Dietary Supplement Formulation
As Dietary Supplement Formulators we often are asked what we think of a product concept. The thought process to develop an answer is generally similar, regardless of the type of product, and whether its finished product, or an ingredient or raw material.
A number of considerations go into formulating successful, effective, safe and compliant dietary supplements, foods, and food and dietary ingredients. These include:
- What does the supplement or food do?
- What can be claimed about the product?
- Is the evidence supporting the claims sufficient?
- How safe is the product?
- Who will benefit from the product?
- How is the ingredient dosage determined?
- Are the ingredients available at an acceptable quality, cost and volume?
The 4 Initial Steps to Dietary Supplement Formulation
There are seven basic elements to formulating a groundbreaking product:
- Begin with the finished product in mind. Determine in full detail how the product will be marketed, what the desired product claims will be, and how the product will address an unmet market need.
- Intimately understand the product value and market positioning compared to the competition. How will the product address an unmet need, or be different than what is already found on the market? How will the product be priced compared to the competition? A full competitive analysis is important to determine positioning.
- What language will be used to describe the product? (This language, found on product labels and on webpages, is considered to be part of product claims.)
- In what country(s) will the product be marketed? Regulations in different countries vary, and it is important to understand the unique requirements of each location.
Sufficient time spent in the planning phase is the difference between success and failure.
Product formulating plans often coordinate the knowledge of supplement consultants and experts, review regulatory status of the product and evaluate the available scientific evidence. A good formulating plan will identify not only opportunities, but also gaps and risks that may prevent success.