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Vitafive, Harmony Hemp win DSN/ECRM Buyers’ Choice Awards

Vitafive won the Drug Store News/ECRM Buyers Choice award for its vitamin and supplement gummies during ECRM’s recent Vitamin, Weight Management & Sports Nutrition EPPS. Harmony Hemp was a finalist with its line of non-CBD hemp-based supplements.

The two companies were selected from dozens of entries in the award program, samples of which were displayed during an Innovation Hour opening reception. Buyers met with suppliers during the hour and cast their votes based on product innovation and packaging, as well as their discussions with participants.

First place winner vitafive’s goal is to provide vitamins and supplements that help enhance the five food groups, with products developed to be as delicious as they are healthy for consumers. The gummies address various health needs such as immunity, cognitive function, beauty, healthy bones, and restorative sleep, and are gluten-free, allergen-free and vegan.

The packaging is designed to be informative, exciting, and eco-friendly, focusing on the product’s key feature so the consumer knows not just what they are buying, but why they are buying it. By using pouches over bottles, the company says it uses 80 percent less plastic.

“We believe one of the reasons that we won the Buyers Choice award is because our packaging drew in buyers and the samples allowed buyers to taste the product,” said Garrett Adair, Co-Founder of vitafive. “In our minds is a huge plus because that is exactly how consumers will experience our product on shelves.”

Finalist Harmony Hemp founder Courtney Roundy began learning about CBD from his good friend whose son was experiencing positive results treating Schizophrenia with CBD. Having known his friend’s son prior to diagnosis, seeing the results firsthand was the catalyst for further research and the development of Harmony Hemp. The company has since developed several condition-specific formulations enhanced by CBD as a result of the evidential findings of this remarkable plant. With 34 years of FDM experience and existing vendor relationships among all major retailers, Roundy knew he was in a unique position to bring Harmony Hemp’s vast selection of cross-category products to a larger audience and help as many people as possible with their overall wellness.

The winning product is actually a non-CBD extension of Harmony Hemp’s condition specific, hemp supplements. Understanding the state-to-state and federal regulatory constraints and the stigma associated with CBD, Roundy knew that a staged product launch, from non-CBD to CBD products, would be ideal for the mass retail market. “By creating a family friendly, non-CBD line in addition to the CBD line, Harmony Hemp will bridge the gap national retailers have regarding CBD,” said Roundy. “By having a staged product launch from non-CBD to CBD products, we enable retailers to be first to market and have their stores become a destination which will inevitably grow the basket.”

“The two Buyers Choice award winners demonstrate just how much the VMS category is innovating,” said Judy Ard, VP of Healthcare for ECRM. “Whether it's informative and unique packaging as with vitafive, or a product which provides a non-CBD on-ramp to future CBD adoption, as with Harmony Hemp, these suppliers are thinking of tomorrow’s needs today.”
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