2008 marks NOW's 40th year in business, and as it turns out, this has been a truly remarkable year for the entire organization. Throughout the year, NOW has been honored for product excellence, brand diversity, export achievement, environmental efforts, industry support, social responsibility, leadership, and employee/workplace relations. Just when it appeared as if things couldn't get any better, Vitamin Retail Magazine announced that they had named NOW Foods as their 2008 Manufacturer of the Year.
According to the magazine's editorial staff, a wide range of factors were taken into consideration to determine the most deserving winner of their highest honor. They seek to honor companies that stand out in such key areas as quality, leadership, science, innovation, and dedication to the retailers and industry as a whole. "NOW is a friend of the retailer," said Kate Quackenbush, Vitamin Retailer's Editor-in-Chief. She added, "NOW's excellence is evident from its business practices to its products, to its unwavering support of the industry."
While NOW has received many awards over the years, 2008 has been exceptional on all fronts. A surge of recent accomplishments played a key role in NOW's reception of this prestigious award. In June, NOW was a landslide winner in Vitamin Retailer's 2008 Vity Awards. This award recognizes the best-selling products in a wide range of categories, and are determined exclusively by health food retailer votes. NOW dominated the show this year with an unprecedented 18 awards, demonstrating their popularity among retailers. Just three months earlier, NOW received top honors during Whole Foods Magazine's "Natural Choice" awards, being name "Best Full Line of Supplements."
NOW is unquestionably a company that stands behind their retailers. Last year, the company launched NOW University- a free online training program designed to help educate retailers on nutrition, wellness, and today's most popular and effective dietary supplements. Retailers are openly invited to participate in one of their monthly tours to gauge a better perspective of how committed they are to product quality. NOW also provides an extensive selection of retailer tools, order forms, displays, shelf talkers, and literature. The company's annual Open House gives retailers the opportunity to meet the staff, discuss the industry, and enjoy presentations from some of the industry's most well-respected experts. Howard Schiffer, founder and president of Vitamin Angels, was a key presenter at NOW's 2008 open house. "NOW is one of the most authentic companies in the Natural Products industry, they walk the walk," said Schiffer who added, "Their commitment to making the world a healthier place rings true at every level of their organization."
Another determining factor was NOW's ongoing dedication to the Natural Product Industry. In July, NOW's Nutrition Education Manager, Neil Levin, was presented the Natural Products Association 2008 Industry Champion Award in Las Vegas. NOW was named a "Corporate Hero" in the Better World Guide to Living, a book that recognizes companies committed to social & environmental sustainability. On a more global scale, President George Bush and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez presented NOW International with the Presidential "E" Award for Excellence in Exporting. Created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, this is the highest honor that the federal government can give to any American company or organization that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports.
NOW's steadfast commitment to the environment has been recognized on many occasions, and 2008 was no exception. Earlier in the year, NOW was awarded the "Air Pollution Reduction" award by Clean Air Counts, an organization that strives to reduce air pollution and environmental toxicity levels. In years past NOW was named the first for-profit business in DuPage country to receive the Earth Flag for Business. All employees receive environmental awareness training, and regularly volunteer at scheduled Forest Preserve Clean-up days. Incredibly, NOW has reduced overall waste by 50%, despite having doubled sales and expanded their manufacturing and testing facilities significantly over the past decade. Each year NOW recycles more than it throws away.
"Our vision is to be the leading global supplier of natural foods and supplements sold in the natural foods channel," said Al Powers, NOW President. "None of this would have been possible without a committed and dedicated team of people working together to make a difference."