An Inside Look At The World Of Probiotic Manufacturing
How Some Health Food Store Owners Asked A Question That Led To A Breakthrough Probiotic Formula Called Amplified Probiotics
A great thing about owning a health food store is that we have the flexibility to choose between brands and products. This flexibility gives us the choice to sell the best products that we can find. I am Charlie Rea, co-owner of a family business of five stores in Southwest Virginia, and I want to tell you about one of the more fun adventures we have taken in the Natural Products Industry.
Every year we attend the national trade show for the industry to learn about the best products available and to see what is new in terms of science and trends.
A couple of years ago, we had a chance encounter with a gentleman who works for the only US based manufacturer of probiotics. He proceeded to teach us several very interesting things about probiotics and the way that they are marketed.
There are only a few companies that actually make probiotics
The biggest revelation was that although there are thousands of probiotic brands in the industry, there are only a small number of companies that actually make the probiotics, and only one of these companies is located in the United States. (link to another blog post)
The amount of science that is emerging around the gut biome and probiotics is quite exciting, so we took a trip to Georgia to learn first hand about the new science as well as how products get made.
The real expertise in the industry is at the MANUFACTURING companies, not the BRAND level.
When we arrived at the manufacturing facility in Georgia, we were blown away. We got a tour of the plant, which was state of the art. We got to see people in “space suits” working on super high tech equipment with computers everywhere.
We then went to a small classroom, where we were educated by some of the top PhD experts in probiotics in the world. We learned about the latest clinical studies and newest breakthroughs coming down the pipeline.
All of the brands do what we were doing. They also come down there to get educated and talk about their product formulas. During our visit, we saw some representatives from a big national brand just across the hall from us.
Most brands just follow marketing trends and spend more time looking at industry sales data than they do the actual science
We inquired about which companies were carrying the newer strains that had all of this great science, and they replied that “It takes companies a lot of time to move to the newer ingredients”.
It turns out that most brands are more interested in following marketing trends and each other’s moves. They don’t want to cannibalize their own products and they also don’t want to stick their neck out and take chances on something new.
Imagine that, the top probiotic experts in the world were deferring to a bunch of “Marketing Monkeys”!
That led us to ask the “BIG QUESTION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING”
When we are trying to help our customers in our stores, we want to always offer the best products available. We want products that have clinical research and that offer the most benefits possible.
It was a bit of a shocker to learn how most brands approach their formulas, favoring marketing over science.
That’s when we asked the simple question: “What if you could make a formula that has the most benefit to the user possible and you didn’t have to worry about the concerns of marketers or what it might cost?
The reply that we got floored us! They said, “Nobody has ever asked us that before”
“Nobody has asked us that before”
We didn’t hesitate. Not even for one second. We asked them to come up with the best formula possible and what they came up with is amazing. They said it would be the probiotic they all wanted to take themselves. As you have probably guessed, that product is Amplified Probiotics.
It is remarkable how asking a different question can put you on a path to something new and better. In this instance, it resulted in what we think is the best probiotic available.