VRM, Inc.
HomeVitamin RetailerNatural PractitionerNutrition Industry Executive

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List iconSign up for our Bi-Monthly


Industry News
May 26 , 2010

Vitamin Retailer News
Elations Launches Boomers Building a Better America Initiative
Elations® (Cincinnati, OH), a glucosamine and chondroitin liquid supplement company, announced the launch of its Boomers Building a Better America initiative.

This program is designed to reward the growing population of Baby Boomers who are an active part of the volunteer force in the United States. Former Olympic gymnasts and community activists Nadia Comaneci and her husband, Bart Conner, are kicking off this program and will help choose the top projects pitched by three deserving Boomers who will be awarded cash grants along with expert advice, resources and tools to help them get their projects done.

According to the company, Boomers are leading the way in the volunteer movement: out of the 77 million Boomers, 32.2 percent volunteer, making it the highest of any generation age group.

“Elations is not only providing the grants to help Boomers realize some of their altruistic goals, our product helps them live active, more healthy lives by offering better joint comfort, which is greatly needed by Boomers,” said Michael Burton, Elations director of marketing. “Elations launched this campaign to help fuel this growing population of active volunteers, motivate more people to get involved and to recognize their efforts and the positive impact they are having on communities around the country.”

Boomers can learn more about this program and apply for the grants by visiting www.facebook.com/elations or www.elations.com to pitch the community project they hope to complete or that they are currently doing. An independent panel of judges will review each proposal and award an appropriate amount of money and resources to the projects chosen.

Three winners will be announced July 30, 2010 and they will have until October 29, 2010 to complete the projects, with the help of Elations.

For more information, call (866) 355-8471 or visit www.elations.com.

Terry Lemerond Presented NPA President’s Award
Terry Lemerond, founder and president of EuroPharma (Green Bay, WI), has been awarded the President’s Award by the Natural Products Association (NPA) Southwest at their recent Healthfest 2010 held in Dallas, TX. The President’s Award recognizes Lemerond’s years of service and his “love, passion and generous support for the natural products industry,” and is given by the current president of NPA Southwest to an individual who has made a major contribution to the growth of the natural products industry.

As a 40-year veteran of the natural products industry, Lemerond has researched and developed more than 300 best-selling nutritional and botanical formulations, all backed by scientific validation. He was the first to introduce to the US health food market gingko biloba, glucosamine sulfate, IP6, black cohosh for menopause, the concept of botanical standardization and the introduction of complex formulations for specific health indications.

“There is no finer industry than the health food industry and I am proud to be a part of the Natural Products Association,” said Terry Lemerond. “I love this industry and have a passion for helping others and making a difference in the health of America. I am deeply honored to receive the President’s Award.”

For more information about EuroPharma, call (866) 598-5487 or visit www.europharmausa.com.

Organic Products Retailer News
UNFI Named Official Distributor Partner of Expo East
United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), the natural and organic industry’s largest distributor, has been named the official distributor partner of Natural Products Expo East 2010.

“We’re excited to play a key role in returning Natural Products Expo East to its historical roots as a selling show, offering retailers a strong financial incentive, in addition to extensive networking and educational opportunities. UNFI is contributing to show specials, resulting in larger discounts from an extensive list of suppliers for show attendees,” said John Raiche, vice president of marketing for UNFI.

In addition to this partnership, changes to Natural Products Expo East 2010 will include hosted events and education for niche communities within the industry, extended encouragement and promotion of onsite manufacturer specials, and targeted programs to reduce exhibitor costs and increase ROI.

Natural Products Expo East, co-located with All Things Organic, will take place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, October 13-16, 2010. Visit www.expoeast.com for more information.

MamboTrack: Gluten-Free, Eco-Packaging Popular
Mambo Sprouts Marketing MamboTrack research revealed that eight in 10 natural and organic consumers regularly read ingredient labels for health and nutrition content, and were interested in buying functional foods with added health, nutrition and dietary benefits, with four in 10 (39 percent) very interested in these types of specialty foods.

Consumers expressed the most desire for foods with organic ingredients (65 percent) and low sodium grocery items (47 percent) followed by low fat/cholesterol (39 percent) and vegetarian items (31 percent). Functional food products with added calcium (44 percent), omega-3 (44 percent), antioxidants (43 percent), probiotics/prebiotics (38 percent) and vitamin D (30 percent) were also preferred.

The study also noted interest in specific ingredient-free foods, with one in three natural product consumers seeking allergen-free foods. Shoppers were most likely to report buying gluten-free/wheat-free items (25 percent), followed by dairy-free foods (nine percent). Fewer avoided soy (six percent) or peanuts (four percent). Bread (59 percent), cereal (56 percent), chips and snacks (54 percent), and pasta (46 percent) were the most popular gluten-free products.

