This years Executive
Review issue presents NBJs usual slate of Q&As but also the inaugural NBJ awards
to recognize business achievement in the nutrition industry. While 2002 wont be
remembered as the best year ever in the industry, there were ample companies and products
that merit recognitionand it should come as no surprise that many winners are from
functional food and sports nutrition & weight loss companies. However, NBJs
awards are not only about business performance. We give equal attention to those
individuals and companies who have made a lasting contribution to society through their
business and personal efforts.
Growth in Large Companies
Gold: White Wave, maker of Silk, for growth of 68% to sales
of $136 million in fiscal year 2002. Sales in fiscal year 2003 are expected to reach $200
million, $10 million more than its aggressive forecast. Silk claims an 80% share of the
refrigerated soymilk category that it largely created, and a presence in 95% of U.S.
grocery stores. In April 2002 White Wave completed an agreement with Dean Foods to become
a wholly owned subsidiary, which it says will add the manufacturing and distribution
needed to meet its ultimate goal of making Silk a billion-dollar brand.
Silver: Clif Bar Inc. for growth of 62% in 2002 to $110 million
in sales. Clifs 1999 introduction of Luna bars, designed for women, not only fueled
the strong growth but also launched a parade of imitators. In 2002 Clif introduced the
savory Mojo bars to offer an alternative to the multitude of sweet bars. Clif Bar has
sustainability and workplace programs that have resulted in the elimination of 75,000
pounds of shrink-wrap, the use of only organic cotton for its promotional gear, an
in-house ecologist, organic produce delivery, and fitness and wellness programs for all
Bronze: Century Foods International, a manufacturer of
dairy proteins, sports & weight loss powders, beverages and bars, for 25% growth to
well over $100 million in sales. In 2002 CFI invested in value-added manufacturing with
the addition of new production lines for bars and ready-to-drink beverages.
Growth in Mid-Sized Companies
Productions, a developer and manufacturer of nutrition bars, for more than doubling
sales to $65 million in 2002; and ZonePerfect Nutrition Co., a bar marketer and Sweet
Productions largest customer, for sales growth of 81% to $50 million in 2002. Sweet
Productions risked the bold step of more than doubling its capacity in response to
ZonePerfects request for increased production and has created more than 350 new
jobs. ZonePerfects growth has been fueled by its increased penetration of the mass
market and improved taste. ZonePerfect has sold 172 million bars, and management forecasts
40% annual growth for the next five years.
Silver: Europa Sports Products, a distributor of sports
nutrition & weight loss products, for growth of 41% in 2002 to $65 million in sales,
continuing annual sales of 40-50% since 1999. Europa carries 150 product lines and in 2002
added a third warehouse in Texas to complement its North Carolina and California
facilities. Europa started in 1990 and now has 120 employees. Its focus on gyms and health
clubs has recently expanded to health food stores, specialty supplement retailers,
military stores and e-commerce.
Bronze: Fortitech, a provider of human nutrition premix
products, for a joint venture agreement with BASF, thrusting it into the global market and
promising to double market share and grow sales 30-40% in 2003. The deal transfers all
BASF human premix customers to Fortitech, in addition to premix manufacturing facilities
in Denmark and Malaysia.
Garden of Life, a whole food nutrition
company for 147% and 124% growth the past two years; Labrada
Nutrition, a sports nutrition company, for consistent growth and making the INC 500
list; Renew Life, an alternative medicine company,
for 74% growth; Transitions for Health
for 44% growth in its Emerita womens personal care line; contract manufacturer Nutritional Laboratories International for 27%
growth; and sports nutrition company Beverly
International for 61% growth.
Investment in a Tough
Gold: Renaissance Herbs for investing in a new
50,000-square-foot facility to produce herbal extracts near Bangalore, India. President
Alex Moffet describes the facility, its pilot farm and 8,000-square-foot R&D center,
as the scientific jewel of Ayurveda. The plant is kosher certified and is
pursuing ISO 14000, cGMP and organic certifications.
Life for its $27-million investment in a new manufacturing facility, plus the
introduction of more than 50 new or retooled products in 2002 in its Country Life
supplement, Biochem sports nutrition, Desert Essence personal care and other lines.
Country Life, a family-held manufacturer with sales of $100 million last year, was founded
almost 30 years ago by CEO Halbert Drexler and his wife Francine. Ryan Drexler serves as
President and Jodi Drexler-Billet is Vice President.
Bronze: U.S. Nutraceuticals LLC for the $7-million investment
its new manufacturing facility and headquarters in Eustis Fla. USN claims to process a
majority of the worlds saw palmetto extract and is an emerging provider of
high-value antioxidants like astaxanthin.
