For dietary supplement contract manufacturers, who help product makers execute line extensions and new launches well before anyone else sees them, knowing the direction this industry is headed is critical. The following politics and trends will shape the natural products industry as we move further into 2018.
Contract manufacturers will be paying close attention to the shifting political and regulatory landscape as the year rolls on. Specifically, the new Republican-created Tax Cuts and Job Acts, and the effect a less-funded FDA would have on plant inspections, recalls, warning letters and the New Dietary Ingredients (NDI) notification process. The $1.5 trillion tax bill – recently signed into law this past December – is also expected to affect contract manufacturers. In addition to significant tax cuts for corporations, it also involves less complex investment purchasing guidelines.
Kathy Paffendorf, sales account executive at Pharmachem, explains, “With companies now allowed to purchase equipment and write off the investment within the same year, I would expect that those [contract manufacturers] who were thinking about expansion would take the leap and take advantage of this opportunity. This would have a major impact for industry growth.”
Although it has been promised that regulatory changes will lead to deregulation, there are many questions still surrounding the NDI process. As the dietary supplement industry has experienced growth over the past few years, so has regulatory efforts. The newest version of the NDI draft guidance was released in August 2016; leading to many questions concerning terminology and how the process will be implemented.
William Solomon, CEO of SternMaid America, notes that “how exactly this [NDI process] will be implemented and enforced remains to be seen.”
Besides taxes and regulations, contract manufacturers will need to keep their eyes on the consumer, more than ever before. Fortunately for contract manufacturers, much of what consumers are looking for – transparency – aligns with the ever-increasing emphasis on regulation. Consumers today want to know what is in the products they are taking and want consistent taste and appearance. In addition, there are several key ingredients consumers will be looking for in products this year, including: probiotics, proteins, oils, collagen and general wellness. If a product fails to meet their standards, consumers will be quick to find an alternative.
“For contract manufacturers, this means focusing on quality, reproducibility and operational flexibility,” says Solomon.
Is your business hoping to take advantage of the many opportunities these changes potentially represent? If so, consider a trial offer merchant account to help fund your day-to-day operations and further growth. Your business can not only secure flexible business funding options, but also safe payment processing solutions.
Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas co-founded eMerchantBroker, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants. His passions include producing music and traveling to far off exotic places.