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NBJ Blog

2007 NBJ Business Achievement Award Winners Announced

Click here to view winners and award categories .

NBJ awarded gold, silver bronze, and honorable mention awards to companies in several categories. Winners appear in the December 2007 Executive Review & NBJ Business Achievement Awards issue. The awards will be presented as part of The NBJ Summit, July 23-25, 2008 at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, California.

“This year, we are particularly pleased to be showcasing many new faces among the winners. We hope nominators continue to scour the nutrition, natural products and complementary and alternative health industries for admirable companies and individuals deserving of recognition with a Nutrition Business Journal Business Achievement Award,” said Katia Fowler, Editor of Nutrition Business Journal.

“Every year, we select a group of winners that stand out in their respective category. This year was no different,” said Patrick Rea, Publisher & Editorial Director of Nutrition Business Journal. “Each winner excelled in their respective category, and with the help of the New Hope Natural Media’s Vice President of Standards, Don McLemore, we made sure that this year’s winners represent the best the industry has to offer.”

Here is a list of the 2007 winners:

Growth in Large Companies

Gold Medal:

Hansen Natural for sales of $529 million in 2006, an 85% increase over the prior year. Additionally, Hansen saw sales of $741 million in 2007, according to the firm. Growth has been led by Hansen's Monster Energy drink, which grew three times more than Red Bull through the first half of 2007, according to Forbes. Other brands include Lost Energy Drinks, Rumba Energy Juice and Joker Mad Energy.

Silver Medal:

Bio-Engineered Supplements & Nutrition (BSN) experienced 35% sales growth in 2006 with sales of $80 million, according to NBJ estimates. The company is expected to gross $135 million for 2007, according to VP Scott James. NBJ estimates the Boca Raton, Fl.-based firm captured $60 million of the $1.13 billion U.S. wholesale sports nutrition and weight loss market. The firm’s flagship product, Nitrix, launched in 2002.

Bronze Medal:

Clif Bar Clif Bar experienced 25% growth in 2006 jumping from $110 million wholesale to $140 million, according to NBJ estimates. Clif's growth is especially impressive given the overall lackluster bar market. Clif's brands include Luna, Builders, Mojo and Nectar. In August, Clif expanded its portfolio with the launch of its Clif Kid line, building off the success of its ZBaR product.

Growth in Mid-Size Companies

Gold Medal:

Nutrition 21's, sales rocketed to $42.2 million in June, up from $10.7 million in the prior year’s period. The Purchase, N.Y.- based firm is known for its insulin-support chromium picolinate products Chromax and Diachrome. In August 2006, the firm moved into the heart health arena with its acquisition of fish oil importer Iceland Health.

Silver Medal:

ZMC-USA, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Medicine Company, has achieved significant growth in both product size and market share within 2007. According to NBJ estimates, ZMC-USA had sales of $45 million in 2006: 100% growth over the prior year. This success is a result of a more direct to market strategy adopted by the parent company on a global basis, ZMC-USA says. The firm has become the second largest supplier of CoQ10 to the U.S. market providing over 25% of the estimated 175 metric ton U.S. market.

Bronze Medal:

Lifeway Foods for growing sales 50% over the prior 12-month period and reaching sales of $34 million, according to published reports. The firm is known for its portfolio of Kefir products. In June the firm introduced its newest drink, Lifeway Lassi. For its third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007 Lifeway reported sales increase of 32% to $9.8 million.

Growth in Small Companies

Gold Medal:

Pangea Organics announced its annual sales growth in 2006 totaled an impressive 315%, increasing from $377,500 in 2005 to $1.19 million. The firm projects $2.5 million in sales for 2007. Pangea also says it has recently expanded its national distribution to include 294 Whole Foods and Wild Oats stores and 700 retail locations including natural grocers, gift stores, select spas, yoga studios and boutiques.

Silver Medal:

MyChelle Dermaceuticals for growing sales 78% in 2006, with an expected 2007 sales growth of more than 87%. MyChelle also announces it will expand into new markets in 2008, including Hong Kong, Dubai and Paris. The young fi rm prides itself on offering therapeutic levels of ingredients in its skincare products.

