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Joe: On this episode of the CPG & CBD University Podcast, this is the latest on Gummy Central Series as we discuss helping brands add a gummy vitamin to their offerings. From development to formulation and testing, we’ve got your fastest route to market. This is the CPG & CBD University Podcast, and it starts right now.
I’m Joe Agostinelli, host of the CPG & CBD University Podcast. Thanks for tuning in to this episode and don’t forget to hit that “subscribe” button wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch video episodes on the Global Widget YouTube channel, and the YouTube channels of our brands. Link to the Global Widget YouTube channel is on the description of this podcast. we continue our Gummy Central Series of podcast episodes and if you follow us on LinkedIn, you’ve seen some of the videos that we’ve featured, excuse me, regarding our ready-made gummy formulas. And I welcome to this episode, our senior formulation specialist Sara Brown, a business development manager Logan Westlake. Sara, welcome back to the podcast, and Logan, welcome to episode number one for you.
Logan: Thanks for having us, Joe.
Joe: So Sara, let’s first start off with you. With so many businesses out there looking to add a gummy vitamin to their brand offering, a perfect solution is our in-house custom formulas. We’ll get to the different offerings in just a minute, but first, how hard is it to come up with so many different formulas?
Sara: I mean, it’s not super hard. We’ve spent the better part of the year, probably, developing these eight formulas. They’ve been carefully formulated with a variety of functional ingredients giving brands an opportunity to customize their lines as they see fit. And we’ve done just tons of research to make sure we’ve picked ingredients that we knew would be functional or work well, and be appealing to a broad customer base. And then we make sure that we’ve tested every single one of these gummy formulas as well to make sure that when a customer is going to order these, they know that the product that they are getting is going to test as it should with third party COA and it’s going to last its shelf life.
Joe: And we’ve obviously featured other members of the formulation team and yourself on past episodes so really it’s a whole team behind these formulas. So when we use the word “we”, that’s why. So Logan, working with our contract manufacturing partners, how important is it to showcase the in-house development and formulation and testing to help them get to market fast?
Logan: Yeah, showcasing our in-house development really means a lot. It really adds a lot of confidence to our partners when they bring us a gummy project. It starts off with a desired end result of a gummy of some sort of ingredient and we have a lot of experience working with various gummies and ingredients and delivery formats for the gummies. Sugar, sugar-free options, things like that. So it truly does add a lot of confidence for the customer showing that we’ve gone through all the work of in-house development, testing, and things like that. But most importantly, being able to provide real-time feedback from our formulators about, what’s going on with the gummy, how things react, is extremely important and really speeds up the process from samples to bring the actual gummy to market, and to life.
Joe: And let’s talk about that variety. Eight ready-made formulas, taking advantage of the latest functional ingredients as Sara mentioned, and you’ve talked about the variety. What are some of the varieties that we offer?
Logan: As far as the gummies, we have ACV, a focused gummy which includes, ginseng, collagen, and sleep. Beyond that, there’s immunity, omega-3, chlorophyll, and ashwagandha. All trending ingredients right now with increasing sales numbers.
Joe: And while we talk about ACV first, apple, cider, vinegar obviously, in a gummy form, we talk about the ginseng, the collagen, and the sleep. And then, Sara, we’ve talked about immunity, omega-3, and previous episodes, but people may not realize chlorophyll in a gummy but it actually is something that consumers request all the time, and ashwagandha, what’s a part of those?
Sara: So our chlorophyll gummies are kind of a need for people who necessarily don’t want to eat their veggies. It’s a way of getting a nice dose of chlorophyll that is equal to two cups worth of spinach in two gummies. So that’s kind of a nice option because I’m not a big fan of spinach either so I can understand people wanting something different for getting their nutrition. The ashwagandha is also a really great gummy just for helping to promote relaxation. It’s got quite a few ingredients in it like chamomile, and passionflower along with the ashwagandha to work synergistically to help create a very calming state of mind.
Joe: So we have these ready-made formulas, and we’ve talked about helping get to the market with the brands fast, but what if a prospective partner or current partner wanted to add to one of these, what goes into that process? What if they want to add different cannabinoids or maybe there’s something, “Hey, I like these formulas or something additional that we can add from maybe an added benefit that goes well with one of them?”
Sara: Sure, some things are obviously going to be easier to add than others. Cannabinoids are one of those things that are relatively easier to add to a gummy formula. They don’t impact its stability of it very much as some ingredients might, and they usually tend to be in low doses. You can add any, I don’t want to say any, you can add quite a few different varieties of ingredients, it’s just certain things might not keep the gummy as stable as we’d like. So some things will be easier than others. But aside from ingredients, if you’d like to customize it more with like a flavor choice, that’s a much easier thing to do to these gummies. So if you don’t like, say an apple flavor on an ACV gummy, we can make it an orange-flavored ACV gummy, it could be a little bit different from what might be out there in the marketplace.
