Blog - 05.05.2020
Designing a dietary supplement
Launching a dietary supplement is a complex process for which it is necessary to be well accompanied. Pascal Vialaron, Scientific Development Director at JLB DÉVELOPPEMENT gives you the keys to a successful dietary supplement launch: follow the guide!
Pascal, could you tell us more about JLB DÉVELOPPEMENT’s expertise?
JLB DÉVELOPPEMENT is a processing company that develops nutrition products in the global sense of the term, including :
- Food supplements
- Dietetic products
- Specialized nutrition products
- Sports nutrition products
- Infant nutrition products
Because we work for our clients’ brands, JLB DÉVELOPPEMENT does not have its own brand. In order to carry out our mission, we have two factories, one specializing in dry mixing activities and the other in liquid to pasty products. This organization allows us to package different types of finished products.
We support our customers from upstream to downstream, from R&D laboratory design to industrial support, manufacturing and logistical delivery. The marketing and distribution aspects of the project are not integrated into our process, since we work on the submerged part of the iceberg, which is essential for any product launch
What is your role at JLB DEVELOPMENT?
My training in nutrition combined with my expertise in ingredients and our industrial processes enables me to support our developments. In close relationship with our R&D, we find the ingredients that go into the composition of our client’s dietary supplement. The customer will provide us with a topography of the product as he wants it, it is then up to us to find each of the components to make it up.
We receive between 20 and 30 feasibility requests per month, a fairly intense average in the rate of development. In R&D, there are five of us doing research and developing formulation. We have many tools that allow us to move very quickly during a feasibility study.
What are the key steps to design a dietary supplement?
Firstly, it is essential to find out about the market in which you want to develop the product and the expectations linked to its development. Setting up a trend watch feeds the need for innovation, while at the same time allowing you to stay abreast of new developments in order to be able to respond to different customer demands.
Secondly, the development brief must be taken into account. There are two possible scenarios. It can either have been put in place upstream by the customer if he already has a precise idea in mind, or it can be the subject of work for the customer teams who will write it to precisely frame the customer’s request and bring it into line with our industrial feasibility. It is generally up to the brand to provide this development brief which indicates the essentials and the wishes linked to the product. However, while some customers generally have a very good knowledge of the desired ingredients, this is not the case for all of them.
Finally, we work on our clients’ product specifications, a tailor-made step carried out together, which includes a guarantee of confidentiality.
Can you clarify what a development specification is?
Development specifications are an indispensable tool. Its objective is to detail the origin of the project and to explain, as precisely as possible, the future characteristics of the product to be designed. It must contain various essential information:
- The essence of the product: if it is a food supplement, it must be specified
- The target users (children, adults, seniors, women, athletes)
- The desired allegations
- Galenic (sticks, doypack, liquid)
- Consumption patterns
- Nutritional components
- The launch date: it allows to work with a retroplanning and to coordinate the different stages of development.
- The target price: it is very important to take into account the economic dimension of the product launch in line with the company’s price positioning.
How do the regulations impact a dietary supplement project?
I have been working in this field for almost 25 years and I have seen the regulations evolve very strongly. It is an essential component of development and plays a full part in the process. Today, it is there to frame and regulate what can and cannot be done. It will define the architecture of the product in a very clear and precise manner, condition certain ingredients used, the way in which the formula will be defined and the way in which it will be sold.
What is a theoretical formula for a dietary product?
The theoretical formula is the fruit of the work provided by the R&D team. Technical data sheets will be written by the product engineers to illustrate this formula. They will specify all the information relating to the ingredients, nutritional values, possible claims, instructions for use, guarantees in terms of allergens, shelf life conditions and storage conditions.
What would be your final tips for a successful dietary supplement launch project?
The discussion about the feasibility is extremely important at the start of a project. It’s a close relationship between the client and his subcontractor. The sales team must know how to frame the customer’s expectations to optimize the work of implementing the project.
I would also say that it is above all necessary to define the input data of the project to obtain efficiency, success and a good output of the finished product!