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Articles from 2021 In May

Nutrition Capital Network

Nutraceutical giant Otsuka launches venturing team in North America

Les Hine, Once Ventures

Les Hine is the CEO of Once Ventures, nutraceutical company Otsuka's new venturing team. Here, Hine, who joined Otsuka in 2016 to work on corporate strategy and M&A, tells Nutrition Capital Network about the launch and strategy of the team.

What was the impetus for Otsuka to launch Once Ventures?

Les Hine: There were two reasons for launching Once Ventures under Otsuka. First, Otsuka is a global company and we’re seeing a lot of the innovation within the nutraceuticals industry taking place in North America. We felt we could be more connected to that network and Once Ventures would help us do so. Second, we have the capabilities to help accelerate the progress of young nutraceutical companies given our strong industry expertise and venture funding know-how. Both of these qualities underscore Otsuka’s mission of “creating new products for better health worldwide.”

Please explain the program structure and any parameters you have set for early stage companies to be considered.

LH: Once Ventures is looking for companies that compete in one of four categories: active nutrition, supplements, healthy beverages and plant-based food. Within these categories, we are searching for companies that are doing something new and not afraid to push industry norms. That might mean incorporating a new ingredient, implementing a unique business model or it might be a new need state. Whatever it is, it’s important it brings new value to the market as that is what will make a company successful. Once Ventures is considering and vetting companies of various sizes, but typically, we are looking for some sort of proof of concept, meaning the company has generated revenue and is showing signs of growth. From a funding standpoint, we are participating in mostly Series A and B investments, with a typical check between $2 and $5 million. Most importantly, though, we are looking to partner with great founders who are passionate about their businesses. We find the individuals who truly believe in their product and company are the ones willing to do what it takes to be successful.

Tell us about some categories or trends that look opportune from both Once Ventures’ and Otsuka’s point of view.

LH: We have been in the global plant-based food category for several years, and our most recent major acquisition was Daiya, the leading plant-based cheese company in North America. We believe plant-based foods continue to have incredible growth opportunities and we have the unique expertise to help nurture these brands. Within the plant-based food category, we are very interested in the developments occurring in alternative proteins. Another trend we find interesting is personalization. Right now, personalization is trending in supplements, but we see it spreading to other categories such as active nutrition. Since consumers have a huge variety of choices in some categories, curating the right assortment and reassuring them that they are making the right choices is of great value to busy consumers.

Describe an attractive (hypothetical) investment candidate in terms of balance sheet fundamentals and founder characteristics.

LH: What’s most important to us is that we find founders who are passionate about their businesses and with whom we feel we have a strong connection from a culture and values standpoint. Ideally, this company candidate has proof of concept in the marketplace—annual revenue between $2-$10 million—and is bringing something unique to the market. The company doesn’t need to be profitable just yet; we’re willing to take a long view of the financial return if we believe the opportunity is compelling and the connection is the right one.

What intangible/strategic value does Once Ventures uniquely bring to the early stage venture capital marketplace?

LH: There are two things we want founders to know when they are considering partnering with us. First, we are patient. We aren’t focused on immediate returns but instead want to maximize the long-term value of a company and are prepared to stick with our investments for the long haul. Second, we aren’t just investors, we are operators. For example, we have been in the plant-based food business for 13 years in North America (through Daiya) and with that comes knowledge and experience that we have built over time. These two areas are where we expect to differentiate ourselves from others in the venture capital arena.

To learn more about Once Ventures, visit To learn more about Nutrition Capital Network, visit

The Vitamin Shoppe to expand via franchising for first time

The Vitamin Shoppe The Vitamin Shoppe to expand via franchising for first time

For the first time in its 44-year history, The Vitamin Shoppe, an omnichannel specialty retailer of nutritional products, is launching a franchise opportunity in the United States.

Franchise partners now have the opportunity to leverage the trusted quality of The Vitamin Shoppe brand and its unparalleled expertise in the fast-growing health and wellness sector when they open new locations. Since launching in 1977, The Vitamin Shoppe has grown into the premiere global destination for health and wellness solutions, supporting millions of customers annually on their journeys of lifelong wellness.

The company continues to modernize its business with a digital-first mindset that meets consumers where and when they prefer to shop in today's evolving retail landscape.

