family about amazing products, all you have to do is ask.

The SalesForce reports the best referral programs reward both the referrer and the referee.   So reward both with a coupon or discount to create referral sales opportunities.

Customize one or more of our tips to meet your individualized marketing needs for natural products or foods.  Then create the perfect marketing program to skyrocket sales.

Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.