Vitamin Shoppe gets sports certified—will other retailers follow?

Vitamin Shoppe gets sports certified—will other retailers follow?

Nutritional supplement retailer and direct marketer Vitamin Shoppe recently announced it was the first retailer to earn the NSF Certified for Sport label. Are other natural retailers far behind?

Athletes whose careers depend on nutritional and dietary supplement transparency now have a supportive retailer in the business. Vitamin Shoppe recently announced that it received the NSF Certified for Sport Certification on its True Athlete range of products, making it the first retailer to get the certification.

Recognized by the National Football League, Professional Golf Association and Major League Baseball, the NSF International Certified for Sport label helps supplement manufacturers ensure against adulteration of their products with more than 165 banned athletic substances, including stimulants and steroids.

Score one for the natural retailer

As competition with conventional stores increases, certifications on store-brand products offer a way to differentiate and drive specialty traffic to natural retailers.

Timing for the North Bergen, N.J.-based Vitamin Shoppe couldn't be any better: The London 2012 Olympic Games begin this July 27. The natural nutrition retailer already reached another milestone last year when it opened its 500th store.

"We are proud to offer effective, high quality, sports nutrition formulas that every athlete and health conscious individual can trust and be confident in, without the addition of artificial ingredients," says Marvin Barton, Sports Nutrition Expert at The Vitamin Shoppe.

The latest news from Vitamin Shoppe is another indication that industry takes supplement adulteration seriously. Last year, the American Herbal Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Natural Products Association and the United Natural Products Alliance held a Dietary Supplement Caucus with Congress last June to discuss the danger of illegal steroid use in teens. Also last year, the FDA stepped up its enforcement against adulterated sports nutrition products, such as its case against Advanced Muscle Science in November.

It's exciting to see a retailer join the many natural dietary supplement manufacturers that have been championing clean sports nutrition for years. Will more natural retailers follow suit?

What role do you think retailers will play in sports nutrition this year? Tell us in the comments.

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