Auckland Based Company Wins Supplier of the Year – Best Marketing Campaign Award at New Zealand Pharmacy Awards

Auckland based company Vital Foods proves it delivers to the same standard as major multinationals by winning Supplier of the Year – Best Marketing Campaign Award at 2008 New Zealand Pharmacy Awards.

Auckland based nutraceutical manufacturer Vital Foods has won the Supplier of the Year - Best Marketing Campaign Award at this year’s 2008 New Zealand Pharmacy Awards for the launch of its kiwifruit derived digestive health aid, Phloe™ Healthy Bowel.

The New Zealand Pharmacy Awards, which were held at a black tie dinner at the Auckland Town Hall on Saturday, June 21, aim to celebrate and reward excellence and innovation across the New Zealand pharmacy sector.

Vital Foods beat off fellow finalist, multinational pharmaceutical giant Bayer Healthcare, to win the award. As a category winner, Vital Foods will receive a travel package valued at $2,000.

Cameron Bower, Vital Foods Marketing Manager said that the company was extremely pleased with their win.

“We are all very happy [with the win]. Typically the Supplier of the Year - Best Marketing Campaign Award is the domain of multinational firms, as there are very rarely any major launches of New Zealand developed products in the pharmacy channel. It’s nice that not only our efforts in launching our latest natural health product, Phloe™ Healthy Bowel, have been recognized, but knowing that as a locally based New Zealand company we can deliver to the same high standards as the major multinationals like Bayer is very rewarding.”

Vital Foods scooped the award for the launch of Phloe™ Healthy Bowel, a 100% natural health product, made from kiwifruit derived ingredients, that promotes regularity and long-term digestive health.

Phloe™ Healthy Bowel, which was developed as a result of a comprehensive research and development programme and which underwent an extensive clinical trial programme to prove the safety and efficacy of the product, was launched in the New Zealand market in August 2007.

Within five months of its launch, the product had achieved the number one position in the over-the-counter (OTC) constipation category, thanks to a three-month, $600,000 product launch campaign.

IMS data shows for the six months to June last year, the OTC laxatives category was worth $640,000. For the next six months to December 2007, the figure had climbed to $930,000, out of which nearly $355,000 represented Phloe™ sales alone.
Bower said that Vital Foods had added incremental sales to the pharmacy channel by developing an entirely new sub category and bringing new users to the market. He said that the success of the campaign and product had been reflected in the positive feedback it had received from the pharmacy trade about Phloe™ Healthy Bowel.

Said Bower: “Phloe™ created a new sub category within digestive health and targeted not just natural health product consumers, but also those currently using OTC laxative products, who might be concerned about long-term side effects.”

Bower said the marketing campaign - which included a mix of mass market communications such as advertising; a consumer education and awareness campaign driven through PR; and a training and launch awareness campaign among pharmacy staff - focussed predominantly on Phloe™ Healthy Bowel’s triple action mechanism of enzymes, prebiotics and fibre which manages regularity and long term digestive health.

He said that since the product’s launch in August, the company had achieved all of their campaign objectives, including the obtaining the number one position in its category.

“Best of all it’s the start of a New Zealand success story,” said Bower. “Phloe™ is a world first home grown New Zealand brand that is proving incredibly successful in what has traditionally been a category dominated by large multinational companies.”

Bower said that the success of the New Zealand launch has paved the way for international expansion of the brand.

- Ends –

For further information please contact:

Sarah Collier or Cameron Bower
Dock Street Group Vital Foods
(09) 377 2907 (09) 275 5073
[email protected]

About Vital Foods
Auckland based nutraceutical manufacturer, Vital Foods, was established in 1991 by former agricultural scientist, Bruce Donaldson. Vital Foods began with one simple product, award winning Kiwi Crush. Realising the huge potential of Kiwifruit in the nutraceutical arena, the company continued to develop Kiwifruit based products with a core focus on refining and improving the digestive health properties of their Kiwifruit powder Zyactinase™.

Vital Foods is committed to producing natural products, derived from Kiwifruit and backed up by solid science, to help people the world over lead healthier and more vibrant lives.
In 2006, New Zealand based venture capital fund BioPacificVentures (a $100 million Australasian food, health and agbio venture capital fund) led what is now a $7m investment co-funded by Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Ltd, to support Vital Foods’ commercialisation and expansion process.

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