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Articles from 2017 In November


A behind-the-scenes look at one supplement company's turmeric supplier

On a recent trip to India, we visited several farms with exclusive contracts for Sabinsa Corp. Here’s what we learned about the relationship with the farms—the source of botanical ingredient raw material.

NBJ

Top takeaways on the 2017 global supplements market

NBJ Global Supplement Report Takeaways

Claire Morton, Nutrition Business Journal's senior industry analyst, offers her top takeaways from the last year of activity in the global supplement category. Fill out the form below to download the charts that these insights were derived from, and purchase the full report here.

• The United States continues to have the largest supplements industry in the world, followed by Asia and Europe. China has gained the most market share, up to 14.3 percent of the world's industry in 2016 from 9.6 percent in 2006. The Chinese market has gained the attention of many supplements companies as consumers are increasingly spending on health products and e-commerce continues to grow exponentially in the country.

• Asian countries represent the largest market worldwide for herbs and botanicals, with a combined $15 billion in annual sales, more than double the United States market.

• Sports, meal, homeopathic and specialty supplements had the strongest growth across all regions worldwide. The strongest growth in the category came from Asia in 2016, with double digit growth. The category also had double digit growth in the Middle East and Africa in 2016 at 11 percent growth. As obesity rates rise in regions outside the United States, weight management formulas in meal supplements and protein supplements have gained favor.

• Latin America has had massive growth in the vitamins and minerals category, more than tripling sales from $1.5 billion in 2006, as consumers have increasing disposable income and interest in preventative healthcare rises.

• The strongest growth in vitamins and minerals came from Eastern Europe and Russia in 2016, with 10 percent growth, more than double the growth of the global vitamins and minerals industry as a whole. Increasing health concerns, rising obesity rates and disposable income in the region have spurred sales of supplements for overall health.

Global supplements annual sales reached $121.2 billio in 2016, with 5.7 percent growth, rebounding slightly from slowing growth in 2014 and 2015. This is, in part, driven by a rebound in growth in the United States supplements market. Growth is projected to remain steady through 2020, reaching $155 billion in annual sales.

Download the top charts from the 2017 Global Supplement Report:

 

 

 

Packaging spotlight: 4 inspiring natural product rebrands

Rebrand Promo Image

A brand refresh can better attract grocery store shoppers at the shelf. But in the age of digital everything, it's equally important that package design entice online and social media consumers seeking new products that can serve their dietary needs and instigate excitement. The following package design updates are intended to mobilize consumers across all platforms to make purchases, spark loyalty and communicate brand values.

As Jeni’s expanded from scoop shops into grocery stores, the gourmet ice cream maker’s package design evolved to better serve retail shoppers. Enter the third iteration of Jeni’s pints, tinted with bright backgrounds that make the logo pop. When designing the new packaging, the branding team paid attention to how the pint would look in numerous areas—particularly on social media platforms such as Instagram. “We take into account how our pints look through glass—a freezer door, a lens, a screen,” says Jeni Britton Bauer, founder and chief creative officer of Jeni’s. “Everything we do, there is a barrier between you and the ice creams, and we designed our pints to cut through that. Creating color and emotion that way is important to us. That's how we build community now.”

Built upon the premise that nutrition bars don't have to contain dairy, No Cow’s (formerly D's Naturals) new branding is unique because it focuses on what the bars don’t contain rather than what they do—a tactic that will certainly attract those who eschew dairy. No Cow’s logo—a simple leaf inside of a circle—indicates the plant protein sources inside, which include brown rice protein and pea protein. “By transitioning to No Cow, we’re signaling our brand evolution but are staying true to our mission of creating a true No Cow Revolution,” founder Daniel Katz said in a statement. “No Cow is no longer just a protein bar company; we are quickly becoming the trusted brand in all things dairy free, low sugar and high protein.”