Bronze Medal:

Zhena's Gypsy Tea for growing more than 47%, with an estimated 2007 revenue of $2.2 million. Proceeds of all sales go to sustain programs supporting tea pluckers families in addition to Fair Trade benefits, the firm says. Zhena's says it is the only tea company committed to 100% Fair Trade and 100% certified organic products.

Public Stock Performance

Gold Medal:


NBJ’s Gold Medal winner for public stock performance is SunOpta. SunOpta’s stock price rose 63% to $14.31 in the first eleven months of 2007. A natural, organic and kosher food producer, processor, marketer and distributor, SunOpta has employed a combination of liberal – yet strategic – fundraising and stellar revenue and earnings growth to catapult its stock price to new heights. Sales for the most recent quarter totaled $206 million, compared to $146 million one year ago. In addition, SunOpta doubled their profit margin from 1% in quarter ending Sept. 30, 2006, to 2.5% for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2007, pleasing Wall Street.

However, what pleases Wall Street even more is closer relations with a fast growing company. As such, SunOpta’s growth strategy includes offering shares to strategic financial investors to pay off debt, fi nance new investments in cellulosic ethanol production technologies and build an acquisition fund. With this fund, SunOpta acquired Baja California Congelados, S.A. de. C.V., Global Trading, Congeladora del Rio, ProSoya and Tradin Organic Agriculture in 2007.

Silver Medal:


After years of languishing around $4 to $5 per share through the late 1990s and early 2000s, Hansen Natural’s stock price soared in 2004, split in 2005 and has continued on a growth path through 2007. By the end of November, Hansen’s 2007 stock price grew 29% to $43.41. Hansen continues to lean heavily on their Monster energy drink, which has had another year of outstanding double digit growth. In a November press release, CEO Rodney Sacks attributed record revenues to strong sales of Monster and the launch of several new products under that brand including Java Monster, a line of non-carbonated dairy based coffee drinks that have “exceeded expectations,” according to Sacks.

Bronze Medal:

Lifeway Foods for growing sales 50% over the prior 12-month period and reaching sales of $34 million, according to published reports. The firm is known for its portfolio of Kefir products. In June the firm introduced its newest drink, Lifeway Lassi. For its third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007 Lifeway reported sales increase of 32% to $9.8 million.

Deal of the Year

Who wouldn’t make Coca-Cola Company's $4.1 billion acquisition of Glaceau the top Deal of the Year? With the largest acquisition by Coca-Cola ever, the Atlanta-based soda company made clear that the innovation they need to survive was found outside Coca-Cola's walls.

Though not surprising to many who have tracked the soda business for years, Coke’s move was an impressive confirmation that their declining U.S. soda sales would need buttressing by something special and different. Glaceau definitely brings “special and different” to the table. The newest and most successful challenger to Pepsico’s Gatorade, Glaceau’s vitaminwater and smartwater brands leveraged key entertainment industry relationships, including rappers 50-Cent and P-Diddy, to catapult the enhanced water line to approximately $350 million in retail sales in 2006, according to NBJ estimates.

Organic Excellence and Sustainability

The individual who nominated The Synergy Company for the Organic Excellence award and the Environment and Sustainability award simply said, “In truth, no other company comes close to what they have done for 15 years on these fronts and continue to do daily.” While NBJ has not investigated every firm in the natural products industry, an interview with founder Dr. Mitchell May suggests a high likelihood this is true.

The Synergy Company is “founded on the premise that good faith, integrity and environmental responsibility are eminently compatible with good business,” the firm’s Web site says. Indeed, The Synergy Company – and its raw material division Synergy Production Laboratories, which distributes it exclusive Synergized raw materials – is a manifestation of this belief: It has quietly become a very successful international business while meticulously minimizing, calculating and mitigating its impact on our planet. “It’s our lifestyle. It’s our core. It’s our soul. It’s our heart, and we do it because it is a commitment to life that we have made,” May said.

