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Why Use Trademarked Ingredients in Private Label Supplements?

Three out of every four Americans consume a dietary supplement of some kind every day. Unfortunately, most consumers lack a solid understanding of the many different supplement ingredients – how they work, what forms are best absorbed, or optimal dosage. This is where the inclusion of a trademarked ingredient can be helpful.

What are trademarked supplement ingredients?

When scanning the label of a supplement ingredient panel, you might notice at least one branded ingredient is listed. This would be the Capitalized ingredient, often in bold, and accompanied by either a ™ or ® symbol. Branded ingredients are also sometimes also called trademarked ingredients, which are ingredients registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.  These ingredients typically have some clinical research in support of their safety and effectiveness.

The key benefits of trademarked ingredients are:

  • They use high-standard research, often double-blind methods (which limit any biases or manipulation of the data).
  • They have vigorous testing protocols to make sure the quality of the product is to the highest standard.
  • They are guaranteed to be “clean”, free from harmful substances or contaminants.
  • The manufacturing of these ingredients has been conducted under strict conditions to ensure their quality and viability remain intact throughout the process.
  • Most ingredient research and studies have been done on the patented ingredients, rather than the generic ones, ensuring the product using the patented ingredient has been shown to provide the stated benefits.

Why you might use trademarked ingredients in your private label brand:

Including a trademarked ingredient in your private label supplement is a great way to increase both the actual and perceived quality of your product. These specialized, branded ingredients can offer your customers some assurance that the products are well formulated and so they can count on getting the health benefits they are after.

Take curcumin, for example.  In the past several years there has been an explosion of curcumin products on the market – both trademarked and generic. Curcumin is a polyphenol known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is good for overall health. While the health benefits of curcumin are now widely known, what many people don’t realize is that curcumin is not well-absorbed by the body. So, scientists got to work and there are now several branded curcumin ingredients on the market that have research supporting their bio-availability.

How to leverage trademarked ingredients in your supplement marketing:

The dietary supplement industry is forever battling the age-old “snake oil” stereotype. For the large percentage of Americans buying dietary supplements who have no idea what they’re buying, a trademarked ingredient can be everyone’s best friend. Supplement companies that source ingredients primarily based upon price run the risk of having those ingredients be less potent and therefore less effective.  This can destroy a brand over time. On the other hand, companies that use branded/trademarked ingredients backed by science have something specific to reference when they are talking about quality and efficacy – the two most important elements in building a trusted brand.

Tell a story –Often there is a great creation story you can share. One example that comes to mind is a collagen product called UC-II®. A Rheumatologist working with Harvard and Beth Israel in Boston had a daughter who was severely crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. In an effort to help his daughter, Dr. David Trentham began working with different collagen products to find one that could help her. The result was UC-II®, an undenatured type-II collagen product that works with the autoimmune response in RA sufferers. (His daughter did eventually end up gaining a significant amount of her mobility back.)

Team-up in your efforts – The manufacturer of the trademarked ingredient will be doing their own marketing and promotional activities. It would make sense for you to tie into these and double your impact to help build greater awareness of the ingredient. Perhaps they want finished products to display that feature their branded ingredient – offer yours and get the free promotion!

Leverage the research – Probably the best way to communicate the excellence of your product is to use the research that has already been done for you. The science behind the branded ingredient you choose will have head-to-head comparisons with the generic versions, possibly even with other branded versions. There will be hard data demonstrating efficacy at a specific dose, which you’re less likely to find with untested generic ingredients coming from unknown supplier sources – but that’s another story.

You can absolutely create a private label supplement that is safe, effective, and high quality without including a trademarked ingredient, but including one or two of them can make it easier for you to communicate the advantages of your product to your customer. These branded ingredients offer visible research showing their safety and effectiveness, which ultimately serves to support the finished product and help it stand out as being transparent, trustworthy and of high value. If you want to learn more about trademarked ingredients or you would like to explore including them in your product, shoot us an email or message us on social. We would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

Amazon Private Label Brands 3 Ways Its Reshaping the Supplement Market

As the owner of a quickly emerging private label supplement brand, your primary goal is to carve out a piece of the market and grow it as quickly as you can. With specialty chains like The Vitamin Shop and megastores like Target limiting their shelf space (and fewer people shopping brick and mortar because of COVID), more brands are forced to figure out how to win on Amazon.

So, no surprise, Amazon now offers more supplement brands than any other ecommerce retailer – like 50 TIMES more!  While that fact may be a little scary, there are brands just like yours who break through and achieve huge success all of the time.  We work with some of those brands, and so we thought we would share some important insights with you.

How Amazon Private Label Supplements Changes the Game

Although general “big box” and specialty brick and mortar stores still offer strong selling channels, most of the supplement business (both private label and branded) has shifted to online ecommerce retailers (a.k.a Ecomm).  Among those online ecommerce sales – the vast majority, almost 80% of sales, are made on Amazon.  A staggering number.

