alt text

NBJ Awards 2023 sharpen the focus on good works and big successes

For this year's Nutrition Business Journal awards, we honor the impact of operating with integrity. Find out who the winners are.

Bill Giebler, Content & Insights Director

July 9, 2024

6 Min Read
NBJ Awards 2023 sharpen the focus on good works and big successes
Bryan Beasley Photography

This article originally appeared in the Nutrition Business Journal's Awards Issue.

Over the years, the names of the individual NBJ awards have shifted. A dozen years ago we had a “Stock Performance” award. For a single year, 2014, we ran a “Triple Bottom Line” award, and a few years saw an “Investment in the Future” award. “Management Achievement” has been a long-lasting award, as has “Efforts on Behalf of the Industry.”

But this isn’t a "What’s in a name?" moment. The names matter, and the awards themselves are shifting, too, if subtly. Over time, the NBJ team and advisors continue sharpening the focus on mission, science and stewardship of environment, supply chains and people across all the awards. A few years back, the “Growth” awards became “Leadership and Growth,” to reflect the importance of leadership beyond pure revenue, and, for the second time in recent history, this year's “Supply Chain Transparency” is called “Supply Chain Integrity”—recognizing that transparency isn’t the factor in integrity. Indeed, the whole collection of awards, historically known as the NBJ Business Achievement Awards, could be retitled the NBJ Integrity Awards. This is what we celebrate with these awards each year.

This year, we see that integrity across botanical supply chains, from protein from a previously unwanted source, to responsible small-holder production of herbs and education about where our botanicals come from. This year we also honor innovation with two companies addressing weight loss, a condition of the moment, brought into the spotlight by the success of pharmaceutical drugs Ozempic and Wegovy.

Related:NBJ Award 2023: Management Achievement

We celebrate the targeting of diverse populations in an industry heightening its focus on women’s health and beginning to understand the mandate to serve populations of color. And we honor leading brands and individuals that have brought astounding growth through integrity. These awards will be presented during the NBJ Summit's Welcome Dinner at 7 p.m. July 30. (In-person attendees only.)

Specifically, we honor Aloha, Supergut and Winged Women’s Wellness for Leadership and Growth awards in three sizes. Aloha lands in the “established company” distinction. “Established” isn’t likely the first word to come to mind for a company less than 10 years old, but in its years in business, the brand is closing in on being a $100 million company, in one of the greatest turnarounds the industry has seen.

The “scaling company” award goes to Supergut, the rebranding of Marc Washington’s company previously called Muniq. Supergut exists to address diabetes and hypertension through gut health. The product’s ability to increase GLP-1 has landed it on thousands of retail shelves in record time.

Related:NBJ Award 2023: Leadership and Growth

Lastly, Winged Women’s Wellness shines as the winner of the “emerging brand” Leadership and Growth Award. The company’s 2019 launch at the intersection of CBD and women’s health was sharply on trend, but Winged’s later pivot to expand beyond the hero ingredient of CBD demonstrated even greater prescience.

During Nutrition Business Journal’s awards reception in 2023, Editor-in-Chief Rick Polito, left, and Content & Insights Director Bil Giebler prepare to present the annual awards for 2022. Credit: Bryan Beasley Photography

Management achievement must be viewed on similar terms as leadership and growth, with heavy doses of integrity and scientific innovation. TSI Group ingredients hits it hard in each of these areas, and co-founder Larry Kolb, with a storied career spanning three decades, exemplifies these characteristics. We are pleased to honor Kolb with the Management Achievement Award.

A decade before Ozempic rocked the weight loss industry, the New Zealand government was researching the impacts of bitter compounds from hops on appetite. From this, Calocurb was born and is entering the market with unprecedented volumes of science to hit the appetite suppressant corner of the weight management market. We are pleased to honor Calocurb with this year’s Science and Innovation Award.

While nutritional inequity became evident to the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, access issues have long been evident to the Black, Brown and underserved populations WellWithAll aims to serve. For founders Demond Martin and Carmichael Roberts, this is the primary goal of the company. And while the company engages in inspiring levels of philanthropy, it’s the mission half of this Mission and Philanthropy Award that has the greatest chance of creating positive impact.

In the global market, all eyes are on China. Few in the industry understand the dynamics of China better than Jeff Crowther and his Health Products Association – China. For this skillful administration and intel inside a challenging market, we honor HPA-China with the Efforts on Behalf of the Industry Award.

With her book, The Business of Botanicals, author and filmmaker Ann Armbrecht sheds light on many of the challenges in creating and sustaining transparent herbal supply chains. But the book exists on the side of her work aimed to directly educate the industry about sustainable sourcing. This, the Sustainable Herbs Program, provides an invaluable toolkit for those in the business of botanicals to secure quality transparent supply. Thus, the program receives the Education Award.

Black walnut may be little known to people who aren’t baking with them or Midwesterners cleaning them off their lawns every fall. But for foraging expert Daniel Vitalis, the nuts were a chance to reconnect Americans to a long-neglected food source. Working with a legacy black walnut company, and by extension, thousands of foragers, Surthrival was able to source a clean, plant-based protein like nothing else on the shelves. For this, we honor Surthrival with the Supply Chain Integrity Award.

Finally, while Appalachia doesn’t always find itself in the most flattering headlines—and is subject to a classist bias—it is home to a rich culture of self-sufficiency. This is what Appalachian Sustainable Development founder Katie Commender sought to activate when the organization started Herb Hub: to train locals to become small producers and responsible wildcrafters, then connect them to brands. For creating this sustainable business model, Appalachian Sustainable Development is honored with the Stewardship and Sustainability Award.

What matters even more than a name is the intent behind the words. At New Hope Network's Nutrition Business Journal, the intent is to celebrate the exemplary players in a rapidly growing industry. For the winners of these awards, the intent appears to be the impact of doing things with integrity.

The NBJ 2024 Awards issue is available at no cost at the NBJ store. Subscribe today to the Nutrition Business Journal.

Editor's note: In-person attendance for the 2024 NBJ Summit is sold out, but registration for virtual attendance is still available. All attendees will have digital access to the entire educational program during and after the summit.

About the Author(s)

Bill Giebler

Content & Insights Director, Nutrition Business Journal

An award-winning writer and natural products industry veteran—with decades of experience in food and supplement retail, lifestyle mail order and organic textiles product development—Nutrition Business Journal Content & Insights Director Bill Giebler reports on dietary supplements and food and agricultural trends and opportunities across New Hope Network properties.

Subscribe and receive the latest updates on trends, data, events and more.
Join 57,000+ members of the natural products community.

You May Also Like