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Right on time

The Awards Issue is about looking ahead, not back

The NBJ Awards issue did not come out late. Subscribers may be accustomed to seeing it pop up in their inbox in January and then settling into a chair as the winter nips outside to read about the companies leading the nutrition industry. On that schedule, the Awards issue resonated as a look back at the year before—triumphs and challenges, struggles and progress.

Right now, you are reading this page in the last week of March.

And we couldn’t be more on time.

Spring, we all know, is a time to look forward. Sprouts come up. Green creeps in from the edges. The days don’t just grow longer. They grow brighter. There may be no better time for celebration. There may be no better time to look at where the industry is going rather than where it has been.

Coming out in this last week of the month, we got to see that future from a viewpoint deep in the aisles at Expo West. There is no better place to discover the industry’s promise.

Change is in the air, much of it exciting.

Change is coming to NBJ as well. Expo attendees were greeted with the invitation to “find your spark.” The new spark pattern you see on the page a few lines above this sentence is designed to help suppliers, retailers, manufacturers, marketers and readers of all kinds understand that NBJ is part of New Hope Network, and is here—along with every other piece of the company’s mission—to bring more health to more people.

New Hope Network is NBJ, Natural Food Merchandiser, Delicious Living, Engredea, Esca Bona and, above all that, Expo’s East and West. New Hope Network is purpose and mission.

That purpose and mission holds the Network together and creates a place where the nutrition industry can share ideas and intention. NBJ is part of that, part of that spark at the top of the page.

The spark was felt all over Anaheim. The spark of innovation is seen in every company and individual honored in this issue. The spark of integrity should shine through the whole natural products industry, just shining a light on best actions in  the supplement industry.

We certainly saw that in the aisles of Expo.

We saw it in new ingredients, new products and new science. We saw it in new transparency programs launched by company after company.

We heard that spark, that energy, in the conference presentations as panelists took up the challenges of the industry and offered not complaints or denials but solutions.

We saw it in the young faces that are taking up vital roles in the industry and bringing in vital energy.

That spark is the look forward, and the companies, organizations and individuals we honor in this issue look forward with clear eyes.

NBJ did our share of looking back at a tumultuous year. The efforts illustrated on the following pages aren’t about looking back. They are about looking forward.

For Michael Murray, looking forward means helping inspire the next generation of naturopaths.

At Emerson Ecologics, looking forward means standing behind every product the company distributes so that the practitioners can stand with confidence in front of their customers with the best products on the market.

At Alaffia, looking forward meant making sure the women in the villages of Togo who produce the soap got paid before the founders of the company.
At PLT Health Solutions, looking forward means taking transparency past the supply chain and incorporated into every step of product development.

At Council for Responsible Nutrition, looking forward means creating a supplement industry registry that could transform how supplements are perceived.

At Alter Eco, looking forward means developing packaging that takes the whole idea of compostable past a seal on a label.

At Now Foods, looking forward means putting the right ingredients in every bottle every time.

At BioTerra Herbs, looking forward means rethinking how products are presented so new consumers can be drawn to new solutions.

At Perfect Bar, looking forward means sustainable growth and category disruption.

At Atrium Innovations, looking forward means the right science to make the right products possible.

These are not companies reacting to a difficult year. These are companies getting ready for a better year.

That’s what we wanted to see in the NBJ Awards—a way ahead. Two months on the calendar can seem like a technicality, but the date is part of the message.

The NBJ Awards issue didn’t come out late.

It came out right on time.

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