The awareness of supplementation as an important part of a healthy lifestyle has never been greater. In fact, the Council for Responsible Nutrition estimates that in 2021, over 80% of adults were supplement users. The growing demand as measured in sales increased 7.5% in 2021 on top of a 14.5% growth in 2020 to $59.9B. That’s a lot of growth and a big demand. The Food and Drug Administration estimates that there are over 29,000 dietary supplements on the market, with over 1,000 added every year.
It’s a major category for marketers with new science-based products. Yes, internet marketers benefited from COVID, and all marketers benefited from the increased awareness of supplements to build immunity and support a healthy lifestyle.
The wave of new products, the rapidly growing internet channel and increasing consumer demand have stressed the most important link in the supply chain – contract manufacturing. It is the contract manufacturer that produces most of the products bearing some of the most recognized consumer product names and found in the nation’s leading retailers. There is one company that is investing to meet the expanding demand and the ever-increasing quality standards required – Vit-Best Nutrition, Tustin, California.
Vit-Best Nutrition’s operations are based in one location in the United States, providing one-stop formulation, manufacturing, quality assurance, branding & packaging, and supply chain management services. The company operates both domestically and internationally across multiple channels, including Food/Mass/Club, Direct-Selling, and E-commerce
Enabling Vit-Best Nutrition to be the best at what it does is its seasoned leader, Gale K. Bensussen. As the Chairman of the company, he ensures that the product quality stays true to the client’s demands to enable them to stay true to their brand’s communication.
Let’s learn more about the successful journey of Vit-Best Nutrition in becoming a top-class contract manufacturer of nutritional supplements.
About Vit-Best Nutrition
With almost 70 years of experience in contract manufacturing for some of the largest brands in the industry, Vit-Best Nutrition is building on that experience to meet the growing industry demand. And with loyal employees, whose average tenure on the manufacturing/packaging floor is 8.8 years, Vit-Best Nutrition has a solid employee base dedicated to quality and customer service.
Vit-Best Nutrition’s corporate leader, Chairman Gale Bensussen, knows that a solid foundation is fundamental to the ability to grow with its customers. With over 50 years of industry experience, including acquisitions, marketing, sales, and corporate management, Bensussen understands that standing still is not an option. He emphasizes, “In the supplement industry, especially a growing industry such as this, we must be looking forward for months and years to be able to support our customers. This includes how we plan our raw material inventories, automate manufacturing and packaging, and improve accuracy and turnaround time for quality testing.”
“It takes time and investment to be able to earn the trust of our branded customers. Fortunately, we have been able to build that trust,” he added.
Vit-Best Nutrition provides an extensive service to its clients. This includes formula development, material sourcing, cost engineering, and forecasting as well as full tablet, capsule, and powder manufacturing capabilities and bottling and powder packaging. Importantly, for many marketers, the company will build inventory to stock and provide distribution services to the nation’s leading retailers in the food, mass, e-commerce, and club market segments.
The company has a wide range of capabilities and the experience to accommodate the expanding array of unique new products in both capsule and tablet form. In manufacturing, “scale” is important for run efficiencies. Vit-Best Nutrition has a wide range of capabilities, from moderate-sized manufacturing to very large-scale product runs.
Let’s talk about the company’s capabilities.
Sourcing: It starts with sourcing. With its parent company, Kingdomway, a raw material manufacturer (CoQ10, DHA, vitamin A, etc.) located in China, Vit-Best Nutrition is directly linked to world-class manufacturers with easy access to a wide range of materials.
Weigh-Up: Materials are received in a new 75,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution center. Within the new building are five environmentally controlled weigh-up booths with advanced individual dust collection. Upon receipt of material and during and after weigh-up, strict quality processes are in place. The Quality Management System monitors each step throughout the manufacturing process.
Compounding: From weigh-up, the process moves to compounding. Vit-Best Nutrition has eight blenders: two large Bohle blenders, 428 cu. ft. (3,000 kg – 6,000 kg) and six others of varying sizes. The blending capabilities meet the variations in large and small demand.
Tableting: Meeting the needs of successful brands like Focus Factor requires large-scale tableting capabilities. High speed Korsch presses have kept up with this brand’s rapidly growing business. With six tablet presses and only operating on a single shift, the company has the capacity to grow.