Formerly MM Local, this eight-year-old Colorado canning company recently went through a significant rebrand, changing nearly every aspect of the company marketing materials, including the name of the company, the logo and the packaging design. Thankfully, Farmhand Organics' classic preserved fruit and veggie recipes are staying the same. The transparent jar is a nod to the brand’s commitment to knowing exactly where its ingredients come from. (You can’t see it in this image, but the top of the cap indicates the farm that grew the produce inside each jar.) "A new name and new look allows our company to tell our story more directly as we grow distribution and work with more certified organic family farmers in the U.S.,” Farmhand Organics says.

It's a bold decision to alter the name of a well-known brand because core consumers could get confused at the store shelf. But the new design better tells the brand story.

Subtle branding updates for Essentia, a company that bottles ionized alkaline water, could have noteworthy payoff on store shelves. Here, the new box features more visible call-outs that better explain how Essentia differs from traditional bottled water. Notably, the three small plus signs in the old packaging have expanded to one large, plus sign in the center.

“The new packaging showcases Essentia’s bold, impactful and aspirational brand in an innovative and consumer-friendly design, bringing the brand personality to life and communicating what the brand stands for (the brand manifesto is highlighted on the new box design),” says Karyn Abrahamson, VP of marketing and brand innovation at Essentia. “This new packaging approach makes the product stand out at retail and makes the shopability for the consumer simplified and more engaging.” The consistent brand colors of white, red and black will help retain Essentia’s core shoppers.

[email protected]: Candy maker Mars invests in Kind | Chipotle CEO steps down

Kind Snacks

Mars bites into Kind bars

Mars says it made a minority investment in Kind and will help the snack brand—which last year reduced the sugar in several of its products—go international. The move gives the candy company a foothold in the booming healthy snacks business. But CEO Daniel Lubetzky says he doesn’t plan to sell the company outright; rather, he plans to acquire companies and enter new markets next year. Read more at The Wall Street Journal…

 

Chipotle is on the hunt for a new CEO as turnaround stalls

As the fast-casual chain continues to face fallout from food safety scandals that have damaged its sales and reputation, CEO Steve Ells is stepping down. The board is looking for a new leader with turnaround experience “who can reinvigorate the brand and help the company achieve its potential,” director Neil Flanzraich says. Read more at Forbes…

 

WRAP releases date label guidance to drive down UK food waste

The UK has a new plan to curb food waste at the consumer level. Three organizations have come up with a set of best practices for retailers, brands and manufacturers to communicate food safety information to consumers, so that they don’t throw food away sooner than necessary. The new standard calls for on-package visual cues—like a little blue fridge icon to indicate that a product should be refrigerated. It’s a similar effort to the USDA’s labeling guidance suggesting that brands use “best if used by” date labels. Read more at Sustainable Brands…

 

FDA warns biotin may interfere with lab tests

High doses of vitamin B7, or biotin, frequently an ingredient in multivitamins and supplements for hair and nails, can influence the results of lab tests that emergency room doctors use to diagnose heart attacks. Read more at CBS Baltimore…

 

There’s drama on dietitian Twitter, and it’s exposing deep rifts in nutrition doctrine

Increasing hostility between dietitians online—which is apparently so much an issue that the certifying body for dietitians has asked its members to sign a “pledge of professional civility”—illustrates a growing ideological divide in the field of nutrition. That encompasses divisive issues like GMOs, the importance (or lack thereof) of organic growing methods, natural and artificial flavors, food processing and corporate influence. Read more at The Washington Post…

Telling your story—and how it can help your brand

brand storytelling

Content marketing is a way for brands to tell their story in an engaging way that their audience can appreciate (without feeling like they're being sold to). This way customers get great, thoughtful, high-quality information to formulate an opinion, and brands are the thought leaders. It’s a win-win!

We’ve curated a list of some of our favorite examples, what we loved about them and how you can copy them to create engaging content of your own. Check them out below and let us know which is your favorite and how you’re going to use content marketing for your brand.

