Natural Synergies Taps Food Industry Veteran Eric Gutmann as President and COO

Miami, FL - Natural Synergies, the leading network of independent natural, organic and health food retailers, established in 2005 and based here, has named food industry veteran Eric Gutmann as its new President and COO.

Gutmann has dedicated the last 11 years of his professional career to several different aspects of the food business. After spending four years in the mid 1990s as an international commodity trader, importing and exporting meat and pet products throughout North and South America and Europe, Gutmann served as Director of Operations for Oakbrook Sales, an institutional food service company serving universities, correctional facilities and senior citizen meal programs throughout the United States. Also, he spent three years managing a food closeout company that sold to dollar stores and mass merchants. Eric also has done extensive consulting work for food wholesalers throughout the United States, specializing in streamlining distribution systems and lowering acquisition costs. Gutmann is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds an Honors Degree in Finance. He is married with two children and currently resides in South Florida.

With more than 190 independent natural and organic products retail members throughout the United States that have joined to date, representing a buying power of nearly $250 million, the Natural Synergies independent retail network recently merged with the Authentic Independent Health Retailers Association (AIHR), based in the Southeast, and is on target to achieve its goal of 200 members by year's end, and 500 members by 2008.

"We are excited that Eric has joined us in dedicating his considerable skills in food distribution, retail and trading to the Natural Synergies independent retail network," says cofounder Michael Iaslovits. "Independent natural, organic and health food retailers nationwide need a competitive advantage, and by participating in the Natural Synergies network, these store owners will benefit from greater buying power and exclusive deals from vendors and service providers, and also by having greater access to education, information and resources."

About the Natural Synergies Independent Retail Network
Natural Synergies, established in 2005 and based in Miami, FL, is a member-based network of independently owned and operated natural and organic products retailers throughout the United States. The purpose of the organization is to provide independent retailers with greater access to business resources, education, information, coordinated product promotions, improved buying power and unity of voice, and to help independents adapt to an increasingly competitive environment and become more profitable and successful retail operators.

Natural Synergies works with major distributors including UNFI Inc. and also direct-selling vendors to serve independent retail members with exclusive discounts and promotional programs.

Currently, more than 190 independent retail members have joined since March 2006, representing a buying power of nearly $250 million. Natural Synergies retailers average $1.2 million in annual sales, with an average overall square footage of more than 3,500 square feet. Sales are 53:47 supplements to food. With more than 8,500 independent natural products retailers in the United States, Natural Synergies’ goal is to include more than 500 retail members by 2008.

You can learn more about Natural Synergies by visiting or please contact Nina Minnerly at [email protected], tel 305-705-0135.

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