Focus On: Nordic Naturals' emphasis on quality
Officials at Nordic Naturals have a pretty simple goal: to make the world’s safest, most effective nutrients essential to health.
Easy words, but a tall task for any manufacturer looking to gain a niche with a fickle and demanding consumer base, which increasingly is eager to call any company on the carpet if their products do not measure up. That is especially true in the nutrients segment, where shoppers look long and hard at products before deciding which items to purchase.
Officials at the Watsonville, Calif.-based company said that they are meeting their goal, as well as high consumer expectations, offering the trade a wide range of nutrients across a number of key segments and at a variety of price points.
Plus, they said, Nordic Naturals is staying true to its core beliefs. “We do whatever it takes to make sure that we offer consumers the best ingredients and products,” said Brian Terry, national sales manager of food/drug/mass and specialty at the company. “We offer the industry a premium product that is unique, and we will do whatever we have to do to offer high-quality nutrients that bring health benefits to as many consumers as possible.”
Nordic Naturals was founded in 1995 by Joar Opheim, who is still the company’s CEO. He saw an opportunity to market quality fish oil products in the United States after discovering on his trips from his native Norway that few options for fish oil products existed here. According to the company website, Opheim found that low-concentration fish oil was the only product available at that point. “With each trip home, he would fill an extra suitcase with bottles of his favorite fish oil to share with friends in the U.S.,” the website said. “This deep desire to share the power of pure, fresh omega-3 nutrients inspired Joar to found Nordic Naturals. It still drives the company today.”
A quarter-century later, Nordic Naturals has made a name for itself across various retail outlets, not to mention the professional segment. The company now offers roughly 150 different items, ranging from fish oil products to other nutrient products, including children’s multivitamins, vitamin B and D, LDL, probiotics and joint relief. Products are manufactured at its plants in Norway and California. The company has about 250 employees.
“We first went after the professional market and then tackled the natural market with chains like Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe and Sprouts. We have about a 50% market share in the fish oil segment in natural stores,” Terry said. “Over the last two to three years, after the success we proved in natural stores, we have expanded to food/drug/mass. We want to offer essential nutrients to everyone and not just through the natural outlets.”
He also said that some retailers, including Wegmans and Publix, carry as many as 25 to 30 SKUs of Nordic Naturals products. “We have a truly innovative assortment of products to offer our retail partners,” Terry said, noting that the company tries to keep price points for merchandise sold at mass under $30, with some priced as low as $12.99.
The future is all about finding more nutrients that can benefit from the “Nordic Naturals legacy,” Terry said. “We see the opportunity to add even more innovation to this category. Our goal is to take a product and put our unique spin on it. The result will be a better product for the consumer and more sales for our retail partners.”