Chobani

How it worked:

- To capitalize on momentum from an unpaid "60 Minutes" feature, Chobani’s founder and company account shared it on their social outlets.

- They also had pieces ready to promote about their refugee employees and paid paternal leave to the journalists who followed up with them after the "60 Minutes" feature aired.

- Chobani worked with Time and Trilllist on "editorial collaborations" about the company and its people.

- The company added content to its website, such as employees talking about what food means to them.

Quotable: 

"A beautiful earned story is as important as a TV ad is, as important as a community event. They’re all storytelling, and we have a great story to tell, and they’re all authentic in their own way.” -Chief Marketing and Brand Officer Peter McGuinness

Key takeaway: 

- Have content ready after a media event to capitalize on increased awareness.

 

Chipotle

How it worked:

- Chipotle Mexican Grill is promoting an unbranded series meant to slyly teach kids about making good food choices. The series, “RAD Lands,” is aimed at 7- to 10-year old children. It launched earlier this year on iTunes and will be available to schools through a multi-year partnership with Discovery Education.

- Discovery Education, meanwhile, is working on a curriculum for “RAD Lands in School,” including lesson plans meant to teach students about the environment, health, science and eating fresh food.

- This fall, the program debuted what Chipotle calls a virtual field trip made available to the millions of educators that receive Discovery Education materials.

- Chipotle also said it would donate $100,000 to the Chef Ann Foundation, a nonprofit organization working with schools on providing nutritious meals to students.

- In February, it expanded a reading rewards program that gives youngsters free kid’s meals when they reach reading goals.

- Chipotle has done some work with schools before, such as hosting teacher appreciation events.

Quotable:

“We saw that there was a dearth of really good content out there focused on kids and young eaters” to help educate them on food and where it comes from, said Mark Shambura, Chipotle’s director of marketing. “It’s a little bit of an entertainment Trojan horse to kind of get them to engage in the content across the 22 minutes.”

Key takeaway:  

- If you see an area where education is lacking, fill that void! Partner with a chef or teacher to get good content out there and consumed.

- Put your money where your mouth is: Chipotle’s generous donation to Chef Ann follows their mission. Make a donation to a group with a similar mission after creating your content.

 

Whole Foods Market

How it worked:

- Whole Foods uses its blog, The Whole Story, to provide tips on how to eat healthy without shamelessly promoting its products.

- They also provide videos, instructions for recipes, pictures, ideas, health tips, how to get started and pretty much anything you can think of to help the audience make life easier, faster and less complicated.

-  Healthy Eating Menu shares how to cook healthy, and most of it applies to both new users and veterans, who can utilize the content as a resource or fact-checker.

- The blog also targets parents by making content specifically for parents. Examples of such posts include “After School Snacks” and “Back to School Easy Breakfast,” along with “Kid-Friendly” and “Back to School” categories, among others.

- They also host giveaways and contests (sometimes through partnerships), which get a lot of engagement — anywhere from 800 to 8,400 comments appear on posts like these.

Key takeaway:  

- Get specific! What are some targeted areas that you can provide expert information on? Set that topic up on your blog or website to engage with your audience.

- Have a contest. Get people excited with a giveaway or other competition. They’ll be much more eager to engage.

 

Sainsbury’s

How it worked:

- The UK Supermarket launched a magazine 25 years ago.

- Sainsbury’s retired tagline, launched in partnership with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, was, “Try something new today.” (The campaign drove additional spend by encouraging shoppers to experiment by making small tweaks to well-known dishes.)

- Sainsbury’s unveiled “Food Dancing,” which came from Wieden+Kennedy London. The campaign focuses on the joy of cooking and aims to “inject fresh energy into people’s kitchens” by highlighting “that personal moment when you’re in the rhythm of cooking and dancing along to your favorite tune with no inhibitions.”

- Sainsbury’s has also developed plenty of digital content to educate and inspire. There are scrapbooks full of healthy comfort foods and soundtracks for time spent in the kitchen.

