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Nutraceuticals World Interview with CAPTEK™ CEO, Dave Wood

Recently, Sean Moloughney, Editor of Nutraceuticals World interviewed CAPTEK™ CEO, Dave Wood on how nutraceutical companies’ relationships with contract manufacturers are evolving. You can read the excellent article here — but we thought you would also enjoy “the skimmed” version with just Dave’s answers.

SM: What are the benefits/advantages of outsourcing manufacturing for dietary supplements?

DW: Some of the world’s most successful brands partner with CMOs because of the expertise, buying power, and flexibility that CMOs bring to the table. This allows a branded company to do what they do best: promote their brands and ideate products their customers need.

SM: What tips would you give companies looking to qualify a contract manufacturer?

DW: Not all CMOs should be considered equal so finding a good partner is paramount in a brand’s success. When looking for a qualified CMO, companies should look for specific traits, these include:

  • Quality: transparency, compliance, documentation, regulatory support
  • Capacity: surge capacity for launches, capacity to grow as the brand builds demand
  • Technical expertise: the ability to solve formulation issues, look for ways to control cost without cutting corners, create novel alternatives
  • Ownership: do they have a good reputation within the industry

SM: What challenges do CMOs face in the current environment?

DW: CMOs face many challenges in the global economy, these include: Increasing labor costs due to inflationary pressure and limited labor market; changing/increasing quality standards, FSMA, globalized market and respective regulations, and increasing documentation and certification demands; excess capacity in certain modalities drives margins down which encourages cutting corners, and pressure to have the newest fad-like modality that may or may not stick in the market after significant cap-ex investments.

CAPTEK™ Softgel International understands these challenges and knows how to guide the brand partner through them.

SM: How can brands and CMOs increase transparency in an effort to communicate quality?

DW: At CAPTEK™ Softgel International, we know we have the responsibility to keep our consumers’ safety and protection a priority as we work with brand partners to put forth products for health and wellness. Transparency is a key part of that responsibility and can be handled industry-wide in a number of ways, for instance: increasing the availability of chain-of-custody documents, greater raw material vendor qualification to verify manufacturing techniques and social compliance regulations, greater standardization of analytical test methods, and aligned specifications to avoid too much technical jargon.

SM: From a product development point of view, what trends are you noticing from customers?

DW: With the increasing market penetration of probiotics, curcumin, sleep products, and digestive enzymes especially, the industry is seeing trends in Dietary Supplement products that consumers can actually “feel a difference” when they take it.  This creates huge brand loyalty and a greater level of confidence that they are reaping a benefit in taking the product. CAPTEK™ Softgel International’s brand partners are seeking greater bioavailability, and efficacy that can support structure-function claims. In addition, clean label, organic, vegan, and pesticide-free tested products are all trending.

SM: What other trends would you like to note as it relates to contract manufacturing in the supplement space?

DW: Increased awareness and acceptance of Traditional Chinese Medicines and Ayurvedic Medicine is driving the demand for more botanical-based products, along with the addition of botanicals to existing products for an enhanced or value-added effect.

SM: Please add any additional comments you feel would be relevant for this story.

DW: At CAPTEK™ Softgel International, we have always prided ourselves on taking a science-based approach to developing new products for our customers. Our Research & Development Team, which is one of the largest in the softgel industry, works closely with our Quality Control team.  This ensures that everything we formulate uses high-quality raw materials from qualified vendors; we proactively suggest ingredients that have solid scientific support.

We also pride ourselves on being a great partner. We have spent quite a bit of time and effort to develop vivid colors for the gelatin shell using clean label type ingredients.  This allows us to offer our customers great branding options and increased differentiation on busy retail shelves. We have been developing advanced delivery systems and new options for customers that want both clean label ingredients in an elegant delivery system like softgel capsules.

One industry-wide improvement we would love to see is a better harmonization of standards around raw materials documentation. The many different formats, special requests, and different levels in quality of documents increase the cost, time, and complexity to support customer needs for a full product dossier.