Why Lab-Testing Products Boosts Customer Confidence

Why Lab-Testing Products Boosts Customer Confidence


Online commerce has put the spotlight on the issue of trust and vendors are turning to third-party certifications. If you’re thinking of launching a product or supplement, consider the following evidence for investing in third-party testing before you offer your products for sale.

CBD and Accuracy in Labeling

When you pluck a wellness product directly off the shelf in a pharmacy or health food store, you would usually expect the product to be accurately labeled. You would also presume (often without checking) that the indicated amounts are well within the recommended limits. However, while ideal, this is often not the case.

On November 7, 2017, a study was published that sent shockwaves through the budding cannabidiol (CBD) industry: only 30.95% of CBD products were labeled accurately, with the remainder having CBD concentrations that were either higher (26.19%) or lower (42.85%) than the value that was stated on the label. Furthermore, many of these products contained varying amounts of the psychoactive substance THC — which is outlawed in many states and could lead to a positive drug test.

In the wake of this study, customers began demanding that vendors of CBD tinctures and other CBD products have all of their products tested independently and make the Certificates of Analysis available for each batch. From what was a fairly unregulated industry, this move for greater regulation has come from the customers themselves and has significantly improved the quality of products available.

Taking customer trust another step further, some vendors of CBD has even gone to the length of registering their facilities with the FDA and seeking GMP certification. This raises the products to “pharmaceutical grade” level — a boon for customers and vendors alike.

Kratom and Toxicity Scares

A second product that’s come under fire for a lack of lab-testing in the past is the tropical Mitragyna Speciosa plant from Southeast Asia, which is sold in the form of powdered leaves, capsules, and tinctures. In 2010-2011, nine deaths were reported in Sweden as being caused by the ingestion of this substance but later turned out to have been caused by the adulteration of the product Krypton with O-desmethyl tramadol. Later on, cases of salmonella poisoning were also reported in connection with kratom, prompting customers to demand third-party lab testing.

By the year 2020, lab-tested kratom has come to be expected of online vendors, generally including such information as the presence and level of adulterants, heavy metals, bacterial contaminants like salmonella and E. Coli, as well as the identity of the plant and its chemical composition. The Certificates of Analysis are sometimes provided or offered by the vendor on request.

Other Products for At-Home Use

Of course, not every company sells supplements or products that are intended to be ingested. However, lab-testing increases consumer confidence in other kinds of products, too. Home testing kits are a great example — for pregnancy, glucose levels, alkalinity, and so on. When you sell medical testing kits, customers are counting on you to provide a product that’s not only FDA-approved (if possible), but that provides at least 99% of the accuracy of a lab test — backed by high-quality evidence. Consumers make important life-related and health-related decisions based on at-home tests, so they need a product that’s objective and reliable.

Even if a product is not intended for health-related use — take a laptop backpack, for example — standards testing can allow you to make verifiable claims about your merchandise. Consider the following product-specific tests:

        Technology cases

     MIL-STD-810G drop testing

        Plastic products

     BPA-free

     Microwave-safe

     Dishwasher-safe

     Biodegradable

     Heavy metals

        Foam products

     CDPH Standard Method V1.2 (CA Section 01350) for VOCs

        Textile products

     OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 for harmful substances

        Metal kitchen products

     Metal composition

     Extractable heavy metals

        Internet security products:

     Data exfiltration

     Destructive network attacks

These are just a few examples, but hopefully sufficient to demonstrate that for any product you’d like to sell, there is probably third-party testing available. The best way to find out about testing would be to consult any laws that are applicable to your business and search for labs that offer these tests.

Other Reasons to Test Your Products

Let’s face it: lab-testing your products is expensive, so how do you know that the return on investment (ROI) will be worth it in the long run?

Besides increasing customer confidence, here are a few additional reasons to consider third-party testing:

        Products that comply with regulations are less likely to be recalled (saving you money).

        Testing your products help you spot problems quickly and allows you to rectify the cause of the problem.

        Regular testing helps you to continuously improve the quality of your products.

        Test results provide concrete evidence if you are taken to court by a customer. Ideally, rigorous testing on every batch will ensure that customers don’t have any problems with your products in the first place.

The Takeaway

No matter which industry you’re in or what kind of goods you produce, third-party lab testing makes you more competitive, ensures consistent quality for customers, and protects you from problems in the future. Not sure how you’ll cover the cost? Charge a little extra for your goods and acquire all the certifications that you can. Customers who care about quality are happy to pay for a quality product.

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