Company growth: Opportunities and challenges of liposomal supplement production expansion

Since our inception in 2015, we have been growing dynamically. We have moved both office space and production facilities 4-times in just the last 6 years to meet the needs of this growth. 

This blog post will outline the opportunities and challenges that our latest, state-of-the-art production facility presents. 

If you have read our founding story in our “About Us” and “News” sections, you know that our story began in 2015 in a 45 sq.m facility that served as office, laboratory and production space. Since then, we have moved office space, lab and production facilities several times in order to meet the needs of our growth!  

In 2020, in response to an increase in global demand for liposomal supplements, our production facility was moved to its own 1 500 sq.m. space in Hamburg West.  

This blog post will outline our experiences in the new facility. 

Why did PlantaCorp’s production facility move to a bigger space? 

In 2019, in response to the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we registered an increase in consumer awareness about health. The focus was on a need for preventative health care and self-medication. The GTAI reported that this resulted in an almost EUR 1.2 billion spend on food supplements in the first 6 months of 2020 (GTAI Fact sheet).  

It was also reported that 266 million supplements were sold in Germany alone in 2019 (GTAI Fact sheet). In response to this, in 2020 for the first time since our founding, we produced more than 2 000 litres of liposomal formulations in one day. Since then, we have continued producing high volumes of our liquid liposomal formulations. This required us to scale-up our production capacities. 

“The new production plant was our step into industrial-scale production to enable the growth we saw. It was driven by our vision to create a global awareness of liposomal formulations “

Constantin Albrecht, CFO, PlantaCorp GmbH

What are the improvements in the new production plant? 

In our previous production facility, we used tanks with a maximum capacity of 120 L. In our new facility however, we have tanks with a maximum capacity of up to 1 000 L! As our COO, Christian Piechoczek says, “this means that we have the capacity for everyone”. 

“We have the capacity for everyone”

Christian Piechoczek, COO, PlantaCorp GmbH

Some of our new production tanks are nearly fully automated and customized for our product by our own, in-house team of engineers.  

PlantaCorp can produce up to 1 000 L of liposomal supplements in a single tank

We also now have a second, upgraded filling machine. Both machines are used to increase our filling rate and to be able to deliver on our promise of a 4–6-week lead time.  

Filling of bottles at PlantaCorp production plant
PlantaCorp promises a 4-6 week lead time

Finally, the 1 500 sq.m environ allows us to have more space to separate every step of our production process from ingredient to final product storage. A “Clean-In-Place” cleaning system for our production tanks has also been set up by our engineers. These measures help avoid cross-contamination.  

Needless to say, we match the ISO 22000 and GMP requirements with the new setup, as evinced by the re-audit and re-certification of the facilities. Through our improvements, therefore, we continue to meet our customers’ demand and deliver on our promise of quality. 

What were the associated challenges? 

The biggest challenge for us was to prove that our technology is scalable to industrial dimensions while still maintaining the quality of our products. The increase in our customer base as well as the orders we continue to receive shows that we have stood up to this challenge.  

PlantaCorp’s year in review (2021)

Moving to a bigger facility also meant an increase in costs, not least due to inflation. In spite of this, as our co-CEO, Rinat Albetkov says,” we continued to heavily invest in new machines in 2021 to build the facility because this is a way to continue spreading the message about liposomal technology”.  

“Investing in and improving our production facility is a way to continue spreading the message about liposomal technology”

Rinat Albetkov, Co-CEO, PlantaCorp GmbH

Finally, coordination and communication between our office premises and production facility was a challenge. Yet again, this was overcome by implementing the Office 365 suite across the corporation.

What opportunities has the new production plant presented PlantaCorp with? 

PlantaCorp’s founder and CEO, Jan Braband, has experienced a constant and steep rise in awareness about liposomal formulations. He finds that consumers who have experienced the benefits of liposomal food supplements, usually never go back to consuming traditional or non-liposomal forms. 

Thus, by investing in a dedicated, state-of-the-art production facility, we are able to encapsulate even more nutrients and variants. This includes being able to offer organic products with our recent BIO certification and achieving USFDA registration. We aim at receiving other certifications such as FSCC 22000. It is our hope to be able to use these standards to prospect new markets.  

As Jan says, “In a hopefully not too distant future, around 70% of all dietary supplements would not only substantially benefit from liposomal encapsulation, they actually would replace everything non-encapsulated. Therefore, we expect a further substantial growth. With “Made in Germany” and ongoing R&D initiatives to constantly improve product properties, we consider PlantaCorp the vanguard in the global liposomal supplement industry”.  

“In a hopefully not-too-distant future, around 70% of all dietary supplements would be liposomal. We consider PlantaCorp the vanguard in the global liposomal supplement industry”.  

Jan Braband, Founder and CEO, PlantaCorp GmbH

Contact us today if you would like more information on this story or if you would like to partner with us. 

We also continue to look for new employees to help us along this growth path. Interested? Then have a look at our Jobs portal.  

References

  1. The food supplements market in Germany: Fact Sheet https://www.gtai.de/resource/blob/653250/4bbc772420abb16ffc47f5de372a463a/Food%20Supplements%20Market%20in%20Germany.pdf