Supplement OWL ‘raises the bar’ for category

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WASHINGTON — The Supplement Online Wellness Library (OWL) — a dietary supplement product registry developed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and launched in spring 2017 — is an industrywide self-regulatory initiative that aims to create a more complete picture of the dietary supplement market for regulators, retailers and the industry.

The registry is intended to serve as a resource for identifying products, their ingredients and the companies who market them, as well as to facilitate the examination and evaluation of labels and other product information.

CRN spearheaded the Supplement OWL effort by providing the initial funding and conceptual project management. Global independent safety science firm UL has invested funding in the development and administration of the registry and the technology for the database.

Now companies looking to upload their dietary supplement product labels into the Supplement OWL have two ­additional efficient and affordable options to get their labels into this industry initiative, according to CRN.

UL, which is responsible for developing and administering the Supplement OWL, and the Hamacher Resource Group (HRG), a partner in category management, business strategy, analytics and brand marketing services focused on consumer health care at retail, are each eager to partner with manufacturers for a nominal per-label fee to reduce the internal workload and speed up the process.

“As the Supplement OWL gains traction, there’s growing energy about the long-term potential for the registry to raise the bar for our industry,” said Duffy MacKay, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at CRN. “When companies provide feedback, the one concern we hear is that they’re worried about the staff time involved in the initial upload process. We’re grateful to UL and HRG for coming up with a way to cut down on the time involved and provide the manufacturer with a reliable, accurate solution.”

For the nominal per-label fee, the two companies are offering to populate the required data fields in Tier 1 of the Supplement OWL, using information provided by the product manufacturer. Companies will still be involved in the process, including sharing edits (as needed) and providing final approval.

Now, however, the more tedious elements of the label upload process will be greatly reduced, according to CRN, allowing companies to focus on fine-tuning each entry before it is made public and allowing in-house staff to more effectively utilize their own time.

The Supplement OWL will help create a rich and more complete picture of the marketplace for regulators, retailers and industry, CRN says.

MacKay added, “Taking advantage of the label upload service provided by UL or HRG is a great way for busy companies to get started with the Supplement OWL and ensure their brands are represented.”

CRN member companies will be required, as a condition of membership, to participate in the Supplement OWL in the new year, and CRN anticipates the number of responsible dietary supplement companies, both CRN members and those who are not, will also continue to increase as companies voluntarily comply.

Founded in 1973 and based in the nation’s capital, CRN is the leading trade association representing dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. CRN companies produce a large portion of the dietary supplements marketed in the U.S. and around the globe.



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