Null

 

LEARN MORE |  GET STARTED

WELCOME TO THE SUPPLEMENT OWL

 

WHAT IS THE SUPPLEMENT OWL?

WHAT IS THE SUPPLEMENT OWL?

What is the Supplement OWL?

The Supplement OWL (Online Wellness Library)—the dietary supplement product registry—is an industry-wide, self-regulatory initiative that will help create a rich and more complete picture of the marketplace for regulators, retailers, and industry. The Supplement OWL will serve as a resource for these audiences to identify products, their ingredients and the companies who market them, and permit registry users to examine and evaluate labels and other product information.

Who is behind the Supplement OWL?

The Supplement OWL is a self-regulatory project of the dietary supplement industry. Individual companies and their trade associations in the industry are working together to create a product registry that will help increase transparency and accountability in the marketplace. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry, is spearheading the effort by providing the initial funding and conceptual project management. UL, a global independent safety science company, is investing funding in the development and administration of the registry and the technology that will drive this database.

What kind of information will be in the Supplement OWL?

The Supplement OWL will have two tiers of information. Participation in Tier 1 is free. Tier 1 will include an image of the product, a complete product label and various fields of information about the product such as ingredients, dosage form, product claims from the label and contact information. When the Supplement OWL goes public, Tier 1 will be available online for viewing by anyone who wants to search the Supplement OWL. (Companies submitting their labels will also be required to provide manufacturing and packaging facility contact information, which will be accessible only to FDA, the regulatory body that oversees dietary supplement labeling. Industry will provide this confidential information to regulators to foster transparency; however, this information is generally considered confidential and therefore will not be made public.)

Tier 2 will allow companies to upload additional information and supporting documents about quality practices for their products for a nominal fee. This information will be controlled by the product marketer and only those entities with permission from the marketer will be able to view these materials. Tier 2 is not yet available. Companies can submit labels to Tier 1 now and decide later whether they also want to participate in Tier 2.

Who can use the Supplement OWL?

The Supplement OWL is intended primarily as a tool for regulators and other stakeholders who want to learn more about products, their contents and their labeling information. While anyone with an internet connection will be able to access Tier 1 of the Supplement OWL once it is launched to the public, the Supplement OWL is not intended to be a marketing tool to consumers, nor is it a place where consumers can shop for supplement products. The Supplement OWL was created by the industry as a self-regulatory tool to provide a more complete understanding of the supplement marketplace and the range of products and ingredients. Although primarily for regulators, it is anticipated that retailers, the industry itself and other stakeholders will also find great value in the Supplement OWL.

When will companies be able to put their product labels into the Supplement OWL and when will it be available to the public?  

The Supplement OWL is now accepting labels. Companies can begin putting their labels in immediately and UL is ready to help you get started. It is anticipated that the Supplement OWL will go live—i.e., available for anyone with internet access—in April 2017. 

WHY BE IN THE OWL?

WHY BE IN THE SUPPLEMENT OWL?

Why is the Supplement OWL important for industry?

The Supplement OWL is an important self-regulatory initiative that starts with a simple premise: regulators need to know what ingredients and products are in the dietary supplement marketplace and who sells them. Companies who manufacture and market dietary supplements have a responsibility to share this basic information with regulators to help them get a better handle on the size and breadth of the dietary supplement marketplace. A responsible industry wants the legal requirements already in place to be enforced to promote a level playing field for all participants, and regulators need to be able to see the participants to effectively enforce the law. As an industry-created and industry-managed initiative, the Supplement OWL provides that visibility and allows the industry to maintain control of the registry.

Why is self-regulation important?

Self-regulation is a hallmark of a mature, responsible industry, one that cares about its consumers. Self-regulation shows that the industry is willing to impose obligations on itself to ensure its products not only comply with the law, but help enhance regulation already in place. Self-regulatory initiatives such as the Supplement OWL help foster trust with industry stakeholders and demonstrate a desire to improve industry from within.

Why is it important for my company to have its labels in the Supplement OWL?

Demonstrating a commitment to transparency with regulators illustrates a company’s confidence that its products are compliant with label regulations and reinforces our industry’s accountability to consumers. Having your products and their labels in the Supplement OWL shows registry users that you want your products to be viewed as part of the mainstream supplement marketplace and are willing to provide them for scrutiny.

How do retailers benefit from the Supplement OWL?

