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Articles from 2015 In February

AHPA announces 2015 AHPA Award winners

AHPA announces 2015 AHPA Award winners

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015 AHPA Awards for individuals and companies making substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry. The 2015 AHPA Awards will be presented during AHPA's annual Member Meeting and Breakfast on March 5 at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

This year's AHPA Award winners are:

  • AHPA Herbal Hero Award: Dick Griffin
  • AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award: Mountain Rose Herbs
  • AHPA Herbal Insight Award: Tieraona Low Dog, MD
  • Special Award for Journalistic Excellence: Hank Schultz, Stephen Daniells

"AHPA is pleased to recognize the hard work of these individuals and organizations and greatly appreciates their contributions to the herbal products industry," said AHPA President Michael McGuffin.

Dick Griffin, former owner of Grifcon Enterprises, was awarded the AHPA Herbal Hero Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the industry.

A commercial lines insurance broker with more than 46 years of experience specializing in products liability insurance, Griffin formed the national Products Liability Insurance Program for the U.S. dietary supplement and natural products industry in 1996 and has been credited for "the tremendous benefits that his programs generated for the dietary supplement industry."

Mountain Rose Herbs was awarded the AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award for taking steps above and beyond normal business practices to advance the herbal products industry. Mountain Rose Herbs revealed the only certified organic tea line on the market packaged with 100% post-consumer waste materterials including recycled newspaper and compostable plant cellulose. In 2013, the company launched the Free Herbalism Project as an ongoing series of free community events featuring visiting herbalists.

Tieraona Low Dog, MD, was awarded the AHPA Herbal Insight Award in recognition of her efforts to significantly increase and further knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses.

Dr. Low Dog is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of dietary supplements, herbal medicine, women's health and natural medicine. She has spoken at more than 550 scientific/medical conferences, published 40 peer-reviewed articles, and written 20 chapters for medical textbooks.

Dr. Low Dog's extensive career spans more than 35 years. In addition to her work as a clinician and educator, Dr. Low Dog has been involved in national health policy and regulatory issues for more than a decade. In 2000, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the White House Commission of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and she recently completed her three-year term as a member of the Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Dr. Low Dog served as the elected Chair of the United States Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements and Botanicals Expert Committee from 2000 to 2010. And now serves as the elected Chair of the United States Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements Admission Evaluation Committee.

NutraIngredients-USA Senior Editor Stephen Daniells and Senior Correspondent Hank Schultz were awarded the Special AHPA Award for Journalistic Excellence for their outstanding journalistic reporting of the New York State Attorney General's flawed DNA testing of herbal supplement products.


Synutra seminar to address ID testing controversies

Synutra seminar to address ID testing controversies

Synutra Pure and Analytical Laboratories in Anaheim Inc. are sponsoring a free seminar on “Current Issues/Controversies Regarding Identity Testing” on Thursday, March 5, 2015, for Expo West and Engredea attendees. Of particular interest to those involved in manufacturing, research, method development, operations, quality assurance or purchasing of raw materials, this timely session includes presentations by:

  • Joseph M. Betz, Ph.D.  (Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institute of Health) -“The Need for Orthogonal Methods for Identity Determination”. 
  • Weiguo Zhang (Synutra Pure) - “Total Quality Management-A Manufacturer’s Case Study in Multiple Approaches”
  • Jana Hildreth, Synutra Pure’s director of technology and scientific affairs and a leading expert in chondroitin testing, will provide AOAC updates. Also discussed will be the efforts of various industry groups (NPA, UNPA, AHP, etc.) in response to NY Attorney General’s actions impacting the dietary supplement industry.

This seminar on March 5, from 1 to 4p.m., will be held at Analytical Laboratories, 2951 Saturn St., Unit C, Brea, Calif. Free shuttle service from Anaheim Convention Center will be provided, as well as sandwiches and snacks, for those making reservations by March 4. Seating is limited and will be on a first come first served basis. Space can be reserved by calling 714.524.9988.



NeoCell to launch Platinum Matrix Collection at Expo West

NeoCell to launch Platinum Matrix Collection at Expo West

NeoCell, the originator and authority on collagen products, will introduce a new line of nutraceuticals at Natural Products Expo West in March.

NeoCell's Platinum Matrix Collection is a premium line of collagen and collagen support nutraceuticals scientifically formulated using the latest technology and finest ingredients. The Platinum Matrix Collection supports collagen health on a systemic level, targeting specific wellness concerns for total body vitality.

"We see the new Platinum Matrix line as collagen revolutionized," said Jessica Mulligan, VP of Sales and Marketing for NeoCell. "We focused on premium ingredients and collagen blends that are the first of their kind in order to target specific collagen systems in the body."

Every system in the body—with the exception of the nervous system—needs healthy collagen; musculoskeletal, endocrine, integumentary (skin), cardiovascular, digestive, auditory, visual and more.

