It was done for very good reasons, which should ultimately please most clients.
The NET WEIGHT on both the 550g & 1100g containers are still exactly the same, despite the ‘number of servings’ being slightly less. Here is what happened (and where things are, and why):
When MD’s Choice FIRST STARTED, back in 1995, these containers were 500g & 1000g… with ONLY ‘active ingredients’ – the FOUR primary ‘actives’ are: Glucosamine Sulphate 2KCL, MSM, AAC Manganese (Amino Acid Chelate) listed in quantities. Initially, in the original formula, Vitamin C was included to ADD shelf life to the product, and because of all the ‘hype’ on C (even in horses and dogs) we added the amount in our product to the label (though Vit C was there, listed under ‘other ingredients’ – with the amount was listed in a few websites). We originally had it there because we knew people also used that product, and we ordered all HUMAN GRADE BULK at the same time to help keep our costs down, plus it added shelf life to the powdered product.
However, about a dozen years ago parts of the country were experiencing massive humidity, and we started having ‘clumping’ issues for the first time… which was determined to be caused by ‘condensation’ inside the closed container with frequent opening & closing, especially when stored outdoors. So, rather than ‘trading out’ active ingredients to something less clumpy, but also less effective, we added 10% (50 to 500, 100 to 1000) to the ‘product’ of a Human Food Grade Excipient (flow agent – anti-clumping agent). If I remember correctly, we tried ‘rice flour’ – ‘soy based flour’ – but ultimately Maltodextrin is now what we’ve settled on. Despite the ‘added’ bump to the ‘net weight’ (10%), a slightly larger scoop was used, so the math remained basically the same. The containers were filled a bit more and all was good.
However, at some point in 2017, the FDA insisted we use a MFG DATE, rather than the EXPIRATION DATE… unless we do a ‘aging stress test’ to EACH OF OUR PRODUCTS (including each different bottle size). It was expensive, and our turnover was generally less than a year, so we agreed to use their MFG DATE – knowing our product would usually last a minimum of three (3) years; and if stored in a DRY, cool place, out of the sun light up to 12+ years. Because we wanted to keep the pricing the same, and had been absorbing all price changes and increases – in ingredients, bottling, labeling, shipping, etc. to do so. Then 2020 happened… which put most hospitals, clinics, surgeons, and veterinarians on ‘curb site’ – ‘mail order’ – and ’emergency use only’ – so product that normally turned 1, 2, 3 times a year was still kept in our cool warehouse trickling out a bit slower.
The clients that hadn’t spoke with us, or seen one of our previous emails, were getting ‘confused’ and ‘concerned’ about the MFG DATE on the product, especially when they’d see the 2018 or 2019 dates; which was perfectly great product, just a FDA compliance issue. Once explained, they understood, though a couple expressed they much prefer the ‘expiration’ over ‘manufacturer’ date on products even if it cost them a little more money. The rest of the clients appreciated the price, quality of key active ingredients, and ‘dosage’ all remaining the same… they wanted the ‘future date’ – the EXPIRATION DATE, which required some serious ‘hoop jumping’ for us with the FDA, and a couple states.
Our goal was to keep the price the same, the net weight and key active ingredients the same (or better)… but the government suggested a change to our ‘flow agent’ – which is what impacts the color of the loose powder product. The ‘powers to be’ required some changes:
First change, LISTINGS on the labels: HOW the ‘flow agent’ and ‘servings’ were listed changed.
So, even though the NET WEIGHT IS THE SAME, 550g & 1100g respectively, the ‘servings per container’ changed slightly, from 120 to 110 on the 550g, and from 240 to 220 on the 1100g. It had to do with ‘level scoop’ – rather than ‘slightly dipped’ or ‘heaping’ – and the difference between ‘avoirdupois WEIGHT measurement’ (US standard) vs ‘metric weight VOLUME measurement’ (Intl’) of the actual contents in a level scoop.
