Dietary Supplement Supply Chain Update: Ingredients prices on the rise as supply tightens.

I've been warning about the dire straits of the dietary supplement supply chain for months now, and the situation is getting worse every day. New maltodextrin contracts are no longer being accepted, supply is short and prices are increasing. Starches have become a major problem that will negatively affect flavoring systems across the entire supplement industry. I expect to see dextrose and fructose prices start to rise as supply tightens on them as well.

Creatine monohydrate pricing keeps climbing as factory shutdowns continue. This is becoming a disaster, and if factory shutdowns continue due to COVID and pollution issues, we will see creatine lose its commodity status and become a luxury that few can afford. That outcome sounds farfetched, but mark my words, we’re headed there. The dietary supplement industry isn’t even a speck on China’s radar; pollution, COVID and energy shortages are their concern.

The caffeine market continues to worsen. The price is rising, and supply is short. Caffeine's problems should be short-term, as China will hopefully complete its investigation into manufacturing deficiencies. In China, caffeine is a drug, and what companies had scheduled to manufacture didn’t match up with what was manufactured. China feels the shortages might be due to foul play, with caffeine being sold on the black market.

Dairy protein pricing continues to climb without rhyme or reason. I don’t see a short-term end to the price increase as China continues to buy out our stock. International purchasing of US protein is also on the rise worldwide, adding to the problem. Normally whey isolate is more expensive than whey concentrate, but this market is moving so quickly and in such disarray that even that pricing is topsy turvy. Concentrate is currently more expensive than isolate, but that will change as the isolate manufacturers catch on and raise their price.

Albion is now quoting delivery past July on most of their minerals, as are many vendors of specialty ingredients. The word is that if you want Albion minerals, you best get your forecasts to them now for the balance of 2021. Even smarter is to get your orders in through Q2 2022.

BCAAs took another increase. Acetyl L-Carnitine and other aminos continue to tighten. Glass bottles are gone, so if you are packaging glass, you are in big trouble. Plastic bottles are also increasing in cost daily, with lead times getting longer. Contract manufacturing is 20 weeks out, with quotes upwards of 26 weeks. Freight costs are through the roof, and the recent shortage of drivers is adding to the problem.

It is a shit show out there and getting worse every day. I’ll keep you updated as best I can. If you are a brand owner, you need to stay on top of this.

By: Mark Glazier
NutraBio Labs, Inc.
CE & Founder