The Vitamin Shoppe to expand via franchising for first time

The Vitamin Shoppe's unique franchise model rewards franchise partners for driving and VShoppe app sales, via a commission structure that creates a seamless omnichannel experience for both franchisees and their customers. The customer experience across franchise stores is designed to be identical and indistinguishable from the 680+ retail locations owned by The Vitamin Shoppe.

Franchise ownership with The Vitamin Shoppe can be completed in an estimated six to eight weeks. The first franchised locations of The Vitamin Shoppe stores are expected to open later this year. Franchise markets are available in all U.S. states, with the exceptions of Washington and Oregon, where The Vitamin Shoppe operates stores under the Super Supplements banner.

Potential franchise partners can visit to start the discovery and application process, including financial disclosures and requirements.

"Now is an especially opportune time to partner with highly motivated entrepreneurs to expand our store fleet. This new growth strategy is a capital-efficient way to grow our retail footprint in a favorable real estate market, while empowering our franchise partners to create dynamic, locally-owned businesses," said Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe. "With the events of the past year, consumers have become more invested in their health and well-being, as reflected in The Vitamin Shoppe's performance. We are tapping into this industry's strong runway for growth by partnering with franchisees who share our passion for quality, innovation, and the health of their customers and communities."

The Vitamin Shoppe to expand via franchising for first time

The Vitamin Shoppe offers the largest assortment of vitamin, mineral and supplement products at retail in the U.S., including national brands and an expanding portfolio of proprietary brands, such as The Vitamin Shoppe, Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, BodyTech Elite, fitfactor Weight Management System, fitfactor KETO, plnt, ProBioCare, and True Athlete. Franchisees join an organization committed to supporting good health for all, as reflected in our diverse and highly knowledgeable Health Enthusiast teams around the globe.

The company is driving growth through a comprehensive strategy of merchandising initiatives, operational enhancements and marketing innovations such as the expansion of an innovation-focused retail format; the creation of the leading national destination for CBD; the reimagining of the Healthy Awards loyalty program; the launch of an Asia business; partnerships with trailblazers in the wellness space such as WW (formerly Weight Watchers); and product launches with sought-after brands such as Alani Nu, Ghost, Zoa, Goli and Martha Stewart CBD.

Throughout the franchising process and the life of the partnership, The Vitamin Shoppe teams are committed to supporting franchise partners with essential aspects of retail operations, supply chain, brand and product marketing, legal, real estate and digital integrations.

In addition to this new U.S. franchise program, The Vitamin Shoppe currently operates globally with country license agreements with partners in Asia, Central America and South America. The Vitamin Shoppe continues to expand internationally and expects to announce additional partnership agreements in the coming months.

Source: The Vitamin Shoppe

How do your shoppers shop—and who are your main retail competitors?

While internet has accelerated, the main natural products retail competitors are club stores and Walmart, reports SPINS. Here’s what every natural retailer needs to know about how consumers are shopping, the leading competition (it’s not all online!) and how to create a synergistic brick-and-mortar and online strategy in 2021 and beyond.  

Watch the full session on the Natural Products Expo Virtual platform.


[email protected]: Mislabeled meat | Retailers upgrade store brands | Organic growth trifecta

Getty Images meat packaged supermarket

Eco-conscious meat producers admit to mislabeling products

Natural meat company Belcampo has touted total transparency to its customers for years. Now, allegations made by a former employee (that were confirmed to an extent by Belcampo) make it clear that some shoppers who paid top dollar for grass-fed, pasture-raised meat and eggs from the company were duped into taking home conventional meat grown as far away as Tasmania. A company spokesperson stated: "The preliminary results of our investigation show that unfortunately protocols both for sourcing and communicating product origin to customers were not being followed in our Santa Monica location. These errors made up a small percentage of total product." Modern Farmer has the scoop.

Target, Whole Foods, ShopRite and other retailers look to upgrade their store brands

Retailers are revamping their private label product lines to look, feel, taste and smell premium while maintaining budget-friendly prices. Younger generations care less about brand names, according to The Wall Street Journal, and they're also more budget conscious. Whole Foods, for instance, conducted internal research that confirmed its customers were looking for more plant-based versions of their favorite products, so the natural retailer launched a private-label whipped oatmilk topping that CMO Sonya Gafsi Oblisk noted has been a "big winner" for the store.