The Supplement OWL provides retailers with an authoritative database to examine and evaluate labels of products on the market. In particular, Tier 2 of the OWL will offer retailers access to a wealth of information to help them make more informed decisions when determining which products they have confidence placing on their store shelves. Additionally, the registry offers retailers a new decision point for improving their reputations as responsible vendors. As the Supplement OWL gains traction with retailers, product labels that are not in the registry may raise questions as to why these products are missing.

HOW TO GET STARTED

GETTING STARTED WITH THE SUPPLEMENT OWL

Getting your product labels into the Supplement OWL is not difficult and can be accomplished in one of several ways. The following information will walk you through the options and briefly describe the advantages of each to help you select the method that best suits your data. Information on getting started shown on this site is also available in a printable PDF "Getting Started With the Supplement OWL" and in the PDF guide, "Master Reference Guide to Getting Started on the Supplement OWL."

Need help?   Please contact Erik Eberhart at UL: Erik.Eberhart@ul.com / 913-304-7841

3 STEPS:

  1. Read and understand the Order Form & Service Agreement for the Supplement OWL.

  2. Learn what product and label information must be submitted to the registry.

  3. Determine the best method to submit labels to the Supplement OWL:
    • Electronic Transfer
    • Conversion from the ODS Label Database
    • Manual Data Entry
    • Third-Party Upload Service

TAKE A LOOK INSIDE THE OWL

Click below for a look at sample screens from the Supplement OWL,
or download a printable PDF here.
Supplement OWL screen shot

 


STEP 1

Read and understand the Order Form & Service Agreement for the Supplement OWL.

First, you will want to review the Order Form & Service Agreement that provides your consent to include your company’s products in the registry. It can be obtained by simply contacting UL at Erik.Eberhart@ul.com or OVP.SalesSupport@ul.com and requesting a copy. It contains a description of the relationship between marketers and manufacturers of finished dietary supplements (“the participants”) and UL, the company managing the registry and its contents. You will want to review this contract with your staff, sign the Agreement and return the signed copy to UL to begin the process. If you are only participating in Tier 1 of the registry, and will be providing all data electronically, there is no charge to participate in the Supplement OWL—it’s FREE! Regardless of which method you use, completion of the Agreement is the first step to getting your products into the registry.

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL REQUEST

 

STEP 2

Learn what product and label information must be submitted to the registry.

The Supplement OWL is comprised of two “Tiers” of information. Participation in Tier 1 is free, and completion of all the mandatory information fields in Tier 1 is required for participation in the Supplement OWL. Inclusion of additional product information and supporting documents in Tier 2 is optional and requires payment of a fee of $25 per product entry.

Companies wishing to participate in Tier 1 should be prepared to provide the following fields of information for each product entered into the registry:  

A.  Information required from each label DOWNLOAD CHART (PDF)
     
(this information will be viewable by the public)

Product Information:

ID (a unique numeric code will be assigned by the registry to each entry)

Product Name

Product Brand

SKU

Product Image

Label Image

Statement of Identity

Serving Size

Net Contents Quantity

Alternate Net Contents Quantity

Product Category

Delivery Form

Claim(s) or Use(s)

Intended User(s)

Serving Directions

Servings per Container

Footnote

Other Ingredients

Brand Intellectual Property (IP) Statement Information

FDA Disclaimer Statement

Precautions

Storage and Handling Information

Seals/Symbols/Certifications/Related

Allergen Statements/Claims

Contact Information

Facts Panel Type



B.   Additional Information Required

(This information is only viewable by regulatory authorities such as FDA):

  • Manufacturing facility name, address and contact information;
  • Packaging facility name, address and contact information;

OR

  • A contact name, title, phone number and email address of a responsible senior quality professional who can provide the manufacturing and packaging facility name, address and phone number immediately upon request from a regulatory body.

 

 

STEP 3

Step 3: Determine the best method to submit labels to the Supplement OWL.

Each company has its own unique IT systems and many different ways of storing its product information, so there is no one “right” way to get your labels into the Supplement OWL. Consider these alternatives:

Option 1: Electronic Transfer

If your company uses internal IT systems (as such Internal or Third Party ERP, PLM, Marketing, labeling systems, etc.) that house your product data, you may be able to transfer the data electronically and avoid re-keying the information. Our “IT Field Layout Guide,” will help you determine what information is required. We recommend that you share this document with your internal IT personnel and work with your staff who fully understand this document. Once a contact is identified, email OVP.SalesSupport@ul.com with the contact name and contact information. This person will be contacted by UL within two business days to discuss next steps as well as assure that any questions or concerns they may have are addressed.

