Ideas and Tips on How to Start a Supplement Business

Nick Mirev
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    In 1994 the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed. Ever since that legislation was introduced, the supply and demand of dietary supplements have increased substantially. That’s because, according to the DSHEA, supplements don’t have to follow the same regulations as drugs. Business owners in the field have benefited from the opportunity and introduced various types of multivitamins, probiotics, and protein supplements on the market. A stressful lifestyle and a poor diet are two of the main reasons why supplements have become some of the high-demand products on the market. The demand for different types of supplements is constantly increasing and now might be the right time to start a supplement business. In this blog post, we’ll share some supplement business ideas as well as the steps to start a company in the supplement industry. Make sure to also check out our article on vitamin business opportunities.

    Key takeaway: Starting a supplement business can be easy if you outsource some of the processes to other partners. You can start your own supplement brand by partnering with a white-labeling supplements manufacturer or you can sell supplements online via the dropshipping method.
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    Supplement Business Ideas

    Start Your Own Supplements Brand

    One way to do so is by investing in manufacturing and packaging equipment. However, that requires large capital investments and is a much riskier option in most cases. Outsourcing certain business processes is a much easier option if you want to start a supplement business. There are multiple companies that offer white-label services. You can partner with a manufacturer of supplements and get them to make products with your brand. Selling these products to distributors of wholesale vitamins and supplements is the easiest option. Selling them retail through your own store, eCommerce, or third-party marketplaces will result in much higher profit margins.

    Open a Supplements Store

    Grocery and convenience stores are among the main sellers of supplements. However, people who want to get better customer service and advice are likely to buy supplements from a specialized health store or a pharmacy. Ergo, starting a brick-and-mortar supplement store can be a profitable endeavor. It’s not recommended to rely only on offline sales. Supplement businesses have seen an increase in online sales in the past few years. An additional benefit of eCommerce stores is that additional product categories can be added easily. Even if the supplement business doesn’t have these products in stock, they can be sold via the dropshipping business model. Supplement stores usually benefit from wholesale prices and have an average profit margin of around 30 percent when they sell products retail.

    Sell Functional Food and Beverages

    Products like collagen water, protein bars, or probiotic types of yogurt can combine the health benefits of dietary supplements with food or drinks. As the number of health-conscious consumers grows, the demand for functional beverages and food products grows as well.

    Start a Pet Supplements Business

    Dietary supplements such as protein powder and vitamins are a common ingredient in pet foods and products. Animal feed manufacturers are also major buyers of supplements as these products are often included in animal feed. Pet owners spend an increasing amount of money on their four-legged friends. That’s why starting a supplement business that focuses on products for pets and livestock animals can be a great idea. The main benefit is that the market is not oversaturated.

    Start a Supplements Blog or Vlog

    If you’re not interested in starting a retail or wholesale distribution supplement business, you can easily start an informational one. A lot of people search for help online and look for credible sources. That’s why building trust and authority is very important if you plan to start a blog or YouTube channel about supplements and health.

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    How to Start a Supplement Business in 4 Steps

    Step 1: Research and Plan

    Whether you plan to launch your own white-labeled supplement brand or you’re considering buying wholesale supplements and selling them online, doing proper research is a must. Start with market research and then make a business plan. It will help you envision the future of your business. Familiarize yourself with all regulations regarding dietary supplements.

    Step 2: Find Partners

    Whether you plan to sell products online or review them in articles and videos, you need to establish partnerships. If you plan to sell products, find suppliers of dietary supplements with the help of marketplaces such as BlueCart. Consider partnering with other businesses as well. For example, gyms and fitness influencers can showcase your products to their clients and audience. Nowadays, consumers use hundreds of purchase channels. Add your products to marketplaces like Amazon and other third-party platforms. You can also consider consignment deals although that business model is fairly old.

    Step 3: Marketing and Sales

    In the modern economy, marketing is one of the most important parts of every business. That’s especially true with niches with young target audiences like supplement businesses. Make sure you use the full capacity of various marketing channels such as social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing. If you plan to start your own brand of dietary supplements, check out the latest packaging trends and invest in branding.

    Step 4: Innovate, Adapt, Improve

    To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Supplement businesses should follow the trends in the sector in order to be a step ahead of the competition. As this market niche is fairly new, there are constant innovations that businesses need to adapt to and incorporate in their processes. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Supplement Businesses

    The market of dietary supplements has become popular in the past few decades. That’s why there are many unanswered questions regarding the topic. Our team has gathered some of the popular ones and answered them below.

    What Are the Most Popular Supplements?

    Vitamins are undoubtedly the most popular dietary supplement type. Here are other common categories of dietary supplements.

    1. Probiotics. They improve gut microbiota and help with digestive health;
    2. Different types of protein powder. They are most commonly associated with people who exercise. Plant-based protein supplements are especially popular among vegans;
    3. Minerals. Iron, magnesium, and zinc are just a few examples of minerals that are commonly included in multivitamins and mineral supplements;
    4. Fiber supplements. Fiber plays an important role in digestion. However, a lot of people don’t consume enough fiber throughout their food. That’s why purchases of fiber supplements are rising.

    Do You Need FDA Approval to Sell Supplements?

    No. Supplements do not go through an FDA approval process like drugs. However, there are certain regulations and laws regarding the manufacturing and trade of these products. Most regulations are related to the labeling of the product. It needs to contain all ingredients, the name of the producer and distributor, and a supplement facts panel. In addition to labeling, the FDA also has the right to deem a product to be unsafe and request its removal from the market.

    Is Selling Supplements Profitable?

    Yes. The profit margin of supplement businesses varies between 20 and 60 percent. The lowest profit margins are on the most common products such as vitamins. The expected growth is one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to start a company in the supplements niche market. An increased number of people experience vitamin or mineral deficiencies. That’s why sales of retail and wholesale supplements are on the rise.

    Besides the increasing demand, another reason why supplement businesses are profitable is the increased health consciousness of people. In the past, problems with the skin, hair, or certain deficiencies were either ignored or treated through a change in the diet. Nowadays, with the convenience of dietary supplements, consumers prefer the much easier option of fighting deficiencies through supplements.

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