HEALTH

GNC directly engages pro-active consumer base through branding campaign contest

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — GNC last week launched a nationwide campaign for customers to enter their own personal health-and-wellness success stories in the "Me on GNC" photo and video contest. The competition offers $100,000 in prizes for the best photo and video submissions, with the help of the GNC online community.

“This is a celebration of the importance of the health and wellness of GNC customers — and the customer is definitely the star,” stated Tom Dowd, EVP, chief merchandising officer and general manager for GNC. “Our new campaign is all about respecting yourself by making smart, healthy choices in your life. Additionally, we’ve layered in a personalized element to the campaign with Me on GNC. This gives us the opportunity to show how respect and healthy living mean different things to different people," he said. "Everyone has their own story to tell, and we want to give them the opportunity to tell it. … GNC is always looking for inspiring people to feature in our advertising, on the web and in our stores."

Caption: Kia Borges

GNC associates and team members are participating in their own "Me on GNC" contest, the specialty retailer noted. Here are a pair of examples on YouTube: Crystal McGaha and Santos Andujar.

As part of GNC’s “Respect Yourself" multi-media branding campaign, "Me on GNC" celebrates individuals who exemplify living a healthy lifestyle. To witness the “Respect Yourself” movement first-hand, search #RespectYourself on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

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CRN signs six new members, including Reckitt Benckiser

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Monday named six new members, including Aurora Algae, Nature’s Sources, Reckitt Benckiser, Sirio Pharma, Watson and international member JJ Health.    

British conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser recently acquired Schiff Nutrition, marking the entry of a new major CPG player into the dietary supplement space. Reckitt Benckiser now markets several supplement brands including Digestive Advantage, MegaRed and Schiff Move Free. 

Aurora Algae is a producer of sustainable algae-based products for the pharmaceutical, nutrition, aquaculture and fuels markets. Nature’s Sources manufactures and distributes digestive enzymes and other dietary supplements. Sirio Pharma is a contract manufacturer in compliance. Watson helps develop products and ingredient systems for the food and dietary supplement industries, including specialized micronutrient premixes. And JJ Health is an online distributor of dietary supplements in the Chinese market.

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CRN issues marketing guidelines for caffeine-containing dietary supplement products

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition last week issued recommended guidelines for caffeine-containing dietary supplement products, expanding its self-regulatory initiatives that encourage best practices within the supplement industry. 

“These recommendations go beyond what is required by law, but our member companies, along with the conventional beverage industry, recognize that consumers would benefit by having information that lets them know how much caffeine is in the products they choose to take,” stated Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN. “This is one example of how responsible companies in our industry are taking proactive steps to educate consumers so they can make informed decisions about caffeine-containing supplements, and we trust consumers will be mindful of the amounts of caffeine they are getting from all sources.” 

According to a DSN report posted last month, a group of doctors and public health professors petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to place stronger regulations on energy drinks out of concerns of high caffeine consumption. In a letter the group noted that energy drinks are projected to reach $19.7 billion in sales this year and that, according to an FDA-commissioned study from 2010, 65% of the people consuming them are ages 13 years to 35 years. 

The new CRN guidelines focus on five core areas: disclosure of total caffeine content from both added and naturally occurring sources of caffeine; label advisories for conditions of use; serving size and daily intake recommendations; restraints against marketing in combination with alcohol; and implementation for product labels.

The guidelines call on manufacturers to disclose on the product label the total amount of caffeine, from both natural sources like green tea extract, coffee bean extract, guarana or yerba mate, as well as added caffeine. In addition to the recommendation for label disclosure of total caffeine content, the guidelines recommend that products with a total caffeine content of more than 100 mg per serving include label advisories for children, those sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women, and those with a medical condition or taking medication. 

“The guidelines are not intended to be rigid or compulsory for the industry, but rather to give firms a model of how to communicate with their consumers about these products," Mister noted. "Companies looking to do the right thing can adopt these flexible recommendations for developing their own product labels.” 

The guidelines are effective April 1, 2013, with a recommended implementation time of 12 months, allowing companies sufficient time to comply with the guidelines for new product labels put into the market.


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