ReNew Life Formulas President and Founder Brenda Watson learned early in her career as a certified nutritionist the value of education in helping consumers make wise purchasing decisions. The Heart of Perfect Health, Watson says, was designed to help clear up shopper confusion about the important omega-3 category.
NFM: How can natural products retailers best serve their consumers?
Brenda Watson: Always ask your customers enough questions to really find out what they need. Don’t offer diagnoses, but ask questions so you can really get to the bottom of their concerns. Also, make sure employees are well educated and that learning about products is ongoing; constant training is important because retail staff turnover tends to be high. A lot of people shop at health food stores because they want that one-on-one advice, and they respect the opinions and information offered by employees.
NFM: What do you think about stores employing health practitioners?
BW: I think it’s a great idea. Both working with health care practitioners and having a holistic practice nearby can be beneficial. When I had natural clinics, I always placed them beside health food stores.
NFM: What’s unique about ReNew Life’s consumer education efforts?
BW: We have almost seven years of experience with PBS television, where our shows have helped the industry by educating consumers. In addition, I filmed a four-segment program about our H.O.P.E. formula [which stands for high fiber, omega-3 oils, probiotics and enzymes] with Suzanne Somers for her new show on the Lifetime network that aired in October.
We also have retail educators out in the field giving lectures, and our customer service department answers 200 to 300 phone calls a day. You won’t find another company in this industry that has four or five people picking up calls from consumers every day. That’s something we established very early.
NFM: What’s the number-one omega-3 confusion you tackle in The Heart of Perfect Health?
BW: Consumers often don’t understand the difference between omega-3s and fish oil. If you buy capsules with 1,000 mg fish oil, it’s important to check the label to find the amount of omega-3s [DHA and EPA]. If it’s 300 mg, the other 700 mg is saturated and other fats. So if you want 3,000 mg of omega-3s daily [the American Heart Association’s recommendation for lowering triglycerides], you’d need to take 10 capsules.