NBJ Charitable Awards

Nature's Bin

Through its vocational training program, Nature’s Bin helps people with disabilities become more financially independent and enjoy a higher quality of life. Originally known as “The Bin,” it has been successfully blending its commitment to the natural foods industry with its charitable mission of helping people with disabilities develop their skills, confidence and workplace potential since 1975.

Nature’s Bin, a full service natural foods market located in Lakewood, Ohio, serves as a training site for a unique and successful program that provides vocational training leading to employment for people with disabilities. Over the years they have broadened their scope, so that today they serve people with a wide range of severe disabilities including mental retardation, developmental disabilities, autism, mental illness, visual and hearing impairment, and injuries resulting from accident or illness. What distinguishes this program from other training facilities is the real-work learning environment. Trainees work side-by-side with staff members in all aspects of retail service, facing the challenges and rewards of competitive employment in a caring, supportive atmosphere. The staff and customers find a powerful synergy in the blending of the mission and the focus on healthy, natural foods, the company says.

Annual retail sales have increased over the years from a few hundred thousand dollars to $3.9 million in 2007. Profits generated in the store are used to help support the vocational training program for people with disabilities. Nature’s Bin is owned and operated by Cornucopia, Inc. a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Nourish America

An award winning/top rated charity, Nourish America is committed to assuring that America and our citizens are well nourished. Through its Disaster Response program, which helps those in need in times of crisis with needed nourishment and support, Nourish America earned the thanks this year of emergency personnel during. the recent wildfires in Southern California: “As a retired Fire Chief & City Manager and being part of the Public Safety Community for nearly 36 years, I believe it is critical and highly beneficial that Nourish America is distributing products of the highest nutritional quality to firefighters and law enforcement personnel participating in the disaster relief efforts here in the Southern California region,” said David Rudat.

Other Nourish America programs include:

Vitamin Supplements and Nourishing Foods (including naturals and organics): for children, families, pregnant moms and seniors in need.

“Operation Vital Nutrients”: providing much needed multivitamins and other nutrients to our citizen soldiers, the National Guard, upon their return from Iraq.

“Healthy Moms and Babies”: a national initiative to provide low income pregnant mothers-to-be the prenatal multivitamin support they need everyday to assure a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies at birth.

“Jump Start PE”: providing microgrants to support quality, daily physical education programs in our nation’s schools.

Robert Orr

President and CEO of Ocean Nutrition Canada Robert Orr is awarded for putting together the consortium including Natural Factors and DSM that are producing enough Vitamin A for 4.5 million children in the Vitamin Angels' Operation 20/20 program.

In the words of Vitamin Angels President Howard Schiffer: “The opening quote that Robert Orr said for our Vitamin Angel interview piece that we used at Celebration of Angels this year says it all 'It is just not acceptable that children are going blind from Vitamin A deficiency'. Robert's passion when he was speaking at our event created a powerful silence in the room - everyone could feel how much this meant to him. His work for Operation 20/20 has been tireless.

Last year Robert was working around the clock to bring together the coalition that is producing 9 million high dose Vitamin A capsules for 4.5 million children. He did the same thing this year - supplying the entire Vitamin A dosage for 4.5 million children. His heart is completely alligned with our mission. Robert Orr is an incredible human being who deserves all of the recognition he can receive for holding the integrity, vision and commitment it will take to make this world a healthier place.”

Scientific Achievement

Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.

It gives NBJ great pride to award Dr. Abram Hoffer with this year's Scientific Achievment award. After nearly fifty years of work in orthomolecular medicine, Dr. Hoffer is finally beginning to gain recognition for his astounding accomplishments. A true pioneer in nutrition, Dr. Hoffer, along with colleagues such as Dr. Linus Pauling, was one of the fathers of modern orthomolecular medicine. Dr. Hoffer and Dr. Humphrey Osmond discovered the treatment effects of vitamins B3 and C on schizophrenia and niacin on cholesterol in 1950. Continuing to practice medicine and research, Dr. Hoffer then went on to found the Orthomolecular Vitamin Information Centre in British Columbia. He has also been actively involved in the International Schizophrenia Foundation and editor of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine In November, Dr. Hoffer won the inagural Dr. Roger's Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for his work using nutrition and vitamins to treat disease. He is one of the reasons this industry exists, and as such we are deeply honored to thank him for his work.