Earth's vegetation is changing today faster than it has over the last 18K years

A global survey of fossil pollen has discovered that the planet’s vegetation is changing at least as quickly today as it did when the last ice sheets retreated around 10,000 years ago. The research suggests that humanity’s dominant influence on ecosystems that is so visible today has its origin in the earliest civilizations and the rise of agriculture, deforestation and other ways our species has influenced the landscape; it also suggests ecosystem rates of change will continue to accelerate over the coming decades as modern climate change further adds to this long history of flux. Science Daily reports.

'Growth trifecta' signals strong future for organic products

The organic movement has hit a "trifecta of growth in virtually all categories, from produce to choclate." People are buying more organic products today than they ever have, they are spending more on those products and they're making repeat purchases. Millennials' income potential is growing, and experts say organic has an important point of entry among new parents and as millennial spending starts to really gear up, so will organic spending. Head to The Food Institute to learn more.

The best jerky is actually vegan

The ascendancy of high-protein diets, combined customers who increasingly value gourmet foods from humanely raised animals—or plant-based options—has helped push a larger cottage industry of jerky producers into high-profile shelf spaces at chic grocers, drug stores and other retailers. This Eater roundup of the best-tasting jerky products highlights how far vegan jerky producers have come; coming in at No. 1 is Urban Cowboy's mushroom-based vegan jerky, but notable mentions include another mushroom-based plant-based jerky from Pan's Mushroom Jerky. Also on the list: lots of fish, biltong and a kelp-based jerky that was not well received.

The Expo West Virtual 2021 NEXTY Awards winners

More than 800 products participated in the Expo West Virtual 2021 NEXTY Awards this spring, competing for the top recognition in 23 categories. These brands shared the spotlight with the winners of the two NEXTY Consumer Choice Awards categories during the awards presentation that took place live on May 27 during Natural Products Expo West Virtual Week.

The NEXTY Awards recognize excellence in the natural products industry, elevating impactful brands and products that inspire a healthy, sustainable future for people and planet. The nominated products were evaluated based on the criteria of innovation, inspiration and integrity over the course of two, week-long judging rounds that took place at the New Hope Network office in Boulder, Colorado. 

During the initial round of judging, the New Hope Network editorial, standards and NEXT Data and Insights teams narrowed down the nominated products to a fantastic group of finalists across 23 categories. From there, a panel of invited industry judges joined the New Hope judging team in the final week of judging to select the single winner in each category through thorough debate and deliberation.

Another branch of the NEXTY Awards celebrated through Natural Products Expo West Virtual is the NEXTY Consumer Choice Awards, produced together with New Hope's technology partner Sampler. Nominating companies work with Sampler to send 1,000 product samples to their target consumer. Winners are then determined based on feedback and ratings gathered from a follow-up survey given to the 1,000 consumers that received the samples.

Click through this gallery to learn more about the fabulous winners of the Natural Products Expo West Virtual 2021 NEXTY Awards.

CVS Pharmacy unveils store-brand additions in grocery, health and beauty

CVS Pharmacy CVS Pharmacy unveils store-brand additions in grocery, health and beauty

Following up a consumables expansion last month, CVS Pharmacy plans to roll out more than 150 new store-brand products in grocery, health and wellness, and beauty care.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS announced Wednesday that the launches include new offerings in its Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem Abound food brands—extensions of the Live Better by CVS Health brand—and the debut of Goodline Grooming Co., an exclusive men's skin and grooming care brand. Also new are more convenient packaging forms, multipacks, resealable bags and value sizes.

In grocery, the latest products under the Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem Abound brands include more than 50 new flavor combinations, as well as the new Gold Emblem Fair Trade Certified coffee. CVS said the Fair Trade Certified coffee line—launched amid rising popularity of at-home coffee—offers nine new SKUs, including various blends and roasts (Donut Shop, French Vanilla, French Roast and Colombian) and new pack sizes. The company also noted that CVS is the first drugstore to offer 100% Fair Trade Certified products in its store brand.

Other new Gold Emblem and Gold Emblem Abound items include Organic Roasted Nuts, Extreme Carolina Reaper Puffs, Chili Lime Beef Jerky, value-sized Omega Trail Mix in a resealable pouch, Electrolyte Max oral hydration beverage in Cherry Pomegranate and Berry Frost flavors, and boxed water in BPA-free recyclable packaging.