Consumers are turning to gluten-free foods for a variety of reasons, said researchers. More than four in 10 gluten-free buyers felt gluten-free products were healthier for their family (43 percent). Another one in three (34 percent) had a household member with celiac disease or wheat intolerance or indicated that their favorite brands were gluten-free already (36 percent).

Packaging is also a key factor in brand buying decisions. Four in 10 (40 percent) recently tried a new brand or switched brands, specifically because it had more earth-friendly packaging. Two in three (66 percent) bought products with recyclable packaging or packaging made of recycled materials and 44 percent bought products with compostable/biodegradable packaging. New eco-packaging options of most interest among one in two included: compostable/biodegradable, reusable and refillable product packaging.

The Mambo Sprouts Marketing Quick Poll was completed online among 600 MamboTrack health and natural product consumers between April 19 and April 26, 2010.

Visit www.mambosprouts.com for more information.

Nutrition Industry Executive News
NPA and CRN: Controversial Bill Passed Senate, Moves to Conference Committee
On May 20, the Financial Services Reform Bill (H.R. 4173/S. 3217) passed the Senate without a controversial provision expanding the powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and potentially conflicting with legislation set in place by DSHEA. The bill now moves to a conference committee, where the House and Senate negotiate over the differences in their bills. The House version contains the FTC powers provision.

The Restoring American Financial Stability Act could potentially spawn the following changes:

• The FTC will have authority to create advertising guidelines that are inconsistent with what is allowed under DSHEA and the FDA
• The FTC acting as a legislative body, creating “rules” for industries like the natural products industry in areas in which it has no expertise
• The FTC levying fines against businesses for practices it deems illegal without allowing the business to change its policies
• The FTC levying fines against companies for “aiding and abetting” wrongdoing even when the companies did not know a violation was occurring
• The FTC making, approving and policing rules with virtually no oversight

“DSHEA was enacted to ensure consumers have access to beneficial, high-quality supplement products. It also provides an important regulatory framework that safeguards the general public from adulterated, mislabeled or harmful products,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). “Many of the challenges our industry continues to face can be attributed to the lack of enforcement of these basic tenets of DSHEA. CRN believes this legislation will go a long way to demonstrate that DSHEA works and to reinforce the safety, quality and benefit of supplement products to the public. We strongly support this bill and are eager to work with Congress to ensure its passage.”

The FTC powers provision received very little attention during a legislative process largely overshadowed by debate on such topics as derivative regulation and the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. A proposal for Congress to delegate such sweeping new regulatory authority deserves more thorough deliberation.

“NPA members responded strongly to the first call to urge senators to oppose any FTC powers amendment while they were considering the legislation, and I think they can take some credit for keeping the provision off the Senate bill,” said John Gay, CEO and executive director of the Natural Products Association (NPA). “Now we need to carry that message to both the House and Senate as they seek to iron out the differences between their versions of the legislation.”

Those seeking to contact their members of Congress should visit www.npainfo.org.

Waters, University of Maryland Partner to Form Training Facility
Waters® Corporation (Millford, MA) and the University of Maryland announced they have formed a partnership to establish the first facility in the world to train scientists from foreign governments and manufacturers on the state-of-the-art methods of analysis that will help them meet US food safety standards. Set to open next year, the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL) will be operated by the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), collaboration between the University of Maryland and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The United States imports more than $80 billion worth of food from 150 countries, resulting in about 15 percent of the total US food supply, said Waters. The IFSTL, located at the University of Maryland, College Park, will provide year-round science-based, hands-on training that supports the FDA’s food safety goals. The IFSTL will be uniquely prepared to train scientists to detect both chemical and microbiological contaminants.

“We must make every effort to ensure the safety of our food supply, and I applaud the establishment of the International Food Safety Training Laboratory at the University of Maryland,” stated Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Leader. “This innovative public/private partnership will help ensure that manufacturers throughout the world understand and implement known quality controls essential to assuring the food we put on the table is safe to eat.”

Waters is the driving force behind the creation of the IFSTL through a multi-year commitment to fund the laboratory’s construction, provide analytical systems and assist JIFSAN in designing training programs. JIFSAN will conduct laboratory trainings to give foreign and US scientists from government and industry the ability to achieve these best food safety practices. In addition to providing direct support to scientists, this initiative will support the goals of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum to establish laboratory capacity building measures for the 22 member countries.

For more information, call (508) 482-2000 or visit www.waters.com.

VRM, Inc.| 431 Cranbury Road, Suite C | East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | Phone: (732) 432-9600 | Fax: (732) 432-9288