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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!


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