97% of consumers expect retailers to visit manufacturing facilities, test supplement safety

Even though retailers do not manufacture or distribute the products they sell, consumers expect them to exercise due diligence.

Federal regulations require dietary supplement manufacturers to comply with GMP, but they are not required to provide proof of GMP compliance before shipping products. Recently, however, several large retailers and online shopping platforms have started requiring brands and manufacturers to provide proof of GMP compliance and other quality assurance requirements. The new study suggests Americans want retailers to go beyond what’s required by law.

Amazon is perhaps the most important case highlighting this industry dilemma. The e-commerce juggernaut introduced sweeping standards in late 2020 following an investigation by supplement brand NOW.

Last year, the supplement maker NOW discovered widespread quality issues after testing several “no-name” brands sold on Amazon, underscoring the need for increased oversight. Today, the platform requires comprehensive testing and other documentation that covers potency claims, facility GMPs, and more. The stipulations are slow in coming, but stakeholders say it’s a step in the right direction.

NSF takes the pulse of consumers

Consumers most likely to request lab tests on supplements are those with children, urban consumers, consumers aged 23 to 35, and consumers in urban areas, according to a new survey by the global public health organization NSF International. men earning more than $ 90,000 per year.

The online survey conducted in July 2021 on behalf of NSF International asked 1,000 consumers in the United States about their attitudes and behaviors related to dietary supplements, personal care products and over-the-counter medications.

One of the most striking research findings is that 97% of consumers believe it is important for retailers to visit and inspect manufacturing facilities that produce dietary supplements, personal care products, and drugs. over the counter (OTC). Almost 85% of survey respondents said they expect retailers to test the safety of supplements and other health and wellness products.

Americans hold retailers accountable

Busy consumers who don’t have time for in-depth product research are increasingly relying on retailers to eliminate potentially unsafe and low-quality products, according to NSF International.

“We are seeing a trend across all categories of the health and wellness industry: consumers increasingly want retailers to support the products they sell.” said David Trosin, general manager of health science certification at NSF International. “According to this research, consumers not only expect retailers to test product safety, but they also want them to inspect manufacturing facilities to verify compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices.

Building consumer confidence

According to the survey, 95% of consumers are concerned about the quality and safety of dietary supplements. When asked what would make them trust these products more, 62% responded “independent certification from a health and safety agency” and 61% responded “made in a facility that has been inspected. for good manufacturing practices ”. About 44% said “retailer lab testing” would help boost their confidence in supplements and personal care products. Only 14% said that “television advertising” helps build their confidence in the products. “Social media comments” and “celebrity referrals” were identified as building trust by only 17% of consumers.

“We envision a future where most large retailers will require brands to prove product quality in one form or another, whether through independent assurance of GMP compliance, independent laboratory testing on products. or both “added Trosin.

Other highlights

  • While consumers are concerned about product safety and quality, only 48% said they research dietary supplement product claims themselves.
  • About half of consumers (47%) are more likely to search for a movie than claims on supplements and other health and wellness products.
  • 17% of consumers said they were more likely to read Facebook’s terms and conditions than supplement ingredient labels.
  • 56% of consumers said the COVID-19 pandemic made them more concerned about the safety of supplements
  • While 85% of consumers want retailers to test the health and wellness products they sell, only 32% believe retailers actually do.
  • 62% of consumers believe that national chain stores / pharmacies are ‘the most likely to sell the highest quality health and wellness products’.
  • Only 28% said online sellers and 17% said fitness centers are “the most likely to sell the highest quality products.”


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