Quotable:

Sean King, CEO of the content marketing agency Seven, which produces Sainsbury’s award-winning magazine, believes that integrating content marketing into larger campaigns will affect the way brands think about tying their creativity to business objectives. “That means different challenges, different KPIs. As an agency, we’re becoming much more tuned into product sales than just content creation,” he said.

Key takeaway:  

- Need to create content? Look to an agency or media brand that can help you create co-branded content and help you promote it to the right audience.

- Work with celebrities or a spokesperson to build hype around your content and message.

- Make it fun! Crowdsource a video and make a montage of people’s interpretation of your theme.

 

New Hope Network 

How it worked:

- Brands and suppliers united to produce content focused on educating trade and consumers about the world of dietary supplements—from ingredients to science—representing a meeting of the minds of key industry figures to build trust in products.  

- Working with New Hope Network, the group developed video content, eGuides, infographics, webinars and in-person education.  

- A profile account was created for each sponsor which promoted their individual missions and purpose within the campaign.

Quotable:

Country Life, a sponsor of the Inside the Bottle program, says: “We are a founding member of Inside the Bottle because, by bringing together our collective voices, we hope that our community begins to understand the magnitude of the positive changes we as branded companies, suppliers and retailers have made.”

Key takeaways: 

- Members of a product category saw that there was a gap between public and industry knowledge in the supplement world, so they came together to produce content that would educate consumers on the value and health benefits of supplements. Find a way to work with your competitors to advance your industry and everyone wins!

Indiana attorney general declares war on CBD

Thinkstock/nedomacki hemp oil CBD

In what has become ground zero in the battle for CBD legitimacy, the Indiana state attorney general issued an opinion declaring that CBD is not a legal ingredient and could be seized by state authorities at any time.

The state recently has seen local authorities seize hemp oil extract products from health-food store shelves—only to be later returned once police have been educated on the legality of the blockbuster ingredient so long as its source is from hemp and not marijuana.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. appears to be relying on a discredited opinion from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency on the legality of the hemp-derived cannabinoid, which must come from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3 percent THC (the high-inducing cannabinoid).

The Nov. 21 advisory opinion was issued from the state capital of Indianapolis, which also happens to be the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co., which is seeking fast-track approval from the FDA for its non-opioid painkiller drug, tanezumab.

“As a matter of legal interpretation, products or substances marketed for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana, and under federal law,” Hill wrote in his opinion. “This conclusion does not apply to any product that is approved by the FDA. There are currently two products that contain cannabidiol undergoing clinical trials; Epidiolex and Sativex. Simply put, cannabidiol is a Schedule I controlled substance because marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a Schedule I controlled substance.”

Indiana law, argues the attorney general, established a registry for those with epileptic seizures to access CBD. This registry carves out a “narrowly-focused affirmative defense” for using CBD, and if you’re on the registry you can get CBD. The registry also means CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance, Hill asserted.

The attorney general also wrote that the Indiana legislation establishing the registry, HEA 1148, does not address the distribution or sale of CBD, meaning, “No one in Indiana is authorized to commercially distribute or sell CBD or substances containing CBD.” 

The 2014 Farm Bill granted states the ability to design their own industrial hemp laws, which Indiana availed itself of. This is the controlling legislation making CBD available for the public in Indiana—except that the attorney general referenced the Aug. 12, 2016 Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp from the USDA, DEA and FDA, which makes the case that industrial hemp, despite the Farm Bill, remains, in their eyes, as a controlled substance. 

Hill said that this statement of principles amounts to a “joint affirmation of federal policy, promulgated by three separate federal agencies, affirming that no industrial hemp pilot program, state or federal, is intended to encompass products for immediate human consumption, food supplement, or a drug.”

This statement of principles is highly contentious, and the hemp industry said it amounts to regulatory overreach.

“The statement of principles is a wanton and reckless document,” asserted Bob Hoban, managing partner Hoban Law Group, a Colorado-based law firm that specializes in cannabis issues. “It’s a policy guidance document that’s been roundly trashed. It’s a narrow interpretation of the Farm Bill.”