CVS Pharmacy unveils store-brand additions in grocery, health and beauty

Health and wellness additions

Rolling out in health and wellness are more than 80 new store-brand products, including additions with innovative formulas and formats. Expansions from Live Better by CVS Health include Immunity Defense with Mushrooms, Stress Relief Formula with Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, and new apple cider vinegar products featuring echinacea, elderberry and blueberry for easy sipping, the retailer said.

New offerings also include CVS Health vitamins and supplements, such as Collagen with Vitamin C, Zinc Gummies for immune support, Brain Support supplements and Turmeric Complex.

All products from the line come in packaging that's at least 80% recyclable. A range of new feminine solutions from the CVS Health brand includes options made from 100% organic cotton, CVS said.

"We've been listening to and working with our customers to engage and meet their needs in ways others haven't. Millions of people are entering our stores, opening our app and visiting daily for prescriptions, essentials or health care services like tests and vaccinations, and we want them to feel supported in meeting their everyday needs," Brenda Lord, vice president of store brands at CVS Health, said in a statement. "We've seen that younger and health-minded consumers are responding positively to our exclusive offerings, noticing the purpose, passion, quality and value across our store brands portfolio."

In line with those trends, CVS has launched the Goodline Grooming Co. men's care brand at its stores. Developed in tandem with feedback from a men's consumer panel, the line includes skin care, beard care, grooming tools and razors. All Goodline products are made from simple, "good for you" ingredients such as vitamin C and aloe vera; are phthalate- and paraben-free; and are not tested on animals, the retailer said.

Shoppers also will find dozens of new at-home beauty and personal care items—such as skin, hair and nail care from GSQ by Glamsquad and pop•arazzi—plus "expertly developed" formulas and elevated designs in new products, such as dry shampoo/conditioner, a T-bar facial massager and nail products that are vegan, cruelty-free and free from harmful chemicals.

In recent years, CVS has been working to enhance its product mix, led by new store-brand offerings, to energize front-end sales. In 2020, the company reported front-store sales of $19.66 billion, up 1.2% from $19.42 billion in 2019. Same-store sales in the front end inched up 0.9% year over year for 2020, down from a 1.1% gain in 2019.

Most recently, CVS launched expanded selections of more than 100 frozen foods, with a focus on meal solutions, plus over 140 better-for-you snacks. The bigger frozen assortment includes brands such as Beyond Meat, Bird's Eye, Ore-Ida and Amy's Kitchen.

Overall, CVS Pharmacy operates nearly 10,000 locations, including more than 1,700 pharmacies inside Target and Schnuck Markets stores.

supermarket news logoThis piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights

Whole Foods' 5 plant-based favorites for summer

Photos from Whole Foods Market Whole Foods' 5 plant-based favorites for summer

There's no better time than summer to break out of the ordinary routine and explore the aisles to try something new. As plant-based products continue to expand into new areas of our store, our Trends Council has predicted the plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and even seafood will fill shoppers' carts this summer and beyond. These plant-based products also meet our Quality Standards, which prohibit 100+ ingredients in food, so pop open a refreshing beverage and lighten up your summer staples with these plant-based finds.

Whole Foods' 5 plant-based favorites for summer cheeses

Alternative cheeses go gourmet

Give your summer charcuterie board an upgraded, plant-based twist with a distinctive assortment of cheese alternatives that are all dairy free. While using nut-based milks and ingredients like black garlic truffle, dill Havarti and chive is unique, plant-based cheesemakers are also replicating the methods used to make dairy cheeses for more authentic textures and flavors. Including a plant-based cheese will be sure to take your picnic basket to the next level.

Try the trend: Miyoko's Creamery Artisan Vegan Cheese: Semi-Firm Smoked English Farmhouse, Semi-Soft Double Cream Classic Chive; Treeline Sea Salt & Pepper Soft French-Style Nut Cheese; Kite Hill Spreadable Cheese: Garlic & Herb, Cracked Black Pepper; Cheeze & Thank You: Vegan Dill Havarti, Vegan Black Garlic Truffle Fontina (available only in Illinois stores)

Whole Foods' 5 plant-based favorites for summer bbq

BBQ for all—even vegans

Remember when corn ribs broke the internet? Buckle up for more plants hitting the grill this summer that go far beyond the veggie burger: Think plant-based products like hot dogs, Italian-style sausages and even jackfruit BBQ. From algae-based casing to hickory smoke concentrate, these vegetarian options have unique ingredients making it easy (and flavorful) to incorporate more plants into your cookout. Mixing up your classic grilling go-tos will leave meat lovers and vegetarians alike wanting more.