Collagen depletion and damage can be seen and felt as the body ages, such as wrinkling skin or aching joints. The Platinum Matrix Collection provides need-state formulations to address these concerns through NeoCell's three pillars of collagen health: strengthen, hydrate, & protect. Strengthen weak bones; hydrate wrinkling skin;protect healthy collagen from the damage of daily stressors.

Different Platinum Matrix products will target different wellness concerns such as bone and joint health, skin strength and hydration, and stress and energy support. The line also includes new delivery systems such as Derma Matrix, a new instantly-dissolving collagen powder that will be available in both jars and, for the first time, stick packs.

NeoCell Platinum Matrix products will be sold exclusively through natural product retailers and will be in stores this spring.

To see all the products in NeoCell's new Platinum Matrix line, visit booth #1742 at Expo West. 

NeoCell has been known as "the original collagen people" for more than two decades. The company's successful nutraceutical line includes Beauty Bursts, Biotin Bursts, Beauty Infusion, Keratin Hair Volumizer, Collagen Beauty Builder, Super Collagen+C Tablets, Super Collagen Powder, Collagen+C Pomegranate Liquid, Fish Collagen with HA, Collagen Type II and Collagen Sport, as well as other products that enhance both health and beauty. 

MetaBrand Capital seeking 3 investment opportunities

MetaBrand Capital seeking 3 investment opportunities

MetaBrand Capital, a “conscious capital” private equity firm and the investment pillar of MetaBrand—a full-service advisory group providing product formulation, outsourced operations, and sales and marketing services to natural, organic and functional food, beverage and supplement brands—announced its strategy for 2015 in which it will seek to make investments in three companies that meet the fund’s criteria, by the fourth quarter of this year. The company will kick off its search for investment opportunities at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, Calif., where it will host the New Hope Pitch-Slam event and will be exhibiting at booth #5668.

The company will provide growth capital to purpose-based, natural channel brands that are beyond proof-of-concept, but are still in the process of scaling. “Securing early-stage funding is often the most complex challenge natural products companies face, particularly when there is a spike in growth that requires working capital to keep pace with expansion,” said MetaBrand founder Eric Schnell. “MetaBrand Capital will provide companies on a steep growth trajectory with access to “smart money” at a stage that is considered early by industry standards. We believe that our differentiation as a value-added consulting firm puts us in a unique position to invest in companies that demonstrate strong growth potential in areas that are trending and in which the company is fulfilling an unmet need.”  

MetaBrand Capital’s first investment was made in the fall of 2014 into fellow certified B Corporation, Runa Tea, an organic, fair-trade beverage company that processes and sells a line of products made with the Amazonian super-food ingredient guayusa. This year, the company will extend its reach into other health and wellness categories, such as snacks, supplements and ingredient platforms, with investments in the range of $1 million to $5 million. In addition, MetaBrand Capital is prepared to structure add-on debt financing to support finished goods inventory and receivables, where appropriate.

The company also announced the appointment of three managing partners: Ivan Abrams, Jim Arsenault and Gertrude Allen, who will be responsible for overall management of the new investments. They will be supported by members of the MetaBrand management team and its wide array of industry-leading consultants, the culmination of which make MetaBrand a strong strategic partner to emerging growth companies in need of additional skills, knowledge, and expertise.

The expansion of MetaBrand Capital’s advisory team was also announced, with the appointment of two new advisory partners: Brad Barnhorn, well-respected industry veteran who currently serves as an active board member for ten leading growth-stage companies, including Krave Jerky, KeVita, Health Warrior, Zola, Red Rabbit, and Rhythm SuperFoods, and Jeremiah McElwee, natural products industry leader who has served on all sides of the business and supply chain, from seed to shelf, with seven years as the Executive Global Coordinator for the Beauty, Apparel & Wellness categories at Whole Foods Market. “We are thrilled to have our longtime friends and natural channel colleagues Brad and Jeremiah join our advisory team,” said Schnell. “Their experience cuts across all critical strategic and operational dimensions of successful company-building in the consumer space, and they will be an invaluable resource to our portfolio companies.”

youtheory triples manufacturing capacity

youtheory triples manufacturing capacity

youtheory, the leader in nutritional dietary manufacturing, is poised to have its best year ever for growth. In the first few months of year, youtheory has already tripled its manufacturing footprint, doubled its staff and produced 20,000 more bottles per day than in the same time frame in 2014.

“2014 was one of our best years as a company and I’m thrilled to announce that only two months into 2015, we are already breaking records,” said youtheory CEO Darren Rude. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team and what we’ve accomplished and look forward to continue growth.”

In January 2015, youtheory produced 16,000 more bottles per day of its supplement lines than it did in the same time frame last year. Alongside the increase of its production, youtheory has tripled its manufacturing size with the installation of new bottling and processing equipment to a total of 60,000 square feet.