Encapsulation: Nine encapsulation machines address the consumer trend towards “clean” products with a minimum of binders and fillers. Vit-Best Nutrition’s formulation expertise enables customers to differentiate their products.
Coating: Coating is an artform and requires precise attention during the coating process to ensure consistent results. Eight large coating pans and a continuous coater for long runs provide ample capacity.
Packaging: Five bottling lines provide fast turnaround and flexibility. To meet the needs of the Club business and other mass merchandisers, the company has recently ordered a new, highly automated packaging line. The line will meet the special needs of the Club business and the long runs required by mass merchandisers and retail chains.
For the powder business, the company is investing in a gusseted bag filling line to replace the large and inefficient bottles. This saves cost and enables internet companies to provide more affordable shipping. The new line complements the existing powder bottling lines.
For Vit-Best Nutrition, it is about Team and responding to the requirements of those customers serving multiple channels of distribution. Bensussen advised, “We cannot be everything to everybody, but we serve well those customers where our capabilities match their needs.”
The Core Success Factors
The success of Vit-Best is built on its strong foundational values. These values are not just portrayed in marketing communication but also within every operation to ensure that the company stays true to the promises it makes to its clients and consumers.
Elaborating on Vit-Best Nutrition’s core values, Bensussen says, “For Vit-Best Nutrition, quality and clear, transparent communication are the basis for our customer’s success and Vit-Best Nutrition’s success.”
Staying True to the Promises
The final verdict on value comes from the consumer. It’s the second purchase that counts. Which is why nutritional suppliers have to deliver what is promised on the label.
Highlighting the importance of being trustworthy, Bensussen tells us, “Over the years, major marketers of both national brands and store brands have learned to value quality manufacturing as a key element in protecting the brand and delivering on customer expectations.”
“Communication, clear messaging of content ingredients and product benefits, are essential to build consumer trust and satisfaction,” he added.
A Sharp Focus on Formulation
Adapting to customers’ needs can give a company a considerable advantage in the market. Discussing the unique benefits offered by the company, Bensussen says, “Vit-Best Nutrition is big enough to serve the needs of large-scale customers, yet is small enough to adapt to a customer’s unique needs, and help them better identify with their customers.”
“We do this with a sharp focus on formulation – ensuring the product delivers what is promised in the most economical manner,” he added.
Nutritional product manufacturing starts with quality systems and in house quality facilities. To meet the increasing demand for quality substantiation and the requirements of multiple auditing agencies, Vit-Best Nutrition recently opened a new 10,000 sq. ft. quality testing laboratory complete with new state of the art testing equipment. This is core to the company’s values, ensuring that every tablet, capsule and powder meets consumer expectations for quality while meeting all label claims.
Sharing Valuable XP
Bringing new products to the market is challenging. These challenges can be better countered with some basic advice.
Bensussen offered the following words of wisdom:
“The vitamin industry is highly regulated and compliance is part of the cost of entry. As new products are introduced, over 1,000 per year, it is important that product quality is built in. If a contract manufacturer is being used, make sure that the specifications for the product are complete, the facility has been audited, Good Manufacturing Procedures are being followed and the label copy matches exactly what is put in the bottle. There is no future in short-cutting quality. There is a big market for the right product.”
The Long-term Goals
Vit-Best Nutrition has developed a strong Research and Development team headed by Jordan Lemerand, Vice President Corporate Technical Services and R & D. With Jordan, Vit-Best Nutrition is developing new products, based on science, to meet the growing interest and use of supplements. Each new product is specially formulated to address a health need utilizing unique ingredients and formulations. New products are the life blood of the industry and items developed by Jordan and her team are another way that Vit-Best Nutrition helps its customers grow.
In closing, Bensussen summarized, “This is a dynamic and rapidly growing industry. It meets the demands of consumers who are becoming more aware of the role good nutrition and supplementation play in a healthy lifestyle. At Vit-Best Nutrition, quality is the responsibility of every employee. Meeting the needs of the customer is our priority. We don’t cut corners. We are transparent.”
“We take very seriously our responsibility to provide a high-quality product. And we ensure that labeling informs the consumer accurately about the content and benefits of the product. We have partnered with the industry for almost seventy years, and we will continue to invest as we look ahead to the next seventy years,” he added.
Need more insights about the company? Please find below the contact info for Vit-Best Nutrition.
2802 Dow Avenue, Tustin, CA. 92780