Education makes all the difference

The hemp industry says the issue all comes down to the source of the CBD. If it’s from industrial hemp, whether grown in states that allow it or legally imported (usually from Europe or China), the cannabinoids therein are legal and legitimate.

“The issue is the source,” said Sarah Syed, marketing director for CV Sciences, which produces the leading hemp-oil extract product, PlusCBD Oil, which can be found in 1,500 health-food stores nationwide and more than 60 in Indiana. “CBD can come from any type of cannabis plant, but when it comes from hemp and remains under the legal THC limit in its product form (under 0.3 percent THC), there absolutely is an argument to be made that it is still a hemp product.”

In June, Indiana authorities started seizing CBD products from stores shelves. While the action scared many into thinking a new wave of drug warriors was seeking to eliminate the hottest ingredient in the dietary supplements world today, cooler heads prevailed.

CV Sciences and others in the hemp industry led an education campaign to explain the difference between hemp and marijuana and the legalities of hemp-derived products. After those initial meetings, the Indiana state police issued a statement that products were legal when they came from hemp.

“The news picked up on CBD being confiscated. The TV stations did a slow pan and it’s mainly our product,” said Josh Hendrix, director of business development for CV Sciences. “I’m fist-pumping around our living room, thinking when we get past this we’re going to sell a ton. Indiana is now our hottest state in the country.”

CV Sciences is working closely with Indiana lawmakers to encourage the passing of legislation that will clarify the distinction between hemp and marijuana in order to ensure that hemp-derived CBD products are able to be sold without confusion. Similar bills have been passed in Kentucy, Tennessee and Oregon.

A webinar on the current state of affairs in the CBD/hemp oil extract business—of great interest to retailers and producers alike—is being held Wednesday, Dec. 6. Click here to register for the free webinar, brought to you by Natural Foods Merchandiser and CV Sciences. 

What is CBD, how does it work, and what’s your retail store strategy for carrying it? Answers can be found in this download.

 

 

[email protected]: Coconut shortage continues | From 23andMe to fighting food allergies

Thinkstock coconut shortage

The world appears to be running out of coconuts

Grocers and brands are being affected by a global coconut shortage caused by increased demand and declining productivity from aged palms, pests and disease. Coconut prices hit a record high earlier this year. Coconut production, which is concentrated in Indonesia, the Philippines and the Caribbean, totals about 16 million metric tons. Read more at St. Louis Post-Dispatch...

 

Nearly 6 million kids in the U.S. have food allergies. This woman is trying to change that.

Ashley Dombkowski, the former chief business officer of 23andMe, has a new venture with a mission to reduce food allergies in children. She co-founded Before Brands with Stanford pediatrician Kari Nadeau and recently launched a daily supplement powder called SpoonfulOne that contains small amounts of 16 common food allergens, along with some vitamin D. The company was founded on research that suggests that early introduction of potentially allergenic foods may help prevent allergies. Read more at The Lily…

 

DNA-based diet advice is big business with little scientific support

Vitagene, Habit, Viome–these personalized nutrition companies look at stool, spit or blood samples for clues into a person’s genetic or microbiome makeup that could dictate certain nutrition needs. But are these companies based on solid science? Critics point to a 2015 meta-analysis which concluded that there’s a lack of evidence that certain people respond better to certain diets based on their genetic composition. And as far as the microbiome goes, the director of the Human Microbiome Project says even she doesn’t know what a healthy microbiome looks like just yet. Habit, for its part, says it’s conducting two clinical trials on the impact of its diet recommendations on people’s health. Read more at Fast Company…

 

Whole Foods chicken supplier plans to triple its output with organic booming

Bell & Evans will triple its organic poultry production with a new processing facility in Pennsylvania that’s scheduled to open in 2020. It will also transition to a slower-growing breed of chickens as it hopes to improve its animal welfare and flavor. Chickens are the third-largest organic agricultural commodity, and farm sales of organic chickens grew 78 percent last year, according to the USDA. Read more at Bloomberg…

