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Podcast: Celebrating a Year of the Supplement OWL with CRN's Duffy MacKay


The Supplement OWL Turns One

—With one year under its wing, the industry-wide dietary supplement registry continues to soar—

Washington, D.C., April 24, 2018— This month marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Supplement OWL (Online Wellness Library), the dietary supplement product registry, giving the dietary supplement industry the opportunity to reflect on the power of unity and proactive self-regulation. Launched April 27, 2017, the Supplement OWL is an industry-wide, self-regulatory initiative designed to provide a robust and more complete picture of the marketplace for regulators, retailers, and industry stakeholders. Today, with over 10,000 labels and growing, the Supplement OWL it is doing just that. 

“The Supplement OWL is a clear demonstration of what can happen when industry chooses to collaborate and speak with a united voice,” said Steve Mister, president & CEO, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry. “We all have the same goal: consumer safety. Working together to bring the OWL to fruition, we are helping regulators keep bad actors off the market, giving retailers a new tool to curate their product offerings, and underscoring our industry’s accountability to consumers. Responsible companies recognize the importance of registry participation and understand what the absence of labels suggests. If a company is not willing to be transparent, it’s only natural to wonder what they’re hiding. I’m confident that as the OWL enters its second year, soon the majority of responsible industry will be represented.”

A Year in Review:
Supplement OWL Milestones

  • January 2017
    • CRN launches a six-month long, industry-wide Supplement OWL ad campaign to build awareness of the registry.
  • February 2017
    • The registry’s microsite, www.SupplementOWL.org, launches with ten companies beta-testing the technology platform.
  • April 2017
    • The Supplement OWL officially takes flight and launches publicly on April 27.
    • The American Botanical Council (ABC), The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Natural Products Association (NPA), NSF International, and Tom Aarts, founder and co-chair of the NBJ Summit, announce their support of the registry.
  • June 2017
    • The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) announces its endorsement of the Supplement OWL.
    • CRN and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) join forces on Capitol Hill for a joint fly-in event, in part to demonstrate industry’s proactive involvement in self-regulatory efforts, such as the Supplement OWL.
  • July 2017
    • The Supplement OWL is honored with a 2017 American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) ‘Power of A’ Award, a program that showcases association initiatives that leverage unique resources to solve problems, advance industry and professional performance, kick-start innovation, and improve world conditions.
    • The OWL reaches 5,000 labels.
    • The Supplement OWL gets help from a falconer and some real owls as it co-hosts a cocktail reception at the NBJ Summit to build registry brand awareness.
  • August 2017
    • AHPA expresses its public support of the Supplement OWL.
    • At the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) meeting, state AGs get free demos of the Supplement OWL and learn how it can help them identify products in their states.
  • September 2017
    • A new superhero is born as the life-sized Supplement OWL mascot makes its first appearance at SupplySide West.
  • October 2017
    • The Supplement OWL Advisory Board is formed, bringing together stakeholders from all corners of the supplement industry to discuss the forward progress of the registry.

Since its launch, the Supplement OWL has been featured in:

  • 100 articles published in industry trade press, reaching 1.4+ million viewers 
  • 17 presentations and demonstrations to lawmakers, regulators, retailers and other industry stakeholders
  • Six industry-wide webinars

As of April 2018, more than 10,000 supplement labels are either visible in, or in the process of being uploaded to, the Supplement OWL.


Starting April 23, CRN will be disseminating messaging about the importance of the Supplement OWL and self-regulation as a whole. This week-long effort is designed to recognize companies who have participated in the Supplement OWL, to encourage more companies to upload their finished product labels, and to generate public dialogue around the value of self-regulation. In tandem with the Supplement OWL’s one-year anniversary, CRN (@CRN_Supplements) will host an industry-wide Twitter chat to celebrate the power of self-regulation in the dietary supplement industry. The one hour chat will begin at 3pm ET on April 26, and all stakeholders are welcome to join the conversation using #SelfRegChat.