As previously mentioned, Amazon offers approximately 50 times more supplement brands than any other Ecomm retailer. This enormous pool of products is broken into three main groups.  The first, and largest, are the national brands – totally custom formulations, strong brand identity, and heavy marketing support.

The second are what many call “white label” brands, which are generally individual nutrients or generic formulations that are produced in bulk and sitting on manufacturers’ shelves just waiting for label.  A small seller comes along, can buy small quantities of these stock generic formulations, put their own label on it and sell it as their own line.

The third and final is the retailer’s own private label or, as they like to call it, “private brands”.   For example, Amazon offers supplements under their own brands, such as Solimo™, Elements™ and technically Whole Foods™ 365 (since Wholefoods is owned by Amazon).

Regardless of which grouping of supplement brands we’re talking about, what’s important to understand is how Amazon has managed to scoop up so much market share.  This can be summed up in three main buckets.  We could probably write a whole book on each one of these buckets, but we’re going to keep it simple: 

  1. CONVENIENCE. Like any major Ecomm retailer, it’s easier to go online than it is to visit the store.  But where Amazon has really rocked the world is with cheap fast delivery.  Most shipments are delivered in 2 days or less and, in some cases, you can get the products you order the very same day either through direct delivery or store pickup.  Do you own your own supplement brand?  Well, chances are that Amazon can deliver YOUR products faster and more cheaply than you can.  Pretty crazy!
  2. SELECTION. Amazon offers a larger selection than you could fit in any brick and mortar retailer.  You would need a warehouse or club store to display all of the different private label supplement brands a simple Amazon search provides.  It’s the world’s largest product search engine, helping shoppers quickly find and compare products that they are interested in purchasing.
  3. PRICE. Amazon’s algorithm never sleeps.  It is searching the web day and night to ensure that its prices beat all others (including your own website). When that algorithm finds a lower price, it automatically adjusts its own product listings to be lower.  As a result, they’ve now established a reputation for being consistently lower than the competition.  And programs like their “Subscribe N Save” only serve to further cement that.

OK, so we know Amazon is the #1 Ecomm retailer for supplements which means that there is a huge opportunity for sales, BUT there is also a TON of competition on Amazon so we have to make sure we’ve got a strong game plan to succeed.

Having worked with many successful brands on Amazon over the years, we put together a quick summary of key areas to focus your efforts. 

Four “Must Haves” to Win on the Big A

A “nice to have” is something you would really like but it’s not going to ruin your good time if you don’t get it.  Like a bottle opener.  A “must have” on the other hand…… more like a big screen HDTV when you’re throwing a Super Bowl party!

So here are four “must haves” in order to win on Amazon.

  • Content. In most cases, your Amazon product pages will get more visitor traffic than your own website product pages.  Consider that and think about how important the content is on those Amazon pages.  Use Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content features to tell your story on your product listing pages. Speak to the shopper’s pain, offer value-added information like recipes, tips, and other tricks to position yourself as a valuable resource. Amazon has now expanded their shoppable content to include branded video. Make a quick how-to featuring one of your products, and let your future customers get to know you a little bit.
  • Connection. Amazon is convenient, but it can also be a bit impersonal. There aren’t many opportunities to show your customers who you really are in that brown box that lands on the shopper’s doorstep. Include some free samples or coupons with every purchase, or a handwritten thank you note. Provide a link to an online survey or a loyalty program they can join. By taking the time to interact directly with these people, getting them involved, and helping them feel like they’re part of “something bigger”, it further cements their relationship with your brand.
  • Customization. While Amazon offers a lot of products, few of them are personal to the shopper. In general, most shoppers are just looking at labels and comparing prices.  As your supplement manufacturer, we can work with you to create a unique product that feels like it was made just for them and help you explain each of the ingredient choices in detail.  You can also utilize Amazon’s capability to “bundle” products.  A product bundle is two compatible products sold together (like protein and aminos).  Offer several different product “bundles” for your various consumer types (such as women or athletes). 
  • Community. There is a huge opportunity to leverage social media and other online forums in a personal way to build a community around your brand.  You have an opportunity to identify who your customer will be and target them directly. Provide original and engaging content that they will care about, and respond to their questions and reviews on the Amazon platform so that you create an engaged community.  Again, that Enhanced Brand Content feature can be leveraged to invite people to your own social community.

Turns out Amazon is quite a bit like the massive jungle it was named after.  A vast world of wonder and excitement, yet incredibly dangerous if you don’t know you’re way around.

Please let us know if this article was helpful by sharing your questions or comments on our Nutracap Labs Facebook page.  Also, if there are specific topics or tips you want to hear more about, please let us know that as well.


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