In 2019, the global health & fitness nutrition industry was valued at $15.6 billion, with an expected annual growth rate of 8.9% from 2020 to 2027. Sports supplements held over 80% of this market share, driven by the growing awareness of health and fitness as well as a large number of sports supplements already available on the market. In order to stand out, large industry players started targeting consumers based on label claims and certifications to build consumer trust and improve brand reputation.
However, this attempt to stand out has caused a lot of confusion among consumers. The majority of key industry players have adopted a “more is better” mentality, leading many of the dietary supplements on the market to be targeted towards consumers who have no idea which claims are real. This complexity within the industry has caused a trend of inaction among today’s consumers, who are derailed from their nutrition goals before they even start and, ultimately, give up on their path to lead a life of wellness.
Going against the grain of this mentality, one small fitness startup believed in the opposite: the market needed to be simplified. The brand understood these pain points of the industry and decided that unlike the other supplements on the market, its product would be simple. Its supplement would use fewer but higher quality ingredients to bring the same results as others on the market. With a background in developing work-out routines and equipment, the company decided a pre-workout supplement powder would be its first test run in the supplement industry.
Search for the Right Contract Manufacturer
As a newcomer to the supplement industry, the fitness brand did not know where to start. It had no idea as to how to formulate a recipe, properly package it according to FDA regulations, and successfully distribute it to the market. In an attempt to be proactive, the team brainstormed several solutions, such as starting its own production warehouse and outsourcing it to companies out of state, but these ideas were too tedious and time-consuming.
Knowing that it did not have the capabilities to develop a pre-workout powder by itself, the company geared up for the search to find an experienced product development and contract manufacturing partner that could help bring its idea to life.
The startup used two main criteria to guide its search. First, the contract manufacturer had to have a proven track record of experience and positive customer reviews. This was particularly important as the brand did not want to be stuck in a long-term contract with a manufacturer who didn’t have the capabilities needed to make the product. Second, the manufacturer had to be near the company. Being very hands-on, especially with its products, the startup wanted to be near the facility to personally supervise product development.
With these two criteria in mind, the startup spent six months looking for the right contract manufacturer. This time was spent carefully researching each manufacturer and ensuring that the manufacturer understood the needs of the business.
Vast Knowledge and Expertise
After six months of searching, the startup had secured the right partner, Paragon Laboratories. The contract supplement manufacturer not only met the two qualifications but also showcased its vast knowledge and expertise, which solidified the startup’s final decision.
Right from the beginning, Paragon exceeded the startup’s expectations. When the startup requested an interview to assess the team’s knowledge, Paragon broke down the entire production, research, and fulfillment process. The team leveraged its expertise in product development to clearly outline the entire timeline, from start to finish, so the fitness brand could have a better understanding of the best way to accomplish its goal.
Within a short period, the startup knew that Paragon not only understood the process of making a pre-workout supplement powder but also had a strong grasp of the vision behind the product. The partnership was finalized and Paragon began development right away.
Paragon’s Proven Process Leads the Way
Halfway towards the finish line, Paragon and the startup faced unforeseen circumstances. The COVID-19 pandemic hit its peak, preventing the startup from visiting and supervising the development process as it had wanted.
Using its experience and expertise in manufacturing process planning, Paragon was able to guide the startup through the crisis. Paragon continued to work proficiently, showing an immense amount of professionalism, in the face of these circumstances. The team adapted to the “New Normal” quickly and accommodated the fitness brand at every turn, from delivering product samples to streamlining virtual communication. With remote supervision measures in place, the startup was able to follow the entire process seamlessly without physically being present at the facility.
“I truly think there is no greater way to test a business’s integrity than how they treat a customer when the world seems to be falling around them,” said the startup’s Product Manager.
The startup attributes a huge part of its success to Paragon’s own Business Development Manager, Matt Kaufman. With years of experience supporting dietary supplement brands, Matt leveraged his expertise in all areas of the supplement manufacturing process including the chemical makeup of the product, marketing, distribution, and everything else in-between. His passion for creating great and quality products set him apart from anyone else the brand had worked with in the past.
Continued Partnership with Paragon
Within weeks of the finished product, the startup sold over half its inventory with positive feedback from its customers, ranging from “great quality” to “effective and super flavorful.” The fitness brand also received numerous texts and calls from grateful customers who were able to continue their wellness journeys and see results from using the pre-workout powder.
After reviewing the success of the pre-workout powders, the startup is planning to release more lines of performance supplements, including vitamins and powders, with the help from Paragon Laboratories.