The $ 5 billion Chemist Warehouse chain is looking to expand further into the booming health sector after backing the launch of a new vitamin company being promoted by six – times world champion female surfer Stephanie Gilmour.
Gilmour has become the brand ambassador of The National Vitamin Company, co founded by Melbourne entrepreneur Sam Schachna, who previously ran one of Australia’s biggest privately owned food marketing and distribution businesses, Menora Foods.
Menora which distributed brands such as Peckish rice snacks was sold in March 2015 to Filipino food powerhouse Monde Nissan Corporation. Mr Schachna has since established his own organics food company known as Simple Foods whose brands include Tribe Organics and Pana Chocolate, and he has now launched The Natural Vitamin Company with the support of Chemist Warehouse co – founder and chairman Jack Gance.
It’s products are sold exclusively in-store and online at Chemist Warehouse, the largest retailer of vitamins in Australia. Chemist Warehouse sells almost $1billion worth of vitamins a year and exports $300 million worth of vitamins to China.
Many of the vitamins currently available in the Australian market have been made from synthetic materials and have gone through chemical processing. The organic product is slightly more expensive but we have worked on the price and have made it available at a more affordable level.
Mr Gance who was ranked at 93 on this year’s Australian Rich List with a wealth of $813 million said the initial success of The Natural Vitamin Company product, which has been on the shelves for two weeks, has been pretty good. It has been above expectations and above budget so we are very happy with it. The good thing about it is that people have a pleasant, positive attitude towards it and say Hey, this is something that we should have had some time ago, he said.
A lot of people have pseudo organic and natural products where they are pretend. We went through and checked this out and this is really truly natural all the way through. We hope to expand the range, depending upon it’s success into different areas as well.
Sam Schachna executive director of The Natural Vitamin Company said the company’s mantra was from the garden, not the lab, and that it’s vitamins were made from organic fruit and vegetables such as organic kale, organic holy basil extract and organic lemon extract.
He said the company was now looking to move into children’s vitamin products. The next line of innovation we are working closely with Chemist Warehouse is a children’s range he said. We are also looking at other formats as well. Tablets are not necessarily for everyone. We are going into powders. With our proprietary blend, if we are able to put it into a variety of products as an ingredient, that gives us other applications.