Joe: And each, obviously, each formula has a flavor attached to it. So that’s a good point to make of having a different variety of flavors. Logan, we should also point out we didn’t just come up with these but they are direct results of feedback from our private-level partners.
Logan: Yeah, so, we always take in account the feedback from our strategic partners based on what they’re hearing from their customers and their sales. So we always listen to them as well as provide them with the feedback that we have on real market data of ingredients that are trending or selling well. Like for instance, ashwagandha is up 1300% over the last two years. ACV, that ingredient alone is up over 1400% in sales over the last two years. So we take into consideration all this data and feedback from our strategic partners alone and kind of collaborate and develop and produce a gummy that we know will sell, right? Because when they win, we win, and vice versa. So it’s important to create the best gummy for them based on data and feedback.
Joe: So you’ve mentioned eight formulas so far, but what’s the process like for additional formulas, and when do you get to that point where it’s like, “Hey, we’re going to have to add to our repertoire?”
Sara: Right, if we get a lot of customer demand wanting something specific, we’ll probably take the time to develop a formula that is meeting those needs. We use trending ingredients that are out there, we will try and incorporate something or if a customer comes to us and they’re like, “This is going to be the next big thing,” we might decide that that might be worth investigating. Or even when one of our vendors comes to us with a new ingredient that’s supposed to have some interesting claims on it and it’s studied and all that kind of stuff, we might try and incorporate that into something as a new formula.
Joe: And Logan, prospective and current partners may have additional asks for formulas. So how do they work with our teams for gummies that, perhaps take us through that process where, “Hey, the ready-made formulas are great but we are looking for something different.”
Logan: Sure, yeah, that’s not a problem. Typically first steps are to sit down and have a discussion. What is your end results for a gummy? Where do you sell this gummy? Where do you anticipate selling this product? I really like to learn a lot more about their business, their avenues of how they sell and distribute their product. So we come to a general agreement or understanding of the desired gummy that they’re looking for, after that, we go through a simple costing exercise, make sure everything matches up and costing is aligned properly, and then after that, I hand over all that information to Sara over here. And she’ll create a gummy, some bench-top samples and we’ll send those out to the customers and they can approve those or make some minor changes like, “Logan, look, this gummy is phenomenal but maybe instead of mixed berry you’d want to try strawberry flavor.” Sure, no problem. There are changes that can be made because it’s important to really perfect and dial in these gummies for our partners so that they can bring it to market.
Joe: And there’s one thing, like I’ve never hosted this before, so I’ve hit my microphone if you are watching the video version, so I’ve got to stop talking with my hands. But anyway, and there’s one thing I want to hit on. The partners are part of the process from the very beginning for feedback and samples, and testing the stuff. It’s not just like here’s the finished product.
Sara: Yeah, a lot of our development is based off of the feedback we get from people who try the gummies. The customers, that is the way we find the direction to move in is generally based off of customers’ feedback.
Joe: And something I wanted to ask when you brought it up and I forgot to ask that was when you talk about the formulation process like adding a new formula, what’s the timetable for that? Like if we added a ninth formula, how long does it take to come up with a ready-made formula?
Sara: I mean, to research it, develop the formula, get everything, all the pieces in place, the formula itself to make could probably take about a month but then the testing would occur. So once we get a finalized formula we then go to making sure the gummy will be test-right and be stable.
Joe: Very good, I think we covered everything. Anything we didn’t cover?
Logan: No, no.
Joe: Good job on your first episode.
Logan: Thanks, Joe, I appreciate it.
Joe: No problem.
Logan: Yeah, thank you.
Joe: A lot of great information out there and as I mentioned, you can follow later on our social media networks as we have more of our ready-made formulas that we will be featuring in short videos. And some information throughout the course of the next month and a half or so depending on when you’ll be listening to this podcast first uploaded at the beginning of March 2022. Sara Brown, Logan Westlake, thanks for joining me on this episode. That was a lot of fun, a lot of good information and education.
Logan: Yeah, thanks for having us Joe, that was a lot of fun.
Joe: And for more information on everything Gummy Central, visit gwgummies.com, the link to the description is in this episode. And go behind the scenes of our gummy manufacturing process on the global widget, YouTube channel. As I mentioned, that link is also in the description of this episode. And hey, speaking of episodes, while you’re on YouTube, you can watch full video episodes of our podcast. And don’t forget that no matter wherever you get our podcast from, hit that ‘subscribe’ button to receive notifications of new episodes of our podcast each week. I’m Joe Agostinelli, host of The CPG &CBD University Podcast, thanks for tuning in.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult your personal physician about CBD and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast is not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CBD and CBD products.