NOW Foods has been present in the health food industry for a very long time. It would be fair to say that it has been a mainstay of the industry, which dates as far back as the early sixties. It was at its infancy during that time and most health foods that were available in the market were peculiar and obscure.
NOW Foods was established in 1968. In these early years the companies founder, Elwood Richard, already had some entrepreneurship experience. He put it to the test by opening a limited chain of health-related food stores in several areas of Chicago, referring to them as Health Houses. Richard named his health food stores "the Fruitful Yield."
Elwood also had a degree in physical chemistry, which gave him all the skills and experience necessary for researching the enhancement of physical performance by introducing nutritional supplements and healthy foods to one's diet. He acquired a lot of knowledge because of it and began to strongly believe that natural products were important for improving quality of life and overall health. Because of this, he laid the groundwork for pursuing his passion of health foods and nutrition.
His journey towards opening NOW Foods was not as smooth as he had imagined however, as there were a lot of obstacles and roadblocks that he had to overcome. One of the main difficulties that he faced was that customers started to abandon his stores as they believed his prices to be too high. It made him realise that it was important to offer natural products at affordable prices if his store was to survive but also thrive.
This realisation that his natural health foods business wouldn’t last long if people could not afford to buy them, led him to come up with a plan to start a natural product manufacturing company of his own. By doing this, he would be able to supply the manufactured products to his stores, and also have total control over the quality and cost of the products. Hence, his dream of starting NOW Foods came to fruition.
The Richard family still owns the company. Their brand has become one of the most recognised in the natural products and food industry. The line of products that NOW Food has is very extensive, giving customers a long list of things to choose from. Elwood's original vision for the company is still how NOW Foods is run to this day, and there seems to be no indication that it will change any time soon. All the products the company produces are of high quality, affordable, and meet the needs of all health-conscious people.
The strength of the business prompted Richard to expand the company's operations by relocating to an area of about 7000 sq ft after ten years. Richard also trained his son to be an important part of the company, and by 1985, he joined NOW Foods making catalogs and upgrading the company's labels. The company again relocated in 1988 to a facility of 12,000 sq ft in Glendale Heights, Illinois.
David Richard, who was the founders' eldest son, launched the international division of the company around 1991. Because of the international division, the company expanded even more, which again led them to relocate to a facility of more than 203,000 sq ft. The facility was state of the art and perfect for mass manufacturing the in-demand products of the company.
Following are the categories of products that NOW Foods offers:
Health and Beauty
The people working at NOW Foods are sticklers for quality. They work tirelessly to scrutinise every product batch to make sure each one is up to the high standards of the company.
This level of attention to detail and dedication won the comapny a Vity Award in 1999. It also received a GMP certification from NNFA (now known as NPA). They gave NOW Foods a rating of A as well as the certification for organic manufacturing. NOW Foods also acquired a company known as PureSource and merged to incorporate and improve its products into their brand.
The professionals working at Now Foods make sure that every product the company manufactures is tested in their own in house laboratory, for which they’ve bought a separate space. They included a RiboPrinter in their lab to make sure that all probiotic strains are verified. Because of these efforts, the company received the award for Manufacturer of the Year from the executive magazine of the Nutrition Industry. The Journal of Nutritional Business also praised NOW Foods for taking educational initiatives and making efforts on the industry’s behalf.
The company took its quality maintenance standards to the next level in the 2000s as it introduced an ICP MS machine for thorough heavy metal testing. The underwriter's laboratory provided a certification to the company that further legitimised their products and manufacturing process. The company’s sports-related products were also getting recognised by the public, for which NOW Sports got an Informed Sports Choice certification.
NOW Foods continues to make the top of the line products that are sold worldwide and distributed from their shipping facility in Nevada. In 2018, the year of the company’s fiftieth anniversary, NOW Foods introduced a new design label for NOW Sports.
The company has also made contributions to other high profile industry names like Vitamin Angels, who recognize NOW to be founding supporters due to the company’s continuous support for over two decades. The company’s founder Elwood Richard was given a visionary award at the natural products Expo due to his groundbreaking discoveries in the natural foods and product world.
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