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL REQUEST FOR TELECONFERENCE

Option 2: Conversion from the ODS Label Database

If your company’s products are already listed in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD)—accessible here—you may be able to relocate that information to the Supplement OWL by mapping the data to our system. A couple words of caution though: The Supplement OWL contains several data points that are not in the DSLD. Thus, your company will be required to enter the information into the missing required fields to complete the entries. Also, please review your products in DSLD, it has been communicated by manufacturers that products included in DSLD are not current reflection of product lines and include discontinued products, updated products, and/or missing products.

If you would like to execute this option, please request the “DSLD label verification form” by sending an email to OVP.SalesSupport@ul.com. In the subject line, insert “DSLD label verification form request” and provide your contact information in the body of the email. You will receive a reply within two business days with further instructions.

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL REQUEST

Option 3: Manual Data Entry

Product information may be manually entered into the template spreadsheet. This option may be time-consuming, so is best suited for companies with a limited number of products in the U.S. market. You will need to manually enter data fields and file names for label pictures and product pictures.

If you would like to execute this option, please request the “Manually enter data fields guide” by sending an email to OVP.SalesSupport@ul.com. In the subject line insert “Manually enter data fields guide” and provide your contact information in the body of the email. You will receive an email within two business days with further instructions.

CLICK HERE TO EMAIL REQUEST

In addition, this Manual Upload Guide and Worksheet Template Example will help you determine what information is required.

Option 4: UL’s Upload Service or another third-party vendor to load the Information

Utilize UL’s Manual Data Upload Service or another service vendor who will provide this turn-key service using your labels for a small fee. UL’s service enters data field information from information provided by the product manufacturer in readable PDF form. The UL team will work with a point of contact on how to submit additional data fields not on labels, label files and product pictures. If you would like more information about the UL service, provide an estimate of the number of labels in the “Manual Data Service Level” line of the signed Service Order Form and UL will contact you.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss additional options, please contact UL via email or phone: OVP.SalesSupport@ul.com / 1-877-292-7279 (within the United States) or +1 913-307-9010 (from outside the United States) or contact CRN at GAtkinson@crnusa.org.

There are 3 ways to send your content and information to UL, from fastest to slowest:


If you have any questions or would like to discuss additional options, please contact UL via email or phone: OVP.SalesSupport@ul.com / 1-877-292-7279 (within the United States) or +1 913-307-9010 (from outside the United States).

LOOK WHO'S TALKING ABOUT THE OWL


 

LOOK WHO'S TALKING
ABOUT THE SUPPLEMENT OWL

CHPA voices support for Supplement OWL label registry
NutraIngredients

Helping the Supplement OWL Soar
Deerland Enzymes

ABC endorses Supplement OWL dietary supplement product registry
NutraIngredients

ABC endorsement letter
American Botanical Council

The Supplement OWL takes self-regulation under its wing
NutraIngredients

First-ever supplements online product registry begins to take off
New Hope

More Than 50 Companies Already in CRN’s Supplement OWL Database
Nutritional Outlook

Supplement Industry Encouraged to Participate in Product Registry
Nutraceuticals World

Can a Registry Build Trust?
NutraIngredients

Food State’s Bethany Davis Talks CRN Supplement OWL
Whole Foods Magazine

Supplement registry to aid marketers and retailers
Chain Drug Review

Video: CRN Has High Hopes For New Product Registry
Natural Products Insider

Herbalife exec on dietary supplement registry: ‘Everyone agreed we needed more transparency’
NutraIngredients

Supplement OWL shows that there’s now a real willingness to be transparent with consumers: CRN
NutraIngredients

CRN Taps UL to Develop Supplement Products Registry
Nutritional Outlook

Council for Responsible Nutrition supplement product registry could be game changer
New Hope

 

KEY CONTACTS

KEY CONTACTS

What if I have additional questions? Who can I contact?

For dietary supplement finished product manufacturers: 
Erik Eberhart at UL will be happy to help. Reach out to Erik at Erik.Eberhart@ul.com or 913-304-7841.

For regulators or retailers: 
Contact Dr. Duffy MacKay at CRN at dmackay@crnusa.org or 202-204-7664.

For press: 
Contact Nancy Weindruch at CRN at nweindruch@crnusa.org or 202-204-7684 or Whitney Miller at UL at whitney.miller@ul.com or 913-953-8923.

All others: 
If you would like to be added to a list that will let you know when the Supplement OWL is made public, please email Amour Clinton at CRN at aclinton@crnusa.org.