Week in Review - Different Issues to Chew Over

By Len Monheit
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Realizing that the NPIcenter audience is diverse and global, each of our viewers will have a different take on the most significant occurrence in the past week for our industries.

If you’re in Canada, or at all interested in the Canadian marketplace, no doubt you’re interested in what will happen now that the Canadian GMP’s for Natural Health Products have been posted to Canada Gazette II, becoming law in January 2004 with a two to six year implementation period. And even if you’re not following the Canadian regulations, chances are that the implementation period and how industry handles it may prove somewhat helpful as the US market braces for its own final GMP rule.

Nutraceutical International Corporation completed its acquisition of the Nature’s Life brand, announcing that Karl Riedel has been appointed president of M.K. Food Distributors. Nutraceutical went on this past week to enter into an agreement to acquire Arizona Health Foods owner and operator of a chain of 11 health food stores.

For those who watch trends and numbers, US sector sales were reported to have surpassed $36 million (Natural Products), and NMI reported that over 68 million adults in the US are motivated in their purchasing decisions, at least in part, by environmental and social issues, a jump of 7 percent from previous survey results.

When I look over the past week’s developments, I notice that a significant amount of the news and growth is coming more and more frequently from atypical sources and players. For instance, the sidebar to the $36 million sector sales is a seven percent drop in herbs and botanicals in Natural Products Stores, and an increase of twelve percent in personal care, sixteen percent in pet products,[1] with significant food sector growth.

And the announcements and releases we see support this.

On the food side, Lyc-O-Mato® self-affirms GRAS, Hain Celestial purchases Acirca and the Walnut Acres brand, Food by Design introduces a new flax-based product. In personal care, Europharma launches a new skin care product, and in the ‘functional confectionary’ category, Nestle and Colgate announce a new 50:50 joint venture.

We do see some reporting of new studies including vitamin A and D, chromium picolinate (Nutrition 21) , Optiberry (Interhealth) and over the past few weeks have seen study results for combination products (chromium picolinate with CLA, Phototrop, which combines acetyl-L-carnitine, concentrated omega-3 and coenzyme Q10 and the co-dependence of calcium and phosphorous.)

Next week’s NNFA Marketplace 2003 will be a bellwether for industry focus with the show floor as important as the back rooms in determining industry direction. From early reports, it appears that interest and enthusiasm are high. What is clear, is that it will take persistence, creativity and out of the box thinking and strong value chain relationships in order to be successful.

[1] The Natural Foods Merchandiser – June 2003

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