National Enzyme Co. for introducing digestive and systemic enzymes including Isolase (for increasing absorption of
isoflavones) and Dairyzimes (for dairy intolerance). Weider
Nutrition International for its restructuring into three market-focused business units
and investment in the Schiff brand to emphasize its science-backed, condition-specific
Gold: Stonyfield Farm for seeking an exit strategy for
300 stockholders that would also ensure the continued integration of the companys
social mission with its products. CEO Gary Hirshberg, who retains managerial control,
found a corporate partner in Group Danone to purchase 40% of the $100-million Stonyfield
Silver: Wild Oats Markets and its new CEO Perry Odak achieved a
turnaround after 18 months of what the company termed financial distress.
Following a period of losses and declining sales, Wild Oats has reported eight consecutive
quarters of growth in same-store sales and three consecutive quarters of profitability.
The company also raised $50 million in 2002 to develop a plan of 10 new stores in 2003, 20
in 2004 and 25 in 2005.
Efforts on Behalf of the Industry
Gold: Roche Vitamins: Studies in JAMA and The
New England Journal of Medicine supporting daily multivitamin use provided the impetus for
Roche to launch an education program for health professionals, the media and consumers.
Roche also launched a similar campaign called Eye on Nutrition to emphasize
the benefit of antioxidants in reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
eight stores in the west, Pharmaca Integrative
Pharmacy followed up the JAMA announcement with a campaign its called About Face
to bring attention to JAMAs reversal of its 20-year stance that diet alone was
sufficient for adults.
Bronze: Pharmavite launched two multi-million-dollar
educational initiatives in 2002: Wellness Advisor on naturemade.com that
allows consumers to create personal supplement regimens; and Vitamin & Herb
University, a website for healthcare professionals that provides studies on more than 70
supplements and a continuing education program from University of Georgia.
Gold: Shaklee Corp. became the first American company to be
certified as climate neutral, meaning it offset its entire greenhouse gas
emissions across the entire enterprise. Shaklee has long been a strong advocate of
sustainability and provides a business case on how sustainable business practices can
improve productivity, brand loyalty and competitive advantage.
Silver: NOW Foods and its founders, the Richard family, have a
long history of industry activism and environmental initiatives. NOW supports many local
and national environmental programs, has championed the preservation of forests around its
Bloomingdale Ill. headquarters, and has an internal recycling program that has reduced
waste by 50%.
Bronze: Petaluma Poultry set a goal to minimize its
environmental footprint and subsequently reduced its use of natural gas 10%
while increasing volume, received a $23,000 rebate from its utility for lighting
conversion in poultry houses, converted to vinegar for weed abatement and changed its
ice-making to save 6,000 gallons of water a day.
Personal Service Awards
Gold: The late
Ellen Straus, organic dairy farmer and co-founder of Americas first agricultural
land trust, for her life commitment to social activismand to her cows. Straus
settled in Marin County, Calif. in 1950. Inspired by Rachel Carsons Silent Spring
she became a fierce and passionate proponent of environmental stewardship. Straus served
on over 20 boards relating to land use, farming, politics and the environment, but her
foundation of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust is
probably her greatest legacy. In 1994 the Straus
Dairy became the first organic dairy west of the Mississippi and still operates with
270 milking cows. Sadly, Ellen Straus passed away in November 2002.
Wagner for his life commitment to natural medicine and volunteer work. Wagners NutriFARMACY near
Pittsburgh, which dispenses vitamins, herbs and advice, is recognized as one of the
premier all-natural pharmacies. Four times from 1996-2000 Wagner was the pharmacist on the
World Health Mission to Nigeria, accompanying a group of physicians to deliver medical
supplies, volunteer in hospitals and educate pharmacy and medical students. As part of The
Student Rainforest Fund, Wagner regularly leads groups of students to Central America to
work with indigenous healers and discover the roots of herbal medicine.
Claudia Roscoe of Claudias Natural Food Market in Toledo for her lifetime
commitment to the industry. Claudia worked in a health food store in high school, started
her own mail order business and then opened her own store, eventually moving it to a
3,000-square-foot location and recently celebrating its 12-year anniversary by expanding
to 8,000 square feet. Claudias activism contributed to an exemption under an Ohio
state law governing dietetics, which gives store owners the freedom to dispense
information about food and supplements.
Product Merit Awards
Douglas Laboratories for CoQmelt, a 100-mg dose of
natural CoQ-10 in a patented fast-melt delivery technology that studies have shown to
reach peak plasma level twice as fast as hard capsules or soft gels.
Acirca Inc. for transforming its Walnut Acres brand from
a mail order business to a national brand in 4,500 stores, it acquisitions, its early
embracing of the USDA organic seal and its ongoing investment in organic comsumer
International for developing an accredited, consensus-based certification standard for
the dietary supplement industry (American National Standards Institute) and following
through with quality certifications and GMP registrations for several companies in 2002.
Wisdom Herbs for its consumer education efforts on
healthy alternatives to sugar and chemical sweeteners and for selling its 50 millionth box
of natural sweetener SteviaPlus.
