The Nature of Co-packing Natural Health Products

The Nature of co-packing Natural Health Products in Canada

The Nature of Co-packing Natural Health Products


It’s no secret that natural health products, or NHPs, have gained excellent traction over the last decade. A quick glance in my own cupboard reveals four items registered as an NPN (Natural Product Number) alone and multiple products falling into categories of natural herbal, homeopathic, sports nutrition, and beauty aids.

And I know I am not alone. Upwards of 27 million Canadians have access to safe and effective NHPs.  According to the Canadian Health Food Association:

We know that 70% of Canadians use natural health products on a regular basis

to maintain or improve their health…”. *

What Classifies as a Natural Health Product?

Let’s take a closer look at the vast scope of products classified a NHP in the Canadian market. Under the Natural Health Products Regulations of Health Canada NHPs must be safe to use as over-the-counter products and not need a prescription to be sold.** So we are talking about:

  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathic medicines
  • Traditional medicines such as traditional Chinese medicines
  • Probiotics
  • Enzymes

Other products with “natural” claims are “regulated as natural health products (NHPs) only if they meet both the function and substance components of the NHP definition”.***

Cosmetics are an excellent example. Are they sold to perform a restoring, correcting or modifying function to maintain or promote health? Do they contain the medicinal substances allowable by Health Canada? If the answer is yes to both of these questions, they could qualify as a Natural Health Product. If not, then they would qualify under the Cosmetics Regulations of the Food and Drugs Act.

No matter if your product is classified as an NHP or if it falls under the Food and Drugs Act, when it comes to co-packing you want to pursue the search for a contract packager with a Site License and that is sensitive to all of the regulations your product must adhere to.

What is a Site Licenced Co-Packer?

You are held accountable to Health Canada’s regulations for your NHP. So when you transfer your product to a co-packer for retail preparation they too must be an approved facility for NHPs.

A co-packer becomes an invaluable partner after manufacturing. If an NHP requires another touch before it hits retail shelves, a co-packer can swoop in and help you make sure it meets Health Canada regulations in its repackaged form with correct labelling, quality controlled handling and traceability records.

In other words, when an NHP needs retail readiness, your co-packing partner expedites your promotional support. How? To increase exposure or promote purchase you might want to

1 – Create a value-add (i.e.Gift With Purchase)

2 – Attach a coupon

3 – Apply a NEW or BONUS label

4 – Showcase in a POS display

5 – Sample programs

Haste Can Make Waste

An efficient co-packer can even help you save money on printing issues. A rush to market can sometimes mean a printing error or omission. And if you’ve ever had to undergo the cost of reprinted packaging you’ve experienced the pain.

Print reclamation by attractive and strategic overlabelling with correct information can save an entire re-print. Not only does that save you money — it means saving the time of waiting to reschedule the press or having to re-pack entirely.

BENEFITS – Reap What You Sow

The benefits to your bottom line can be monumental when you consider your big picture. The co-packer you trust should meet your qualifications and be able to deliver what they promise. When they do, …fundamental benefits include speed to market, innovation, and cost.

For all customers, the “cost” benefit is more than the simple cost of the service, but all of the additional internal savings. This includes capital expenditures, plant and equipment, staffing, and other costs, which can be removed with a properly implemented contract packaging strategy.****

A Natural Choice

It’s in our nature at to work with Natural Health Products, to help you grow your retail and wholesale sales.

Repack Canada is a secondary co-packing facility that meets Health Canada’s requirements for labelling and packaging activities in that we hold an NHP Site License from Health Canada and we follow Good Manufacturing Practices

Over and Above – But more than that, Repack Canada goes over and above for their customers in the following ways:

  • Repack Canada is a member of CHFA (Canadian Health Foods Association)
  • Following GMPs, Repack Canada holds 26 of our own Quality and Production Standard Operating Procedures
  • Professional experience: secondary co-packing since 2000.

Commitment – Our commitment to our clients is also exercised through our carbon offset program, we reduce the impact on our planet by:

  • designing displays that use less corrugate
  • exercising an aggressive recycling program in the office and in the warehouse
  • printing using only vegetable-based inks
  • applying bio-degradable shrink wrap films
  • communicating with our customers on transportation to work towards combining loads when possible, to avoid extra trucks, fuel and emissions


Have Questions? Ready for a Quote?


Here are 3 FAST FACTS about Natural Health Products

FastFact#1 20,000 Natural Health ProductsFastFact#2 Canadian Health Food AssociationFastFact#3 Repack Canada NHP Site License




* From the Canadian Health Food Association web site:


*** From Health Canada’s web site:

**** From DOW’s web site:

Fact Fact #1:

Fact Fact #2:

Fact Fact #3:


LOGOS - Proud member of CHFA Repack Canada


Eira Braun-Labossiere

Eira’s seemingly unpronounceable and usually misspelled name creates excellent conversation opportunities. A content crafter for Repack Canada and The Freelance Portfolio, you can reach her via email ( or the good old telephone (1.877.804.4841). Contact me with any questions or to request a quote.