Try the trend: Field Roast Signature Stadium Dog; Upton's Naturals: Updog Vegan Hot Dog, Bar-B-Que Jackfruit; Lightlife Plant-Based Italian Sausages; recipe for Spicy Grilled Tempeh from Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods' 5 plant-based favorites for summer for kids

Pint-sized and plant-based

Gone are the days of pleading with your kids to eat their fruits and veggies. For the littlest of eaters, brands are providing plant-forward options that come in kid-approved forms like nuggets, yogurt tubes and ice pops (did we mention they're superhero themed?). These products are perfect for sneaking fruits and veggies into their meal and great for on-the-go backyard explorations.

Try the trend: Ripple Kids Non-Dairy Milk; Miyoko's Creamery Plant Milk Cheddar Sticks; 365 by Whole Foods Market Plant-Based Nuggets; Kite Hill Kids Strawberry Banana Almond & Coconut Milk Yogurt Tubes; Chloe's Plant-Based Kids Pops: Avengers, Spider-Man

Whole Foods' 5 plant-based favorites for summer alternate fish

Plant-based catch of the day

Get ready for a new wave of seafood substitutes that will be sure to surprise and impress! Ingredients like legumes and banana blossoms are being used to mimic the flaky texture of the real thing. This means alternative fish sticks, no-tuna sandwiches and a whole new depth of flavor in an otherwise simple fish dinner. So pop open some bubbly and wow your friends with this fresh, new take on seafood.

Try the trend: Upton's Naturals Banana Blossom (a flower that is a fish alternative); Good Catch Fish-Free Tuna: Mediterranean, Oil & Herbs, Naked in Water; Vegan Tuna in Whole Foods Market's Chef's Case; Trumpet Mushrooms for recipes like Vallops (vegan scallops) made by one of our go-to vegans, Tabitha Brown.

Whole Foods' 5 plant-based favorites for summer dips

Dairy-free dips in disguise

Searching for a creamy dip to pair with your summer crudités spread? Look no further than these buttery-smooth and spreadable dips and cream cheese alternatives. Highlighting traditionally milky flavors like French onion, ranch and queso, they're a fun and effortless way to enhance any starter course. They're not just for dipping: smear on bagels, spread on sandwiches or dollop on crusty bread for a midday snack.

Try the trend: Kite Hill Dairy-Free Dips: Queso, French Onion, Ranch, Tzatziki; Siete Cashew Queso: Mild Nacho, Spicy Blanco; Credo Plant-Based Strawberry Cashew Cream Cheese (available only in the Southwest region); Whole Foods Market Plant-Based Queso; Bitchin' Sauce: Original, Chipotle, Cilantro Chili

Source: Whole Foods Market

ABC names winners of Botanical Excellence Awards

American Botanical Council

The American Botanical Council on Tuesday honored six researchers for their contributions to the herbal and botanical communities.

This year's event—which was livestreamed and can be seen on ABC's Facebook page and YouTube channel—also celebrated the accomplishments of the 33-year-nonprofit education organization in its 33rd year.

"As a science-based research and education organization, ABC attempts to keep current with the explosive amount of human clinical research that is published in the scientific literature each year," said Mark Blumenthal, ABC's founder and executive director. "ABC's Botanical Excellence Awards are granted to individuals and commercial businesses that are committed to excellence in exploring and expanding the scientific research on herbs, medicinal plants, phytomedicines, medicinal fungi, and other natural products with therapeutic value."

ABC's Chief Science Officer Stefan Gafner, Ph.D., said, " It is one of the greatest privileges at ABC to honor a few of those individuals and organizations every year." The awards are named for leaders in various fields of botanical studies.

James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award

Christopher Hobbs, director of the Institute for Natural Products ResearchChristopher Hobbs, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Natural Products Research, received this year's Duke award for his book, Christopher Hobbs's Medicinal Mushrooms: The Essential Guide: Boost Immunity, Improve Memory, Fight Cancer, Stop Infection, and Expand Your Consciousness.

