Ion Labs continues growth by bringing giant blender online

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Ion Labs photo
Ion Labs photo
Fast growing contract manufacturer Ion Labs has added a blending machine, believed to be among the largest of its kind in North America.

The new 1,000-cu.ft. capacity blender joins 11 other powder blenders in the company’s Largo, FL facility. The blenders range in capacity from 25 kg to 14,000 kg per batch.

Powder forms are here to stay

Ion Labs said it believes the advantages of powder form supplements will continue to drive growth in the category. The form, especially attractive in sports nutrition, has driven a steady rise in the category since the 1980s. Powder form supplements enable users to take larger dosages more conveniently than with capsules or tablets. And powders mixed into drink forms can boost absorption, the company claims.

Ion Labs has been on a strong growth curve for a number of years.  In March 2018, marketing director Max Timko said the company’s capsule within a capsule technology had secured it a strong position​ within the market.

“In the past five years we have seen such change and growth. We’ve gone from 24 employees to more than 300. We had one powder blender back then; now we have more than 10. We went from having no R&D department to one with 10 employees,” ​Timko told NutraIngredients-USA.

Liquid fill, encapsulated beadlet capabilities

Ion Labs also has two liquid fill production lines to go with eight fully automatic high-speed encapsulation machines and eight high speed tablet presses. The manufacturing footprint now exceeds 150,000 square feet.

Ion Labs has also secured a place in the encapsulated beadlet market​. Timko said the eye-catching appeal of many different colored beadlets within a clear capsule as well as the different formulation possibilities will drive this market in 2019 and in the years ahead.

“Beadlet capsules are not something consumers have seen before wide-spread. People love the new, and are willing to try it if it catches their eye,”​ he said.

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