Custom Supplements vs. Private Label Supplements

Sep 21, 2022

Written By:
Melinda Elmadjian

custom vs PL supplements

Whether you’re new to private label supplements or already have a thriving business, you might wonder where custom formulations come into play. Custom supplements might be a natural next step for those with an established business or practice.

Both private label supplements and custom formulations can enable you to help patients and customers in exciting, profitable ways, or they can be a waste of time and money without the proper systems in place. Custom formulations can be especially lucrative, but they require solid groundwork and professional guidance.

This article details the differences between private label and custom supplements and highlights how to choose which is best for your business.

what are private label supplements?

Private labeling is putting your brand on existing nutraceutical formulas that come with legal permission from their provider. Starting your private label business is an excellent way to build a niche brand and grow your business with less liability risk. It’s a win-win for your business and your patients or customers, who can rest assured they are receiving high-quality professional supplements.

A trusted private label partner will also offer products that guarantee ample research and development, marketing materials (such as product sell sheets), and assurance that all supplements meet ever-changing FDA and FTC regulations. Deciding to private label creates the opportunity to reap the many benefits of having your own supplement brand without spending time and money on creating a new formula from scratch.

However, there are additional benefits of creating a new formula, which is where custom formulations come in.

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what are custom formulations?

Custom supplements are original formulas that serve an already established patient or customer base. Most people come to a provider with an idea of the ingredients they’d like to use  and a business selling in higher volumes. Custom formulations require more time and investment but offer the opportunity for a highly unique and profitable supplement.

Similar to private label supplements, a custom formulation provider should also offer complete turn-key service. A designated team member will work with you to help identify your target audience and curate your optimal product and design, guide branding decisions, and pinpoint and develop your desired combination of cost, timing, flavoring, and formulation of active and inactive ingredients. Custom supplements will also undergo all necessary label claim and stability testing and meet all FDA and FTC regulations. Custom liquid supplements are one of the fastest-growing areas of delivery systems and are manufactured at DaVinci Laboratories to be GMP Certified.

what are the pros and cons of private label vs. custom supplements?

Both private label and custom supplements have their own list of benefits, and one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Custom formulations are better suited for customers with a solid business model, as the investment and order minimums are significantly higher than a private label supplement.

Order minimums are the minimum number of bottles or units you can purchase, and private label supplements typically allow for as few as 36 bottles. This low minimum is excellent if you’re just starting and want to test several products to see which will be most successful with minimal risk. Custom formulation order minimums will vary (for example, patented ingredients have different minimums) but are in the range of 300,000-500,000 soft gels, 100,000 capsules or tablets, 100,000 chewable tablets, 3,500 units of liquids, or 1,000 units of a powdered supplement.

Private label supplements are created from a basic template, while custom supplement label designs are curated from scratch. For this reason, the label-creation timeline is significantly different, as a private label design can be done in four weeks with only five days for repeat orders. Custom supplements often take 14-16 weeks of label claim testing for their initial creation, with 12 weeks for repeat orders. Both custom and private label supplement orders can be shipped directly to retailers, Amazon, or other distribution channels.

how to choose a custom or private label supplement manufacturer?

Whether you’re embarking on a private label business or starting a unique custom formulation, partnering with the right provider is essential. Make sure to choose a manufacturer who offers full turn-key services that include everything start-to-finish, so when your product arrives, you can feel confident it’s ready to sell. With any provider, it’s wise to consider turnaround time on reorders and minimum shipment amounts that correlate with your business model, label, and other additional fees. At DaVinci Laboratories, we provide clients with a direct DaVinci consultant, product development, regulatory, graphics, and QC/QA.

An experienced provider should also help guide you in the right direction. For example, you might have an idea for a custom formulation nearly identical to an existing private label supplement. In this case, opting for the private label supplement might make more sense, which will save you considerable time and money.

related content: how to choose a private label supplement company


Custom supplements are appropriate for solidly established businesses that are ready to handle higher order minimums. In contrast, private label supplements are great for those wanting less initial risk and lower overhead costs. Embarking on a private label supplement business or building your own custom formulation is an exciting choice for your business. As they benefit from high-quality supplements from a brand they trust, your customers’ loyalty will grow and your profits will significantly increase.


Private Label Supplements Guide

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.