(formerly Nutraceutix) for the introduction of BIO-tract G.I., reportedly the first
targeted release controlled delivery probiotic which is designed to survive stomach acid
for two hours in order to deliver 80% of tablet weight to the gastro-intestinal tract.
Holistica Labs, a holistic medicine developer based in
Provence, France for its Menolistica and Androlistica phytosterols, Propargile bee
polyphenols, Shii-ta-ker polysaccarides, Omegacoeur Mediterranean composition of EFAs and
enzymes and other products.
Athena Labs LLC, a company founded in
2002, for Vitality, an effervescent vitamin fortified for women, and PreOne, the first
effervescent prenatal vitamin.
Toppits Foods Ltd. for the Canadian introduction of
Israel-imported frozen chopped herb cubes of basil, parsley, dill, cilantro and crushed
Tumaros Inc. for its Krispy Crunchy Puffs, which
include no saturated fat or cholesterol, are made from organic non-GMO white corn, and
meet nutritional guidelines for Senate Bill 19, which defines what snacks will be allowed
to be served in California schools in January 2004.
Himalaya USA, the North American distributor for
the Himalaya Drug Company, for LiverCare, the worlds leading liver support formula
with more than 300 clinical papers, 2.5 billion tablets produced annually and its
registration as a drug in 20 countries.
International for bringing to the U.S. the German natural crystal odor absorber,
Refrigerator Fresh, named a product of the year at the BioFach fair.
Pharmachem Labs for Phase 2, its natural starch
neutralizer for weight control derived from study of the white kidney bean backed by seven
research studies in the last two years.
Blackbird Foods for Crunchies, a line of
freeze-dried fruits and vegetables with a nine-month shelf life that has brought company
sales to almost $2 million. Blackbird is releasing an organic line in February with 20
Food Collage for its new JamminJuice
line, which combines exotic Caribbean fruits and spices in Razz-Ade, Mango Mamba and
The juicecompany for
its introduction of smoothiepack, a smoothie in a box that contains no additives or
preservatives and can be stored up to 12 months in its patented liter carton.
Shady Maple Farms for its leadership in organic
maple syrup and supporting its network of independent maple syrup producers.
InterHealth Nutaceuticals Inc. for its
introduction of UC-II undenatured (native) type II collagen made from chicken sternum
cartilage that promises joint mobility and flexibility in arthritis sufferers. InterHealth
also released the results of an 80-patient clinical study on hydroxycitric acid (HCA)
product CitriMax, which showed significant weight loss.
Crystals International Inc. for its introduction
of Crystals Dried Plum Freeze-dried Fruit Juice Powder, which has applications in
functional foods and as a sweetener.
Organic Bouquet for launching Americas
first branded organic fresh-cut flower company.
Pharmanex for introducing Cortitrol, a new supplement
designed to control cortisol, which has been identified as the bodys primary stress
hormone. Pharmanex introduction and consumer education efforts through its worldwide
network of distributors resulted in sales of more than $1 million in less than two months.
Jarrow Formulas for its shelf-stable probiotic formula
Jarro-Dophilus Enhanced Probiotic System, which combines room temperature stability with
an enteric coat to protect against stomach acid.
Nutri Pharmaceutical for developing a
proprietary technology to turn oils such a fish oils into powders for ingredient use in
Health World Ltd., an
Australian company, for the introduction of Leucostat, a new supplement proven to fight
psoriasis and other auto immune disorders containing polypodium leucotomos extract. The
product has been distributed in Australia and New Zealand and is just starting to appear
Essential Phytosterolins Inc. for Moducare
and its efforts to educate retailers on the products benefits to the immune system.
The product is reportedly the leading immune supplement in health food stores after just
four years on the U.S. market.
ShiKai Products for its new Borage Dry Skin Therapy, a
natural lotion designed to fight severe dry skin problems suffered by diabetics and atopic
dermatitis, and SkiKai Founder Dr. Sepp for his education program focused on nurses and
Unigen Pharmaceuticals for the
introduction of Univestin a patent-pending supplement ingredient comprised of botanical
compounds to promote mobility and healthy joint function. Univestin was under development
for more than four years, and Unigen has already signed licensing agreements with Basic
Research and Doctors Preferred.
The Teriaka Division of Finnish
company Paulig Group for the development
of Diminicol, a cholesterol-lowering food ingredient whose microcrystalline structure
allows for a greater surface area of the active ingredients.
Pharmaceuticals, the American subsidiary of Italian Rottapharm, for Dona, a
crystalline glucosamine sulfate product, and for Rottapharms ongoing investment in
clinical research on glucosamine.
Nurture Inc. for the introduction of OatVantage, a
highly concentrated soluble oat fiber food ingredient.
Congratulations to the 2002 winners. NBJ encourages all interested companies to
participate next year. Award Disclaimer: Company audits were not conducted to
verify information or claims submitted with nominations.