Last week, some of the most powerful and passionate figures in the nutrition industry gathered at NBJ Summit to share ideas and ideals. Many of those ideals are embodied in the recipients of this year’s NBJ Business Achievement Awards, presented and accepted at the event.
Though announced months ago, last week’s awards ceremony provides a reminder of why staying true to the industry’s founding sentiments is important. These are the companies making innovation and integrity an essential element.
GT’s Kombucha built a category that delivers a beverage that is lower in calories than soda while offering the health benefits of fermented products.
Ganeden devised a way to put probiotics into more products that make better digestive health accessible, while focusing on the most healthful partners in that quest.
Ribus examined the not-on-the-label excipient components that go into supplements and used innovation and invention to offer clean label solutions.
CVS took a look at its identity as a health-oriented destination and took tobacco products out of the store, abandoning a revenue stream measured in the hundreds of millions. On top of that, it launched a $50 million anti-smoking initiative.
Mike Archbold’s departure as CEO of GNC may not have been his choice, but his choices there left a legacy of reform for the whole supplement industry. Archbold’s efforts to corral and coordinate trade groups and put transparency on the shelf at the leading supplement chain transformed how the industry should look at itself.
Natural Grocers stands out in the natural channel for educating consumers, with training requirements for every employee and engagement opportunities for every customer. The company was an obvious choice in an obvious retail channel, but Natural Grocers shares the education award with Hy-Vee, a Midwestern and very-much-mass chain that put a registered dietician in every store and offers health and nutrition education both online and in-person.
When people talk about ideas that could improve transparency in the supplement industry, they are often talking about things that Gaia Herbs is already doing. Lot numbers linked to origin and certificates of analysis, a gold-standard example of transparency, are accessible online. Vertical operations and outreach creating new opportunities for American farmers are the onshore stories, but responsible international sourcing is an essential element in the Gaia mission statement.
Nitric oxide does not have household-name familiarity for consumers, but HumanN is using and leading science to bring the ingredient into the mainstream. Such responsible science and category commitment are what the industry needs to see.
Personalized nutrition can be an overused word and a concept of questionable practicality. Habit uses real-time science, more tangible than DNA readouts, and a meal kit model to make personalized nutrition more approachable and accessible.
Palm oil is a healthful ingredient from an unhealthy supply chain. More ubiquitous than most realize, the oil has been connected to environmental destruction and worker exploitation. Natural Habitats changes that with a model that’s better for the environment and the producer communities. Teaching farmers to convert to organic/regenerative practices and then paying a premium for the product fosters economic development for impoverished and exploited communities on two continents.
OSC² turns business as a force for good into a collective effort for a community of companies. Some of these companies are small with limited opportunity for impact. As a community, they have a chance to make a difference. That difference was seen in Climate Day at Natural Products Expo West, where OSC²’s Climate Collaborative was an important partner to New Hope Network.