Omega-3 company EPAX is recognized for research this year for having its Omega-3 Alzheimer's Disease study listed as one of the top 25 studies in 2006 by NIH's Office of Dietary Supplements.

Investment in the Future

A.M. Todd Botanical Therapeutics

Over the course of 2007, A.M. Todd has transferred production to a carefully selected Chinese manufacturer, decommissioned the Eugene extraction plant, implemented new enterprise management software, launched a market awareness campaign, secured distribution rights in North America for all of Ningbo Green-Health Pharmaceutical products and for CinSulin, the popular water-extracted cinnamon product patented for blood glucose management. The vision of management, corporate support, and a strong staff have enabled the rapid growth and expansion of A.M. Todd Botanical Therapeutics and set the stage for future success.

Health Wright Products also wins for Investment in the Future. Throughout the past year, Health Wright Products has embarked on an aggressive growth campaign resulting in an increase in both physical and personnel enhancements. Health Wright Products quickly outgrew its original 30,000 sq. ft. facility and the commitment was made to acquire and develop a state of the art 120,350 sq. ft. facility, which has recently been completed and is a NSF Certifi ed GMP Registered facility. Health Wright has also invested heavily in machinery, equipment and technology in an effort to achieve complete accuracy at all levels of the order process.

Innovative Technology

Living Naturally

While much of the natural products industry had already been offered technology options to streamline their business processes, field sales representatives were still calling on stores using sloppy mounds of order forms. Realizing the need for a cleaner, faster alternative, Living Naturally created Sales Genius, the first PDA-based sales force automation solution specifically designed for the independant natural products retail industry.


Spanish firm Solutex purifies omega-3 essential fatty acids in the highest concentrations in the market using its own propietary Supercritical Chromatography Technology, the firm says. According to the individual who nominated the firm for this “very novel” process, Solutex has “done what people have been trying for decades to do, in that the technology is only profitable if you can boost yields high enough yields. They have solved that problem.”

Product Merit


OmegaBrite was the first high concentrate, high EPA omega-3 available to the public and created awareness of the importance of Omega-3 and the importance of EPA as the body’s natural anti-inflammatory molecule. OmegaBrite not only created the category of high concentrate Omega-3 but also elevated the standards of the entire industry for purity, concentration and scientific efficacy.

Minute Maid Enhanced Juice Line

Minute Maid introduced a new line of 100% orange juice products with health benefits from added nutrients and functional ingredients. The omega-3 juice is “a completely novel flavor combination that is sold amongst orange juices, so it stands out visually to the consumers and has extremely high customer loyalty because of the way it tastes,” the nominator said. “This has enabled them to very quickly build a sizeable omega-3 business.”

Kroger Active Lifestlye Line

“Private label brands are usually followers in functional foods, but in this case they have been leaders and have launched products like a milk with sterols long before anyone else has,” said the industry member who nominated the Kroger Company for a product merit award. Cargill partnered with Kroger to develop and launch Active Lifestyle fat-free milk containing the CoroWise brand of plant sterols. The Active Lifestyle line also contains functional food products incorporating probiotics, omega-3s, fiber and other ingredients.

Nestle Good Start Natural Cultures

Nestle launched the first U.S. infant formula with probiotics to help the immune system in 2007. Nestle Good Start Natural Cultures contains bifidus bl, a trademarked culture to support healthy immune systems as well as increase antibodies to support babies’ healthy digestive tracts. The formula also contains DHA and ARA as well as patented Comfort Proteins.

DanActive and Activia

Dannongets an award for bringing probiotic yogurt and yogurt shots into the mainstream with Activia and DanActive probiotic yogurt products. DanActive, launched nationwide in 2007, is a cultured probiotic drink that contains more than 10 billion cultures of Lactobacillus casei and has been clinically proven to help strengthen the body’s defenses.

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