Hobbs is a fourth-generation, internationally renowned clinical herbalist,  research scientist and consultant to the natural products industry. He holds a doctorate in phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, and phytochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild.

"Hobbs' work was chosen for its consumer-friendly approach to the field of mycology, with scientific and clinical research presented in a creative and informative way and featuring beautiful photography throughout," said Hannah Bauman, assistant editor for ABC's peer-reviewed journal HerbalGram, as she presented the award to Hobbs. "He has succeeded in creating an accessible book for readers at every level of interest."

Hobbs said, "I wanted to make this book a practical guide featuring medicine making, growing, choosing commercial products and the importance of quality, combining the folklore and traditional uses with a thorough review of the scientific literature and especially all clinical trials available for each species. I hope it can inspire a love of mushrooms and a preservation of their habitats, especially the old growth forests and trees of which they are an integral part."

The award is named for well-known botanist and author, the late James A. Duke, Ph.D.

Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award

Paula N. Brown, Ph.D., director of the British Columbia Institute of Technology's (BCIT) Natural Health and Food Products Research GroupPaula N. Brown, Ph.D., director of the British Columbia Institute of Technology's (BCIT) Natural Health and Food Products Research Group, received this award for actively supporting the natural health products industry for more than a decade through applied research activities, including product development, establishment of quality standards, analytical methods and regulatory compliance. Brown sits on numerous boards, committees, and working groups in Canada and the United States, including the ABC Advisory Board.

Joseph Betz, Ph.D., acting director of the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health, presented Brown with the award. "Paula has published validated analytical methods for a number of dietary supplement ingredients, including ginseng, echinacea, and many others…and has more publications of supplement ingredient methods in AOAC International's Official Methods of Analysis than any other author that I know."

In her acceptance speech, Brown said, "I want to acknowledge a few colleagues, including Susan Murch, who told me if I want to study plants, I better get out my rainboots and get out there. Mary Hardy, last year's ABC Fredi Kronenberg Award winner, reminds me, as I go down my rabbit hole of chemistry, that this is about health…Everything that I have achieved here at BCIT has been with the support and hard work and dedication of my group, many of whom have been with me for close two decades. I thank all of them because they are part of this award, as well."

This award is named for the world-famous pharmacognosist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the late Norman R. Farnsworth, Ph.D.

Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award

Swedish Herbal Institute (SHI), and founder and Chairman Georg WikmanThis year's award was presented to the Swedish Herbal Institute (SHI), and founder and Chairman Georg Wikman.

Wikman founded SHI in 1975 to gather knowledge about medicinal plants from many parts of the world, promote scientific research and develop pharmaceutical-quality botanical medicines, or phytomedicines. His work has led to collaborations with a number of prestigious universities as well as the Russian space program. SHI's phytomedicines were used on the MIR space station.

In presenting the award, Gafner said: "ABC chose SHI for the company's exceptional commitment to the scientific and clinical research on the therapeutic effects of several botanical ingredients—most notably andographis and rhodiola. The company has initiated and supported over 30 clinical studies since 1995. SHI's clinical work has significantly added to the foundation for the evidence-based medicinal use of both andographis and rhodiola, leading to effective phytotherapeutic agents in the areas of upper respiratory infections, stress-related fatigue and mild forms of depression."

Wikman said, "I want to thank ABC and Mark Blumenthal, a friend of mine for more than 40 years, for recognizing the Swedish Herbal Institute's pioneering clinical research on adaptogens.

"We appreciate ABC's recognition of our early research on rhodiola," Wikman continued. "ABC's acknowledgement of SHI's research on the fixed combination KanJang, based on eleutheroccus and the adaptogen andrographis, has demonstrated a significant effect on upper respiratory-tract infections. Our current focus is on the application of adaptogens in COVID-19-related issues…This award is yet another milestone on the road to full acceptance of adaptogens as important health promoters on the same footing as vitamins, trace elements, and antioxidants."

The award is named for late professor of pharmacognosy and author Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D., dean of the School of Pharmacy at Purdue University for 20 years and vice-president of academic affairs at Purdue.

Fredi Kronenberg Excellence in Research and Education in Botanicals for Women's Health Award

Tori Hudson, N.D., medical director of A Woman's Time natural health care clinicThis year's award was presented to Tori Hudson, N.D., medical director of A Woman's Time natural health care clinic; program director of the Institute of Women's Health & Integrative Medicine; and adjunct clinical professor at Bastyr University, National College of Naturopathic Medicine, and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences.

