HEALTH

Nature’s Bounty named a Long Island Business News Corporate Citizen of the Year

BY Michael Johnsen

RONKONKOMA, N.Y. — Nature’s Bounty on Thursday announced it is the recipient of the Long Island Business News Corporate Citizen of the Year Award.

Nominated by the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Nature's Bounty was selected as a member of the 2017 class of Corporate Citizenship honorees. The award recognizes the significant contributions companies and individuals make to better the economic and social well-being of the Long Island community. Nature's Bounty was honored in the Corporate Citizen of the Year, Large Business category.

"The Corporate Citizenship Awards recognize companies and individuals who believe that by being a good corporate citizen they contribute to the economic and social well-being of their employees, businesses and the community," said Scott Schoen, publisher of the Long Island Business News. "Honorees consistently prove that true community stewardship evolves through building strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations and others that strive to meet the critical needs of our community."

"We could not be more honored or proud to have received this award," said Beverly Lee-Wo, director corporate social responsibility at The Nature's Bounty Co. "There are so many people in our local communities who need a hand, and there are so many charitable organizations doing amazing work to help them. We remain committed to spreading wellness however we can, including through our charitable partnerships. We extend our thanks to The Girl Scouts of Suffolk County for nominating us, and the Long Island Business News for selecting us to receive this award."

"The Nature's Bounty Co., its 501C3 Nature's Bounty Foundation and its volunteers, consistently and thoughtfully give back to the local Long Island community in so many ways," said Mary Garrote from Girl Scouts of Suffolk County. "We, and I'm sure many other charitable organizations, are thankful for their selfless commitment and their contributions to bettering the lives of people on Long Island."

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HEALTH

Redefining the brick-and-mortar experience

BY Michael Johnsen

The Vitamin Shoppe for the past year has been steadily redefining the brick-and-mortar experience for natural health shoppers via its latest store prototype, the Brand Defining Store, currently in nine locations with another five to open soon. “We’re always looking for innovative ways to enhance our customer’s wellness journey, and our BDS stores are one of many examples of how we’re increasing consumer engagement and improving the customer experience overall,” Jason Reiser, The Vitamin Shoppe’s COO, told Drug Store News.

“Aesthetically, the stores are simplified and are easier to navigate, [with] elements that encourage our customers to linger longer and engage with our [in-store] health enthusiast,” he said. “Some of these elements include our sports nutrition and protein sampling station, and Kombucha Bar that encourage customers to try before they buy.”

It’s working. According to Reiser, The Vitamin Shoppe is attracting three times the number of first-time customers through its doors, they are spending two times longer in the store during their visit and 91% of them said they would recommend it to friends and family. The learnings from these stores, such as the sampling stations, are scalable across the entire footprint of The Vitamin Shoppe. “While we are planning broader national expansion of our BDS stores in 2018, we intend to capitalize on several key successful elements from these stores immediately,” Colin Watts, CEO of TheVitamin Shoppe, told analysts during the company’s latest first-quarter conference call.

That’s good news for one of the more significant players in the health-and-wellness space. As more consumers shop mass or online, whether it’s for value or convenience such specialty retailers as The Vitamin Shoppe are fighting to retain those fitness-bound shopping trips.

For the New Jersey-based retailer, a greater emphasis on own brand sports nutrition supplements may be the additional value-add component to keep those shoppers in-store. There is certainly significant opportunity, Reiser told DSN. “We focus a lot of innovation effort on our six differentiated brands, bringing shoppers solutions they can feel confident [that] will meet their needs. In doing so, we better earn their trust, and are better able to keep their loyalty with The Vitamin Shoppe.”

(Click here to view the full Special Report: Weight management, sports nutrition and vitamin)

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HEALTH

Probiotics are ringing the register

BY Michael Johnsen

Probiotics are one of the better-selling categories within the VMS space, as evidenced by the number of growing probiotic brands on the top 10 mineral supplement brand chart, which is where IRI captures many of the probiotic SKUs. While market-leading mineral supplement brands Nature Made and Nature’s Bounty certainly include probiotics, i-Health’s Culturelle brand is the best-selling pure-play probiotic brand with $123.1 million in sales on 8.9% growth across total U.S. multi-outlets, according to IRI.

According to i-Health market intelligence, more and more consumers are researching probiotics online and are coming to the store with a specific brand in mind. In fact, as many as half of consumers know the brand they plan to purchase before walking through the doors, and most of them are going to the digestive aisle in search of their probiotic of choice.

“Consumers are becoming more savvy and are looking for specific probiotics [strains],” Michael Bush, president and CEO of Ganenden, told Drug Store News. Not all probiotic strains are created equal, he added, as some strains are better at improving immunity health, for example, while others are better at resupplying the gut flora to reduce adverse side effects associated with antibiotics, such as diarrhea.

According to Ganenden, which licenses the branded probiotic GanedenBC30 to food manufacturers, 70% of consumers are aware of probiotics, and 54% are willing to pay more to trade up for a food or beverage containing a probiotic. “The mom buyer is typically buying for the immune benefits of a probiotic,” Bush said. “The probiotic industry is working together to help consumers understand it’s all about the strain.”

(Click here to view the full Special Report: Weight management, sports nutrition and vitamin)

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