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news & trends: 07/2005


Posted on: 07/01/2005

Bioforce USA Announces Contest Winner

HUDSON, N.Y.—Bioforce USA announced Marilyn’s Natural Foods in Coshocton, Ohio, won its Echinaforce Window Display Contest. According to Shelia Grossenbaugh, the Marilyn’s staffer who created the display, Echinaforce is a best seller in the store, and the poster and variety of products inspired her to create a full display. The store won $1,000 worth of Bioforce products.

“The response to our contest was pleasing and demonstrated that the Echinaforce line of immune health products is recognized, respected and sold,” said Pierce Siousatt, vice president of retail relations for Bioforce USA (www.bioforceusa.com). “It is also wonderful to see the levels of creativity and dedication that many health food store owners and their employees have to keep their communities healthy.”


NOW® Foods Acquires PC Manufacturer

BLOOMINGDALE, Ill.—NOW® Foods acquired all assets of Burnham Labs, a contract personal care and cosmetics manufacturer based in Niles, Ill.; the acquisition includes the equipment, formulas and employees, and the former owners, John and Soo Chang, will serve as consultants to NOW to help grow the business.

“In addition to fulfilling our mission in a broader arena, the acquisition will enable us to capitalize on a strategic opportunity to support our goal of increasing our revenues and our rate of growth,” said Al Powers, president of NOW Foods (www.nowfoods.com).

NOW will continue to service Burnham’s existing private label customers and expand the business through NOW’s private label group. The acquisition further supports NOW’s planned product expansion in the personal care category. NOW also plans to enhance Burnham’s product formulas to use natural ingredients wherever possible instead of synthetic ingredients.


Carlson Unveiling New Marketing Program at NNFA

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.—J.R. Carlson Laboratories (www.carlsonlabs.com) will launch its new marketing program during the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) trade show in Las Vegas in July. The repositioning of the full brand message is based around the company’s 40th anniversary celebration. Carilyn Anderson, marketing director, noted the company is looking to generate excitement around its best selling products, including its antioxidant formula, fish oils, heart support and vitamin E. “There is so much happening today in the natural foods channel,” she said. “We’re offering new product initiatives and a new campaign, both of which are totally aligned with our philosophy of strong, effective formulas of natural-source ingredients based on scientific research.”

Carlson also announced the winners of its annual Heart Month End-Cap contest. Retail entries were judged on creativity, effort, beauty and educational value. First place winners that received $500 in Carlson products were the Harvest House, Concord, Calif.; Healthy Gourmet, LeHigh, Fla.; and Health Food Center, Oklahoma City. Second place retail stores received $250 in Carlson products: Sunspot Natural Foods, West Lafayette, Ind.; Whole Foods, Coral Springs, Fla.; and Kankakee Natural Foods, Bradley, Ill. And honorable mentions ($100 in product) went to Vitamin Village, Troy, Mich.; Marlene’s Herbs & More, Excelsior Springs, Mo.; Apple Tree Natural Foods, Athens, Tenn.; and Pass Health Foods, Palos Heights, Ill.


Trade Associations Urge FDA to Act Quickly on Ephedra Ruling

WASHINGTON—The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) and Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) composed a joint letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), informing the agency of the organizations’ advice to their member companies following the recent federal court ruling on ephedra. The letter further clarified the issue of FDA’s ability to remove dietary ingredients from the market based on unreasonable risk and urged the agency to address the uncertainties raised by the ruling.

“Each of our organizations has cautioned our member companies that the court’s ruling is quite limited, and that the court’s order appears to be relevant to only low dosage products containing 10 mg or less per daily dose of ephedrine alkaloids,” wrote Michael McGuffin, president of AHPA, Steven Mister, Esq., president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CRN, and David Seckman, president and CEO of NNFA. “We have informed our members that ... it is prudent to refrain from commerce in any ephedrine-containing dietary supplements pending further developments.” They further noted, excepting the litigation party, Nutraceutical Corp., they are unaware of any member company planning to market any such ephedra products, even those that would satisfy the low dose cited in the ruling.

In refuting broad media reaction to the ruling, the joint letter affirmed the ruling did not question FDA’s authority to remove a dietary ingredient from the market by declaring it a significant and unreasonable risk; the court instead questioned the means by which FDA decided to ban ephedra.

“Determinative action by FDA will demonstrate the ability of the agency to use the tools provided by DSHEA to protect consumers and is critical to withstand the scrutiny the agency and the industry now face,” they wrote.

A copy of the letter can be accessed via www.ahpa.org/05_0517_Crawford.pdf or www.nnfa.org/services/government/comments.htm.


Nature’s Plus, SierraSil® Form Product Alliance

MELVILLE, N.Y., & VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Nature’s Plus/Natural Organics and Sierra Mountain Minerals announced a product alliance. SierraSil® will be the featured element in a new product from Nature’s Plus, Ultra Inflam Actin®, designed to address muscle pain and joint inflammation. The alliance between Nature’s Plus, Sierra Mountain Minerals and Allied Nutraceutical Ingredients is designed to co-promote the SierraSil product.

Executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO) of Sierra Mountain Minerals, Michael Bentley, said, “We are excited by our new alliance with Nature’s Plus as the company has an excellent reputation, trust of retailers and a passion to improve their customers’ well-being. We also appreciate Nature’s Plus recognizing the quality and depth of the clinical research on SierraSil. Clearly, the alliance is an important step on the road to achieving our mission—helping a million or more people become healthier and more active with the all-natural SierraSil mineral.”