Mary Hardy, M.D., presented the award to Hudson, saying, "Dr. Hudson has devoted her 35-plus years as a naturopath to women's health as a researcher, clinician, and educator. She has had a leading role in educating naturopaths about primary and specialty natural care of women…She has won a number of prestigious awards during her career…and has published broadly both in the lay and professional press on all aspects of women's care."

Hudson said, "I first met Fredi Kronenberg in the earliest days of the development of the Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, (now) the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health. At these meetings, Fredi was incredibly kind, inclusive and collaborative towards me and others, and she was innovative, intellectually impressive and consistently productive in her research and academic activities, especially with regard to botanicals, integrative medicine, and women's health—three pillars of my clinical and professional career, as well."

This award is named for Fredi Kronenberg, who dedicated her professional life to the study of medicinal plants and phytomedicines for women’s health conditions. She was also a co-founder of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Columbia University and a longtime member of the ABC Board of Trustees.

ABC Champion Award

Jerry Cott, Ph.D., retired senior pharmacologist for the US Food and Drug Administration.The 2021 award was presented to Jerry Cott, Ph.D., a now-retired senior pharmacologist for the US Food and Drug Administration.

In presenting the award to Cott, Lori Glenn, managing editor of ABC's HerbClip, said, "As a neuropsychopharmacologist, Jerry has researched the use of dietary supplements for psychiatric indication as well as the integration of mainstream psychiatry with nutritional and botanical intervention. ABC is recognizing Jerry for providing long-term academic and professional expertise as a peer reviewer of a wide range of publications that deal with psychopharmacology. Jerry has been the primary peer reviewer of many articles for ABC's flagship publication, HerbalGram, as well as a myriad of summaries of clinical trials and review articles. Jerry has also reviewed other publications for ABC, including chapters for The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs."

Cott said, "Before I met Mark [Blumenthal], I was a simple neuropsychopharmacologist at the NIMH [National Institute of Mental Health] in the early '90s. I'd started a natural products research program to try and interest the drug people into searching for kinder, gentler treatments for mental health disorders. I'd never actually met any herbalists. That changed at an American Herbalists Guild meeting in West Virginia in 1994…That same year, I met the famous ethnobotanist James Duke at an NIMH meeting that I had invited him to, and Jim, along with Mark, had quite an impact on my life.…I want to thank the warm community at ABC for accepting a non-herbalist into their confidence. It is a great honor to be with you and to accept this award today."

The ABC Champion Award recognizes individuals who have been outstanding supporters of ABC and who have helped the organization promote and achieve its nonprofit research and educational mission.

Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award

Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), received this year's award.

"Michael is a master of important details on a wide spectrum of significant issues necessary for the success of small, medium-sized, and large herb businesses," Blumenthal said. "Without his strong and seemingly tireless energy and leadership, it is questionable that the herb industry in the United States would be as successful, and as large, as it is today."

As president of AHPA since 1999, McGuffin has been active in the herbal industry since 1974, having owned both retail and manufacturing businesses in this field. He is leading expert on dietary supplement regulation and has been published extensively in scholarly and scientific journals.

McGuffin said, "I must share credit with the remarkable and talented AHPA staff. Each of them is actively engaged in building community, not only within the AHPA membership but more broadly among practicing herbalists, botanical researchers, and all those involved in the herb and natural products industry. The AHPA board of trustees also deserves to share this award. The board has strongly advocated for collaboration and cooperation with the other organizations that represent the herbal products industry. This not only helps us get our work done, but It's clearly an opportunity to build community."

This award is named for ABC founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal.

Source: American Botanical Council

9 product innovations driving natural and organic industry growth

The most relevant trends in the natural and organic products industry are those that address the real needs of people and planet.

New Hope Network's content and NEXT Data and Insights teams have identified the trends that represent the greatest opportunity for the natural and organic products industry—and have found the companies exhibiting in Natural Products Expo Virtual that are helping bring these trends to life.

Click through this gallery to learn about nine areas of natural products innovation that are propelling the industry forward and engendering novel market manifestations. Be sure to head to the Natural Products Expo Virtual platform to check out these impressive companies (and many more!).

natural products expo virtual logoSee the Natural Products Expo Virtual agenda.