Career Tools

Useful Tips

  • Don't wait until your career is in trouble to look at new opportunities. Exploring other jobs is not a criminal offense and it is not grounds for termination unless you are doing it during your work day to the detriment of performing your assigned duties.
  • It is not easy to find a job. It will require time for you to prepare a resume, research companies and recruiters to make contacts and do follow ups. Budget some money for expenses for mailings and long distance calls.
  • Your mentor should be a successful person involved in your chosen industry, a friend, relative or sought out contact may be willing to coach you through your job search.

Supplements Industry Resources

A dietary supplement, also known as a food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a product intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids or amino acids that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person's diet. Some countries define dietary supplements as foods, while in others they are defined as drugs or natural health products.

Supplements containing vitamins or dietary minerals are included as a category of food in the Codex Alimentarius, a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety. These texts are drawn up by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an organization that is sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the (WHO)

In the United States, a dietary supplement is defined under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) as a product that is intended to supplement the diet and contains any of the following dietary ingredients:

  • a vitamin
  • a mineral
  • a herb or other botanical (excluding tobacco)
  • an amino acid
  • a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of the above

It must also conform to the following criteria:

  • intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form
  • not represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet
  • labeled as a "dietary supplement"

The hormones DHEA , pregnenolone and melatonin are marketed as dietary supplements in the US

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as a category of foods, and not as drugs. While pharmaceutical companies are required to obtain FDA approval which involves assessing the risks and benefits prior to their entry into the market, dietary supplements do not need to be pre-approved by FDA before they can enter the market.

The dietary supplement industry is made up a diverse set of products that are produced by a variety of manufacturers and distributed through a variety of channels. For these reasons, characterizing the industry is difficult. Furthermore, the industry has experienced tremendous growth recently due to increased consumer interest in these products, so information on the industry is continually being updated.

Industry statistics are difficult to come by because these products are scattered across at least eight different 4-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC codes) and nearly 80 different 6-digit international codes. In addition, different trade organizations cover varying aspects of the industry. These include the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which in the past concentrated primarily on vitamins and minerals but is now branching out into other DS products; the American Herbal Products Association, which contains primarily smaller herbal and botanical product manufacturers but is adding larger members over time; the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers, which represents the larger over-the-counter pharmaceutical manufacturers, many of which produce vitamins and minerals; the Utah Natural Products Alliance, which represents eight large firms that are located in Utah but that have national distribution channels; and the National Nutritional Foods Association, which covers retailers in addition to manufacturers and is working on standardizing products. Many other smaller organizations represent various aspects of the industry as well.

The distribution channels for products are many and varied and include channels through which companies

  1. manufacture and sell their products within their own stores
  2. manufacture products and private-label them for retail outlets
  3. manufacture products with a brand name label for sale in retail outlets

In addition, a large volume of sales is through direct sellers such as mail order and multilevel marketing.

Jobs and careers in the supplement industry are ever growing as consumer demand increases for supplements. You can apply your business skills and education to find a job in the supplement industry. Go for it and follow your passion!

Supplements Industry Organizations

  1. American Botanical Council
  2. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
  3. American Herbal Products Association
  4. American Herbalist Guild
  5. Consumer Healthcare Products Association
  6. Council For Responsible Nutrition
  7. Herb Research Foundation
  8. (formerly the Non-Subscription Drug Manufacturers Association)
  9. United Natural Products Alliance
  10. Natural Products Association
  11. NSF International

Supplements Industry Publications

  1. The APHA Report: Newsletter of the American Herbal Products Association, bimonthly paper publication
  2. HerbalGram: Journal of the American Botanical Council and Herb Research Foundation
  3. Natural Products Insider
  4. New Hope 360 : On Our Radar Daily News for suppliers, manufacturers and retailers of natural, organic and healthy products.
  5. Nutrition Business Journal
  6. Vitamin Retailer

Supplements Industry Trade Shows

  1. Green Business Conference
  2. Integrative Healthcare Symposium
  3. Natural Products Expo West
  4. Natural Products Expo East
  5. Natural Marketplace
  6. NBJ Summit
  7. NutraCosmetic Summit
  8. Supply Side East
  9. Supply Side West

Natural Products Industry Recruiters

  1. Consumer Products Recruiting Specialists
  2. JWoods & Associates---Janet L. Woods
  4. Sanford Rose Associates
  5. Blake, Hansen & Schmidt, Limited
  6. Braun Resources
  7. Dash Advisors
  8. Ed Nallyey Executive Search Intl'l LLC
  9. Inner Circle Sales
  10. Orchid Holistic Search
  11. PrincetonOne - Kim Mayes
  12. KCO Resource Management
  13. Search Path of Chicago, Inc.

Additional Resources

  1. Nutritional Products International
  2. Nutritional Product International Global Export