 

Brookline resident boosts brain power with the power of nutrition

IQ Bar is a new functional food bar launching on Kickstarter that contains healthy fats and just 8 to 9 grams of carbs. Read more at Wicked Local Brookline…

Chobani rebrands with vintage-inspired package design

Chobani, the wildly popular brand credited with popularizing Greek yogurt in the United States, recently launched new branding intended to help Chobani stand out in the sea of Greek yogurts that now crowd the category.

"The company has completely redesigned its packaging, tossing out the usual white cups with the fruit photos in favor of a design inspired by 19th century American folk art, featuring a color palette borrowed from leaves and flowers and bark, and illustrations reminiscent of old seed catalogs," AdWeek reported of the new packaging.

Notably, the fruit on the front of the package is rendered as a painting rather than a high-resolution photo, lending an old-fashioned, vintage feel to the product that is rarely seen in mainstream consumer packaged foods. According to Chobani, the company hopes the redesign will help highlight yogurt as a prime cooking ingredient—such as a sour cream swap—to encourage shoppers to use the product beyond breakfast or snacking events, and make the brand more approachable to a wider range of consumers.

Cambridge Naturals to open second location at Boston Landing

Michael Kanter, Emily Kanter, Cambridge Naturals

Cambridge Naturals, an award-winning family-owned retailer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will open a second location at Boston Landing in summer 2018. Founded in 1974, Cambridge Naturals has operated as a single location brick-and-mortar store for 44 years, and will bring their community-focused brand of natural wellness retail across the river for the first time.

Boston Landing is a dynamic new neighborhood under development by New Balance Development Group (NBDG). Located in Brighton, adjacent to the Mass Pike and a brand new commuter rail stop, it is home to New Balance Inc., the Bruins, the Celtics, Harvard Business Publishing, WBGH, as well as Flatbread Pizza and Bowling, Rail Stop Restaurant and Kohi Coffee. Several hundred units of apartments as well as lab and office space are currently under construction. “We are proud to be a part of this exciting new community that values health and wellness. In working with NBDG and their partner Graffito SP, we really felt that they understood us and the unique experience that we bring to our customers,” said Emily Kanter, second generation co-owner of Cambridge Naturals.

“The Cambridge Naturals team embodies everything Graffito loves about representing independent, family-run businesses. They truly care about the communities they operate in and provide an exceptional shopping experience through friendly, knowledgeable service and a unique product mix. Their commitment to health and wellness only deepens the connection to Boston Landing and the future success of this new district,” said David Downing of Graffito SP.

Cambridge Naturals is owned and operated by founders Michael Kanter and Elizabeth Stagl alongside their daughter, Emily Kanter, and son-in-law Caleb Dean. They are well known throughout Greater Boston for the excellent customer service they provide, with a highly curated selection of supplements and herbs, clean body care, ethical lifestyle supplies and organic foods. Cambridge Naturals is a Certified B Corporation, a leading member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and a member of the Independent Natural Foods Retailers Association, which awarded them the “Store of the Year” in 2016. Michael and Elizabeth were inducted into the prestigious Hall of Legends by New Hope Network at the Natural Products Expo West in 2017.

“Cambridge Naturals at Boston Landing will fulfill a demand for natural health products for office and lab tenants, retail patrons, sports users, and the community. We are excited that Cambridge Naturals is joining Boston’s health and wellness district,” said Erin Harvey, New Balance Development Group.

Source: Cambridge Naturals

Getting on—and off—shelves in today's market

Getting your product on store shelves is one thing, but getting that product off the shelves is another. Tera Johnson, founder of Tera's Whey and director of the Food Finance Institute, explains what young brands can do to overcome some of the challenges they are facing in today's competitive market, as well as how to take advantage of the growing interest from conventional retailers.