Lastly, they wanted a change in the product COLOR from ‘pure white’ to anything else, we choose the ‘pinkish’… to help accomplish two things:
a) so it wouldn’t ‘look like’ certain illegal drugs. And, mostly (and more importantly)
b) the color is a ‘more obvious’ way to tell if there is any ‘moisture’ inside the container degrading the product. Once the product is opened, CONDENSATION and/or HUMIDITY naturally gets trapped inside a container that is being opened and closed, more in some circumstances and geographies than others. And that is the number one way our product could be damaged… moisture. So, now the product is supposed to ‘turn’ shades IF there is any loss of potency or issue… and it should last better and longer, under ‘normal use’ for most people. It ships a light ‘pinkish’ to white color, and as it wicks away any moisture, it turns to from the pinkish to whitish, to a light cinnamon sugar color, to a light brown sugarish look, and lastly to black spots if too much moisture gets in, making the product no longer good to use. Realistically, unless rain or water is allowed directly in, and it’s not kept inside a vehicle with 50+ degree temperature changes in the same day, that ‘process’ should take about THREE YEARS (or more). However, in some extreme circumstances, it could be in the 12 to 18 month range, less if product is mishandled. Which is ok, for most… because the product usually only lasts them 3 to 8 months if they are dosing it properly. The ‘color’ will be an easy indicator. All accomplished without raising the cost of the product.
Next, while the ‘servings’ have been reduced slightly, you’ll see the ACTIVES per scoop have INCREASED slightly in two of the four ingredients, not ‘decreased’ as some assumed might have happened. The new labeled product once again has the EXPIRATION DATE on the container (as well as the lot number), rather than the MANUFACTURED date.
We work on a FIFO (First In, First Out) system, so as the older product is shipped off… it will all be replaced with the new EXPIRATION DATE product. Gluquestrian was the first, Canine 120ct has also be transitioned (also new label – with multiple dogs on it), 60ct Canine will be next, and the Human will be last (though it’s good until November 2022, we’d like to get it transitioned to the EXP Date much sooner).
Regarding the Gluquestrian ‘MEASUREMENTS’ – the OLD vs NEW – per scoop ARE:
OLD NEW MATH Change
Manganese 16mg 100mg + 84 mg
Vitamin C 500mg 574mg + 74 mg
MSM 1168mg 1166mg – 02 mg
Glucosamine Suplate 2KCL 2334mg 2334mg SAME
4018 mg 4174 mg +156 mg
MORE of ACTIVE INGREDIENTS per scoop
As you can seen, it’s really just less number of servings, based on scoop volume… same NET WEIGHT, same quality actives, a little MORE actives, micro prill MSM rather than flake (which also helped in reducing the caking/clumping, but uses more space), and every bit as effective as it ever was. Now, the product is EVEN BETTER for those people in and out of if for 6 to 12+ months a container (because they are using it on a dog, or person). I know it can be a bit confusing, the colored Human Food Grade Excipient will help allow the product to more obviously be its best for the longest period of time.
NEW LABELS have EXPIRATION DATES on those products (rather than the MFG date). Finally, with the 2021 FDA (and necessary states) approval, we don’t plan or foresee any other changes to those products for many years to come.
While we greatly appreciate those that have recognized the small changes. Please note: our uniquely proprietary product and custom formulas continue to be manufactured in the USA, by FDA inspected manufacturers, that are cGMP compliant (Certified Good Manufacturing Practices), ISO 9600 registered (clean room, pharmaceutical quality) facilities. Our products undergo THREE (3) different tests with each batch/lot: in bulk, after blending, and then randomly after bottling, to insure our products are containment free, the formulas are consistent, ratios as they should be, and purity without question. Our product consistently tests out at (or usually above) label claims… even years after the manufacture date.
I hope that answers all the questions, and addresses the customers concerns adequately. If there are ANY other questions or concerns please let me know.
C.E.O. , MD’s Choice, Inc.
865-384-8556 (direct line)
800-628-0997 MD’s Choice