Nutiva, the world’s leading organic hemp foods and coconut oil brand, celebrates its 10-year anniversary this month, and coinciding with the milestone Inc. Magazine has named Nutiva one of the fastest growing American companies in its 2009 500/5000 list.
Despite the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression, sales of Nutiva’s organic Hemp Oil, Hempseed, Protein, Hemp Bars, HempShakestm, and Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil grew in total by more than 30 percent in the first six months of 2009 versus the same period last year. Nutiva’s profits attest to its loyal and expanding customer base and their appreciation of the company’s core promise: to nourish people and planet by using healthful organic ingredients, enriching the soil, and supporting worthy causes.
Nutiva began in 1999 when founder and CEO John W. Roulac, the author of three books on industrial hemp and a best-seller on home composting, made and sold his first hemp bars. Today Roulac appreciates Nutiva’s thousands of loyal customers, who “helped make us a ten-year overnight success story.” He adds, “Nutiva’s vision is to change our country’s overreliance on corn, soy, and dairy products in favor of healthier hemp and coconut superfoods.” To that end, Nutiva recently secured a credit line from the San Francisco-based Rudolf Steiner Foundation, Inc.
Hemp foods are widely popular due to the hempseed’s ideal ratio of protein, minerals, and omega-3 fats. And coconut oil, which contains medium-chain saturated fats, is now recognized as a nutritious all-purpose cooking oil.
Major Bumps on the Road to Success
While Nutiva now enjoys surging demand for its products, this hasn’t always been the case, as there have been major bumps on the company’s road to success. Yet Roulac says the bumps along the way have only helped strengthen the company, adding with a smile, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
In Nutiva’s first year in business, the DEA and U.S. Customs seized the company’s Canadian hempseed shipments in the mistaken belief that hemp is drug-related. Three weeks after 9/11, the full weight of the Federal government came down on Nutiva with a new law banning hemp foods.
Along with Dr. Bronner’s Soaps and other manufacturers, Nutiva launched a successful grassroots campaign, challenged the DEA in court, and was able to overturn the government rule. This unexpected victory cleared the way for hemp foods to become a $50M market, with a potential far exceeding that sum. Five years later, Roulac comments, “Now it’s time to allow American farmers to grow industrial hemp.”
Inc. Magazine is not the first publication to honor Nutiva. In March 2005, Fast Company recognized the company for its “David and Goliath” court victory over the DEA.
Nutiva’s High Standards
The company strives to use only the finest certified-organic ingredients, grown without pesticides and herbicides and not genetically modified. In fact, 98 percent of all Nutiva sales are USDA-certified-organic—the highest percentage among all hemp brands.
As a corporation, Nutiva shows its citizenship by donating 1 percent of sales to public-benefit sustainable agriculture groups.
Based on SPINS industry data, Nutiva is the world’s best-selling brand of hemp oil, hemp protein, hempseed, hemp bars, and coconut oil. The young company strives to deliver the best customer service in the industry. Its goal is to “surprise customers and retailers” with its dedication to their satisfaction. The company website, http://www.nutiva.com, is a resource for healthful organic hemp foods and coconut oil, and also provides recipes and nutritional tips.
Nutiva is dedicated to a healthy and sustainable world, demonstrating its mission to nourish people and planet by using nourishing organic ingredients, enriching the soil, and supporting worthy causes. Founded in 1999, Nutiva is America’s number one brand of nutritious organic hemp foods and extra-virgin coconut oil. Its products are offered nationwide, as well as in Canada, Mexico, and the U.K., at more than 6,000 natural food retailers. For more information: