Are you wondering how to source functional ingredients for nutraceutical products? Nutraceutical products can provide many different physiological benefits to the body. 

However, to reap the most benefits possible, you need to make sure you’re sourcing functional ingredients. Where do your source ingredients for your products? How do you ensure they’re high-quality ingredients?

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about sourcing functional ingredients for nutraceutical products. Keep reading to learn how it’s done

Related: How to Streamline Your Production Process 

What is a Nutraceutical?

Nutraceutical supplements

Before we dive into sourcing ingredients, we first need to answer the question, “What is a nutraceutical?”

The term “nutraceutical” describes nutritionally or medicinally functional foods. Also known as bio-ceuticals, nutraceuticals serve as pharmaceutical alternatives. People also often refer to nutraceuticals with the following terms:

  • Medical foods
  • Functional foods
  • Designer foods
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Phytochemicals 

Nutraceutical is an umbrella term that can include herbal products, dietary supplements, vitamins, and genetically engineered foods. Typically, nutraceuticals contain high amounts of bioactive compounds. These bioactive compounds derive from natural sources and come with physiological benefits. 

In some cases, they can aid in the treatment and prevention of disease. When taken regularly, nutraceuticals can slow down the aging process, increase your life expectancy, prevent chronic diseases, support bodily functions, and improve your overall health. They can also sometimes prevent and treat mental health issues. 

Purchasing Practices To Follow

If you want to sell nutraceuticals in your local health food shop or through some other type of business, you need to be very particular about the ingredients you purchase. As you can imagine, quality ingredients will ensure the products you create help improve the overall health of your customers. 

Here are some purchasing practices to keep in mind:

Find Your Lane

Before you start buying ingredients for your nutraceutical products, it’s a good idea to choose a niche. In other words, you need to figure out how you’re going to make your nutraceutical products from all the other ones on the shelf. 

Perhaps you want to focus on offering nutraceutical products that improve mental health. Or, maybe you want to offer nutraceutical products that slow down the aging process. Whatever it is, make sure to decide on your niche early on, as not only will this determine the ingredients you need to buy, but it’ll also help drive your marketing strategies. 

Use a Reliable Supplier

It’s also very important to find a reliable supplier for your nutraceutical products. To find the right supplier, you need to do some homework. Look online and see what reviews other businesses have left for ingredient suppliers. 

Also, make sure you have a list of the exact ingredients you need and what you’re willing to pay for each ingredient. You also want to look at the different contracts each supplier offers. Most contracts involve a certain amount of leverage, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. 

Get to know everyone on the supplier team so you can ensure that they’re the type of people you’ll want to build a long-term relationship with. 

Do Extensive Research 

Nutraceutical supplements

As you can imagine, some extensive research will go into sourcing functional ingredients for your nutraceutical products

Make sure you do research on all of the benefits the ingredients you’re purchasing can provide your customers. Also, make sure you understand any potentially harmful side effects of the ingredients you’re purchasing. 

When speaking with suppliers, make sure they know a lot about the ingredients as well.  Are the ingredients they’re using organic? If they’re not organic, how do they ensure they’re of the highest quality? Asking these questions will help ensure you can provide your customers with the best possible product 

Check Contract Details

As we mentioned earlier, checking the contract details before signing is very important. Some things you want to look for include:

  • The length of the contract
  • The frequency and cost of deliveries
  • What happens if something goes wrong with an order (i.e., if it’s late or gets lost)
  • The termination clause

You also need to make sure you know who you’ll be communicating with most on the supplier team. 

Related: The Best Tech Stack for CPG E-Commerce Brands 

Optimize Your Ingredients

When purchasing ingredients for your nutraceutical products, you also need to consider how you’re going to optimize your ingredients. Not only do you need to think about what you’re going to do with your ingredients when they arrive at your door, but you also need to think about how you’re going to keep your ingredients safe and fresh from point A to point B. 

Speak to your supplier about what they’ll do to ensure freshness and quality. 

Understand Your Company’s Value Chain

It’s also essential to understand your company’s value chain. This means that rather than just accepting the cost of the ingredients, you need to do research into what they should cost. To do this, you’ll need to look beyond your direct suppliers and understand the role of key players across the entire value chain. 

You’ll need to understand the true cost of service each player provides and what other options are available. 

Are you looking to learn more about Fiddle’s inventory management software? Click here to find out! 

Learn How to Manage Risk

Lastly, it’s very important that you learn how to manage risk. Price volatility in food can have a significant effect on your profit margins. To protect yourself from these fluctuations, you need to improve your forecasting abilities and know how to use your forecasts to drive better decision-making

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Fiddle 


As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into sourcing the right functional ingredients. With the above information, you’ll be able to source the best ingredients for your products. 

Of course, you’ll need a way to keep track of all the ingredients you’re ordering. 

If you’re looking for a software program that can help you keep track of your purchases, check out Fiddle