Fundraising Dinner at SupplySide East Adds to DSEA Coffers

BALTIMORE—The Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA) fundraising dinner May 5 at the SupplySide East trade show attracted a sold-out crowd of 75 industry members who were briefed on current DSEA projects, including preliminary results of a consumer poll on attitudes toward dietary supplements, conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute. Attendees also saw the debut of the Dietary Supplement Economic Impact Database, a project designed to illustrate the economic impact of the dietary supplement industry in the United States.

“The DSEA fundraising dinner has become a very popular event at SupplySide East,” said Jon Benninger, DSEA president elect and business development director for Virgo Publishing. “People enjoy the informal atmosphere and networking opportunity, as well as the chance to make a donation to this important initiative.”

A sponsorship from Kemin Health ensured that 100 percent of the proceeds from the $250 per plate dinner will benefit DSEA education and communications initiatives. In addition, almost $50,000 was pledged during the dinner from companies including Aloecorp, Capsugel, New Hope, Nutraceutical, Nutraceutix, Nutritional Laboratories, Ocean Nutrition, Pharmline, Stauber, Technical Sourcing International, Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, Virgo Publishing and Whole Foods Magazine.


UNPA Members May Not Sell Ephedra

SALT LAKE CITY—The members of the Utah Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) in late April voted to make “no sales” of ephedra products a condition of association membership. The move came after a recent court decision ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reopen its rulemaking banning ephedra, finding the ban was inappropriately extended to low-dose ephedra products.

According to UNPA, the court decision has renewed criticism of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), and could result in legislative action to amend the act. UNPA stated DSHEA must be fully implemented and enforced by FDA, and the group believes it is “advisable to maintain an ephedra-free market until the judicial and regulatory processes are complete. ... UNPA is hopeful that ephedra will not derail the more than ten years of efforts to implement DSHEA and believes an ephedrafree market to be a key step toward those ends.”


NEWS BYTES

Wisdom Natural Brands reported its Sweetleaf SteviaPlus product is now stocked by a number of “hip” California eateries including Mauro’s, Caffe Divine, Zen Zoo Tea and Coral Tea Café. ... All 10 United Natural Foods distribution warehouses in the United States are now offering products from Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils. ... SimplyH added its Toddler Health product line to the OrderDog Web-based ordering service. ...Florida-based retail chain Vitamin Discount opened its third Chicago-area location; the chain operates nine stores in the Florida market and plans to open a fourth Chicago operation by mid-2005. ... The popular book, The Starch Blocker Diet, is now available in paperback form. The book details how to lose weight by reducing the amount of calories absorbed through the use of Phase 2, a carb-blocking supplement from Pharmachem Laboratories. ... Coromega Inc. and its parent company, PlusPharma, announced the company’s new production facility was awarded GMP (good manufacturing practice) registration by NSF International.


NNFA-East Holds Education Day in D.C.

WASHINGTON—During the National Nutritional Foods Association’s (NNFA) Natural Foods Day here in April, the NNFA-East region hosted its first NNFA-East Education Day on Capitol Hill. NNFA members from all regions were invited to attend the program, which included presentations by Paul Schulick from New Chapter, Michael Kanter from Cambridge Naturals, and consultants Mike Hoffman and Jay Jacobowitz. The region plans to offer the event again in 2006 in conjunction with the Natural Foods Day effort.


NSF Offers Dietary Supplement Fact Kit for Consumers

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—To help address common consumer questions that arise when selecting dietary supplements and functional foods, NSF International created a new online Dietary Supplement Fact Kit (www.nsf.org/consumer/newsroom/kit_dietary.asp). Among the topics covered in the program are understanding dietary supplement claims, labeling and regulation, and a discussion of the NSF certification process for supplements. In addition to the fact kit, the company also developed audio programming in conjunction with The Herbal Pharmacist® show (http://herbalpharmacist.com).

“As an independent, not-for-profit organization, NSF International has set a key goal to educate consumers about dietary supplements,” said Kathleen Jordan, M.S., R.D., general manager of the NSF Dietary Supplement and Functional Foods Program. “This newest kit, combined with the radio announcements, gives consumers practical information that they can use to make informed decisions when purchasing a product that meets their health needs.”


Marlyn Nutraceuticals Wins Arizona Business Award

PHOENIX—The Arizona Association of Industries (AAI) recognized Marlyn Nutraceuticals, makers of the Naturally Vitamins and Wobenzym product lines, with its 2005 Manufacturer of the Year award of excellence in the small business category. James Tunnell, vice president of policy and operations at AAI, said the group recognized Marlyn for its innovative products, quality manufacturing processes, management philosophy and, in particular, its commitment to environmentally friendly manufacturing.

“Marlyn’s global Earth philosophy and day to day operations display their commitment to environmentally friendly production,” he said. Marlyn’s manufacturing facility’s design incorporates technological features to conserve energy. Solar panels heat the plant’s water while a NASA-developed ceramic roof coating protects the plant from excess heat, even during intense Arizona summers. A non-freon air conditioning system cools the facility using only one energy-efficient chiller. Shade trees surrounding the building reduce the need for air conditioning by reducing internal heat up to 10 percent. In addition, Marlyn (www.naturallyvitamins.com) does not use chemical solvents or drying agents in the production of tablets or to sanitize manufacturing areas. Instead, tablets air-dry in a humidity-controlled room and the plant is sanitized using environmentally friendly bio-cleaners.


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