Labels Like “Ephedra free” Do More Damage Than Good
Wayne, N.J., February 2, 2006 – Nutratech, Inc. – exclusive worldwide distributor of Advantra Z®, a proprietary bitter orange extract and the only patented thermogenic ingredient – is challenging makers of weight loss and sports nutrition supplements to stop using the phrases “Ephedra-Free” and “Ephedra Alternative” in marketing their products.
The company is encouraging manufacturers to phase out these negative idioms by the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) show in July 2006. The goal is to eliminate the guilt by association that plagues thermogenic ingredients and to combat credibility issues that surround natural products in general.
“When ephedra first came under scrutiny, this ‘negative association’ was the logical way to capitalize on ephedra's negative press – because consumers wanted an effective alternative to ephedra,” said Bob Green, Nutratech president. “But now, the ephedra comparisons have taken a detrimental turn.”
Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association, concurs. “We must convince manufacturers to stop using terms like ‘ephedra free’ because all that the media, medical community and consumers see is ‘ephedra.’ Whether it is perception or reality, in their eyes, ephedra is bad – or, worse, dangerous.”
As seen in numerous newspapers and magazine articles, including a recent story in The New York Times, “Ephedra-Free” and “Ephedra Alternative” products are often assigned the same negative connotations as “ephedra.”
A case in point is Advantra Z, Nutratech’s patented bitter orange extract, which is continually compared to ephedra simply because it is a thermogenic ingredient. In reality, Advantra Z has a completely different mechanism of action – with features and benefits that are far more significant than the fact that it is an alternative to ephedra – and years of research that overwhelmingly support its efficacy and safety.
“As an industry, we must move away from any sort of ephedra association, reject comparisons, and focus on the proven scientific benefits of ingredients and products on their own merits,” said Green. “If we stop inviting guilt by association, the rest of the world, including the general media, will eventually follow.”
Nutratech’s challenge encourages manufacturers to become consumer focused and to switch to more proactive, science driven marketing based on a product’s features and benefits.
“Let’s face it, if ‘ephedra alternative’ was a true selling point, then Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, celery sticks, and placebos would also carry that label,” said Green. “By the time NNFA 2006 rolls around, we want this industry to be ‘ephedra free’ in word and deed.”
Nutratech, Inc., provides innovative, proprietary and patented nutraceutical ingredients to the dietary supplement, weight management, sports nutrition, beverage and food industries. The company is headquartered in Wayne, N.J. For more information on Nutratech and Advantra Z, visit the company’s web site at www.nutratechinc.com.