With an increase in production needs and overall company growth, youtheory doubled its staff size with near daily hiring. Positions that have been filled—with some still available—include careers in sales, manufacturing, marketing, logistics and more.

youtheory strives to bring customers the highest quality products to Age Beautifully™ while also making the world a better place. All of youtheory’s products are packaged in innovative, premium and inviting eco-friendly bottles.

For more information on the full line of products that are available at health stores worldwide, visit For information on careers at youtheory, please contact



Ganeden, CapAble launch probiotic telescoping straw

Ganeden, CapAble launch probiotic telescoping straw

Ganeden Biotech, maker of the patented probiotic strain GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086), and CapAble AB, a global leader in unique probiotic packaging solutions, announced an exclusive arrangement to create a new telescoping GanedenBC30 LifeTop™ Probiotic Straw that can be used in both refrigerated and shelf stable milk or juice boxes, pouches and bottles. The straws, manufactured by BioGaia’s subsidiary, CapAble, will have 1 billion CFU of GanedenBC30 and can be seamlessly applied to Tetra Pak and other shelf stable beverage containers. The innovation could heavily impact the children’s beverage market, which is growing at a quick clip as parents look for healthy options.

“We are thrilled to be working with the team at CapAble and to have entered into this exclusive agreement,” commented Michael Bush, Ganeden’s senior vice president. “Beverage manufacturers around the globe are asking for solutions to incorporate our patented probiotic into shelf stable beverages and the use of the GanedenBC30 LifeTop™ Straw enables integration into shelf stable beverages of all types.”

“We are excited about this collaboration with Ganeden Biotech, a perfect partner to successfully bring the attractive combination LifeTop™ Straw and GanedenBC30 to market,” says Staffan Palsson, CEO of CapAble AB. “It is a milestone for us since this is the first agreement for CapAble for the LifeTop™ Straw.”

The probiotic market is growing enormously, with no indication that it will be slowing down anytime soon. By 2018 the Probiotic market is expected to reach $36.7 billion globally, with about $30 billion from functional foods and beverages. Probiotics are quickly becoming a household word, with 93 percent of today’s consumers being familiar with the term “Probiotic” and associating it with good health.

The new probiotic straws will allow the healthy bacteria to be available in beverages throughout the store, including shelf stable SKUs. “As consumer demand for probiotics grows, so do the delivery forms available. Not everyone can or wants to eat yogurt or take pills; these straws offer a new option for consumers to get probiotics,” Bush said. “A child can get their daily dose of probiotics from a juice pouch in her lunch box—this is groundbreaking.”

Each straw delivers a full day’s supply of GanedenBC30 probiotics and you simply insert the straw into the beverage container and drink. “Kids won’t balk at the flavorless probiotic and the straws look just like all the others,” Bush explained.

For additional information on the telescoping straw with GanedenBC30, please contact Ganeden Biotech.

5@5: Star-studded campaign promotes fruits & veggies | Safeway to sell Fair Trade seafood

5@5: Star-studded campaign promotes fruits & veggies  | Safeway to sell Fair Trade seafood

Natural news headlines for the week of Feb. 23, 3015

The 10 American Cities Most Obsessed With Eating Organic Food Feb. 23, 2015 by Kate Bratskeir via The Huffington Post According to Campbell Soup Company and Sperling’s Best Places study, Portland and San Francisco top the list of 10 most organic cities in America... Nestle refreshing frozen portfolio Feb. 23, 2015 via Nestle executives said new Lean Cuisine products key in on culinary trends, with such flavors as ranchero braised beef, which is gluten-free and contains no preservatives. From...View "Natural news headlines for the week of Feb. 23, 3015" on Spundge

'Courageous' 2015 dietary guideline committee recommends plant-based diet, sustainability

'Courageous' 2015 dietary guideline committee recommends plant-based diet, sustainability

What’s more American than a T-bone steak finished with a slice of apple pie? According to new recommendations from the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a vegetable-forward salad filled with nutrient-dense, leafy greens, seeds, nuts and legumes.

The 571-page report made by 14 health and nutrition experts from around the country was submitted to the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to inform and advise these agencies on writing the final dietary guidelines, which will be released this fall.

Cited as “courageous” by food expert Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, the prospective guidelines cite a diet abundant in plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds as health-promoting, and diets heavy on sodium, meat and sugar as unhealthy. The report altered its previous stance that vilified egg consumption, stating: “Available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.”

Read: don’t fear your bi-weekly omelet.

The report is notable because it deeply scrutinizes the modern American diet and offers recommendations that weigh sustainability, low incomes and physical activity to facilitate the ability of individuals to eat better, and actions for communities that will make cities healthier.

