Schwabe Nature’s Way is aiming to breathe new life into the VMS category by adding an innovative range of premium soft jells to its popular Alive! portfolio.
Founded in 1968, Nature’s Way produces a wide range of quality food supplements in the US worth around $1 billion a year, including Alive! which is one of the fastest growing multi-vitamin brands in America.
On the strength of US market success Alive! entered the UK in January of this year with a range of well-received multi-vitamin and mineral once-daily tablets.
Launching into the health food trade this month is the brand new Nature’s Way Alive! soft jell range, specially formulated for the UK market by leading clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer. The range offers 100% NRVs, and the EU-legislation compliant formulation is also more bioavailabile (two soft jells daily, compared to three gummies daily with the US version).
The range comes in five variants – Women’s Energy, Men’s Energy, Women’s 50+, Children’s and Immune Support – and contains an exclusive blend of 26 fruits and vegetables. The range is also made with pectin for a superior mouth texture and popular taste profile (again tweaked for the UK and European markets), featuring only natural flavours.
Paul Kerry, managing director at Schwabe Nature’s Way, told NPN: “We have specifically developed the range in conjunction with our specialist retail customers who are looking for premium priced vitamin range in a unique format. Since the tablet range was launched at the beginning of the year it has been driving incremental sales for retailers here and helping to create excitement in the category and drive growth.”
“We have specifically developed the range in conjunction with our specialist retail customers who are looking for premium priced vitamin range in a unique format”
Kerry says that the tightly edited range of five products manages to offer nutritional support for all stages of life, as well as a special immune support variant for both children and adults for the winter season.
The Alive! range, which has undergone extensive consumer and retailer testing in the UK, has been received well by the health food trade, he says. “That very much extends to the pack designs, which were presented to 3,000 consumers. I think our initial feeling was that it was a bit too brash and might not translate well to the UK market. But the feedback we got suggested the opposite. Consumers told us it is friendly and accessible, while retailers say it has real stand-out appeal, and look different to anything else on the shelves.”
“Consumers told us it is friendly and accessible, while retailers say it has real stand-out appeal, and look different to anything else on the shelves”
The Alive! soft jell range is receiving a hefty £600,000 worth of marketing backing, including print advertising, social media activity, PR & blogger support and POS.
Commenting on future developments, Kerry says: “Nature’s Way has over 1,500 products and a massive NPD programme, rolling out 20 to 30 new products each quater. It gives us an incredible NPD ‘kitchen’ to pick from – so we can look for lines that offer a real point of difference over products currently in the UK health food channel. I really do think it’s exciting for the UK trade. The multi-vitamin sector is flat, and the trade is looking for innovation that will bring on board new users, not just create switchers. We’re confident the Alive! soft jells will do that.”
• Schwabe Nature’s Way is a recently formed partnership between Nature’s Way and herbal medicine specialist Schwabe Pharma UK.