Consumers want retailers to vet supplements, personal care products, according to NSF survey

According to NSF's survey, consumers expect retailers to ensure the safety and quality of the products they stock.

According to new research conducted by NSF International (Ann Arbor, MI), consumers are increasingly relying on retailers to vet potentially unsafe and low-quality products. What’s more is the study results suggest Americans (97%) want retailers to go beyond what's required by law and visit, inspect, and conduct their own due diligence audits of manufacturing facilities. Additionally, nearly 85% of survey respondents said they expect retailers to test supplements and other health and wellness products for safety.

"Failure to comply with good manufacturing practices (GMPs) can lead to a host of quality and safety issues. You can get cross contamination of products, mislabeled products, inaccurate formulations, and generally unhygienic conditions,"said David Trosin, managing director of health sciences certification at NSF International, in a press release. "Everyone in the industry understands the importance of good manufacturing practices and now it's clear consumers are concerned about this too."

The online survey, conducted in July 2021 on behalf of NSF International, polled a representative sample of 1,000 Americans about their attitudes and behaviors related to dietary supplements, personal care products, and OTC drugs. When asked what would make them trust these products more, 62% said "independent certification from a health and safety organization" and 61% said "made in a facility that has been inspected for good manufacturing practices." About 44% said "lab testing by the retailer" would help build their trust in supplements and personal care products. Interestingly, "social media comments" and "celebrity endorsements" were identified as building trust by just 17% of consumers.

"We envision a future when most major retailers will require brands to show proof of product quality in some form or another, whether through independent assurance of GMP compliance, independent laboratory testing of products or both," Trosin said.