Natural Foods Merchandiser

NNFA seeks name change to suit new mission

Big changes are on the way at NNFA. In addition to celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the National Nutritional Foods Association is considering a name change to the broader and more all-inclusive Natural Products Association and has revised its mission statement. The changes are the result of a year-long discussion that involved input from a diverse group of suppliers and retailers.

The name change, according to Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director David Seckman, has been recommended to members to better reflect the breadth of the association's membership.

"We looked at the demographics of who we now represent, and there are actually a lot of groups, from health and beauty to natural foods to organic to supplements," he said. "After looking at that, we decided that there's a more appropriate name, which will show that we're not just nutritional foods, but that there's more to it than that."

If members agree upon the change, the Natural Products Association will be the organization's fifth name. In 1936, the founders dubbed themselves the American Health Food Association. The next year, the name was changed to Natural Health Foods Association. In 1943, the organization became the National Dietary Foods Association. In 1970, it became the NNFA.

The results of the membership vote will be announced at the NNFA Annual Natural Products Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, July 14 to 16. If approved, the association will engage in a comprehensive rebranding campaign that will emphasize its leadership and representation of all components of the natural products marketplace.

NNFA's new mission statement doesn't radically alter the association's vision, but it does offer a simpler and more user-friendly description of the group's goals and ideals.

"The mission statement that we had was almost one page in length and wasn't very useful or handy," Seckman said. "We wanted something succinct and practical that showed people who we are and where we're headed."

The new mission statement: "As the leading voice of the natural products industry, NNFA's mission is to advocate for the rights of consumers to have access to products that will maintain and improve their health, and for the rights of retailers and suppliers to sell these products."

In addition to a new mission, the NNFA just relocated to new headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 7/p. 50

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