Called PLT360, the initiative has a major quality assurance component that focuses on ingredient integrity and quality compliance. It also includes programs that focus on sustainability and efficacy. The process framework of PLT360 is designed to build value into PLT’s ingredients that can be transferred by consumer products companies through their own products into the market—building trust and also responding to important and emerging consumer preferences. PLT started the ingredient review process with some of its flagship brands this summer and will continue the review through 2016.
According to Devin Stagg, vice president of strategy and business development at PLT Health Solutions, changing markets create new opportunities for forward-thinking companies. “The natural ingredients market is very active right now—with consumers demanding ingredients they can trust in cleaner, simpler, healthier formulations and increased scrutiny on quality and claims. PLT360 is a recognition that ‘best-in-class’ ingredient solutions go beyond the demands for traceability, ingredient identification and quality compliance. They must also be efficacious and sustainable,” he said. “PLT360 examines every aspect of an ingredient that we supply in an effort to provide transparency with our operations, build trust with the health and well-being community and, together with them, support healthier, happier lives for the consumers we serve. The program is designed to create a new type of value for consumers and as a way to differentiate ingredients that build brands and win market share,” he added.
The four main pillars, or activity areas, of PLT360 are Integrity, Quality, Sustainability and Efficacy. Ingredient integrity is an important first step in the PLT360 program. It involves source traceability, an identification process that verifies chemical/physical makeup, and a baseline safety analysis that starts with raw materials and ends when the materials are used by consumers. It also includes verification of important qualifiers like GMO, organic and other certifications. Ingredients in the PLT360 program will be ID Verified™ by a 3rd party source.
The quality pillar encompasses every international quality assurance and compliance standard that is important to PLT customers—GMP, FDA, USP and more. With a baseline program that focuses on meeting a specification each and every time for all of the company’s ingredients, quality at PLT will examine the regulatory and quality program requirements in each region the company serves and work closely with the quality programs at each individual customer to help them reach their goals for their own businesses. An important part of PLT’s quality pillar is a robust supplier evaluation and monitoring process—as the company sources ingredients that are produced on five continents. In many instances, PLT works consultatively with its customers and ingredient manufacturers in aligning quality processes and requirements.
According to PLT, strong consumer brands of the future will be built on sustainable ingredients. The sustainability pillar of PLT360 strives to improve the impact of an ingredient’s harvesting, manufacturing and delivery on the Earth’s environment and the lives of the people who are involved with its production. Programs related to this pillar include an ethical sourcing review and the examination of the environmental impact of manufacturing processes. PLT preferentially selects sustainable ingredients to bring to market.
The efficacy pillar places an emphasis on delivering high levels of efficacy and the most positive consumer experience in each ingredient class the company offers. Premium ingredients offered for sale by PLT Health Solutions receive a baseline scientific evaluation to ensure they offer best-in-class efficacy. For many ingredients, PLT conducts a multi-targeted, on-going program of scientific evaluation to support customer marketing activities and develop differentiation and intellectual property. Scientific dossiers and third-party reviews are a part of PLT’s efficacy efforts. An important component of PLT’s scientific support of ingredients is the company’s ability to translate research into commercially significant value statements for consumers. Beyond the consumer, a strong program presenting information on efficacy can address the concerns of government and regulatory agencies—a major issue with consumer product companies today.
According to Seth Flowerman, executive vice president of PLT, PLT360, while a major initiative for the organization, is in keeping with the company’s core principles of delivering market-ready, science-backed ingredients that help its customers build strong brands. “The PLT360 Program is a formalization of many of the things we currently do to provide value and confidence for our customers. It is also a roadmap to how we plan to improve our company, our manufacturing network and our ingredient offerings in the future. Finally, it is part of a dialogue we want to have with our customers to ensure that—together—we are always looking to serve the best interests of consumers,” he said.