It takes a village

For example, not only should families reduce consumption of red and processed meat, refined grains, and products with added sugar, but communities should also shape environments to make healthier food choices easier. For example, the could take action to make water a preferred choice, increase nutritious and affordable food access, or finance programs to incentivize healthy food hubs that include community gardens and grocery store development. Even better, they could extend this access to food assistance programs like food banks, SNAP, WIC and elder nutrition.

The report takes a holistic stance on nutrition and acknowledges its complexity. “To ensure healthy food access to everyone in the United States, action is needed across all levels—federal, state, and local—to create private-public partnerships and business models, with the highest priority on those places with greatest need,” the report suggests. “Similar efforts are needed to reduce access to, and consumption of, calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods and sugar-sweetened beverages in community settings.”

Many health advocates laud DGAC’s report. Mark Bittman, while acknowledging its verbosity (571 pages!) and unnecessary focus on nutrients like saturated fats and cholesterol over actual food, writes favorably about the recommendations in the New York Times. "The report is not a paradigm shift, but it does contain significant improvements... if turned into guidelines they would constitute by far the best version ever." The final dietary guidelines are updated every five years.

But this may be wishful thinking.

Groups that represent meat associations predictably dispute some of the recommendations. “It is absurd for the Advisory Committee to suggest that Americans should eat less red meat and focus so heavily on plant-based diets,” said Richard Thorpe, PhD, in a statement released by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “The American diet is already 70 percent plant-based, and to further emphasize plant-based diets will continue to have unintended consequences.”

The public can comment on these recommendations until April 8, 2015.

LOHAS consumers shop for values, seek transparency

LOHAS consumers shop for values, seek transparency

Shopper values are driving natural product purchasing, according to the 2015 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Research Survey. The study found that brand choice is driven by taste and healthy product factors, including ingredients and non-GMO, ahead of organic in purchase priority for the second year in a row.

Branded items are gaining favor, all natural is losing cachet, and price is becoming less important to conscious consumers. And while coupon use is still strong, customers report shopping for "values" over "value," choosing brands based on key product and ingredient factors first.  

Non-GMO continues to be top of mind with more than eight in 10 healthy consumers (83 percent) indicating it's important that all products containing GMOs be labeled. That's a slight uptick above 2014 when 78 percent of healthy consumers wanted labeling.

A majority said that non-GMO was key to brand buying (57 percent), edging ahead of organic (53 percent) for the second year. About one in two consumers cited "brand that I trust" (48 percent up from 44 percent in 2014), ahead of "all natural" which was less of a factor in 2015 (36 percent down from 42 percent in 2014).

Health and eco consumers are seeking more transparency about their food supply, looking at how and where their products are grown or produced. Over half (56 percent) reported that it is important to source and trace the products they purchase back to a grower, company or producer. 

Traditional farm products were rated in the top three products most important to source/trace to a given grower or producer, ranking: 1 for produce, 2 for meat/poultry, and 3 for dairy products.

Consumers continue to use coupons to stretch their natural and organic product budgets, with three in four healthy shoppers reporting the same or higher (37 percent each) rate of recent coupon use. Eight in 10 agreed that coupons allowed them to buy more natural and organic products (79 percent). Around six in 10 said they learn about healthy new products through coupons (62 percent) and often buy brand name natural/organic products with a coupon versus a similar store label product (60 percent). 

Market LOHAS, leaders in health/eco shopper marketing research, brand visibility and content marketing solutions fielded the 2015 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Natural and Organic Shopper Survey online among 1,000 health conscious consumer panelists in December 2014.


Sabinsa to unveil new curcumin form at Engredea

Sabinsa to unveil new curcumin form at Engredea

Sabinsa Corp.will unveil a new form of Curcumin in booth #310 at Engredea/Expo West, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif., March 6 to 8, which will create a stir, but they know the real reason people will visit them is for the LactoSpore® Brownies.  

Sabinsa’s expertise with Curcumin innovation is indisputable, with Curcumin C3 Reduct® solving the problem of staining, and C3 Complex® the most studied curcumin in the world. The R&D team has a new innovation in store that will be of special interest to functional foods and beverage developers.

At the last few shows, Sabinsa has served a very popular gluten-free cookie containing LactoSpore®, Sabinsa’s proprietary shelf-stable probiotic with GRAS status. Cookie developer & baking expert Bridget Reilly, owner of The Bite Market specialty grocery in Costa Mesa, California, and this year she has created LactoSpore Brownies to get everyone through the days.

Sabinsa Marketing Director Shaheen Majeed will be Telling the Transparency Story: Building Supplement Consumer Confidence on Thursday March 5, 2015 at 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. An educational component of the Engredea trade show, this panel discussion will be held Anaheim Marriott Orange County Ballroom 3/4, and will feature a number of notable industry experts. Shaheen will be addressing how transparency in ingredients, branded ingredients and commitment to science and education support product success.