US functional food supplier Whole Living is aiming to expand its direct selling initiative, the 'Food First Program', in Europe, launching first in the UK as a test market.
The company, which operates through its subsidiary The Brain Garden, introduced Food First in the US in March. The initiative sees distributors, certified as 'Food First Facilitators', offering consumers education on nutrition and a free ten-day supply of the Brain Garden products, including wholefoods and the core product Pulse, a supplement aimed at those with poor diets. The company says it gains client loyalty from the free samples and the educational support, which also comes online.
Whole Living said that although it had previously announced the expansion of its operations into Europe, until now it had been financially unable to take this step. Food First will allow the company to deliver its products, message and concept to foreign markets.
Thirty participants in the United Kingdom have been selected as part of the initial test market, and if successful, they will be trained as facilitators and distribute The Brain Garden products throughout the UK. Whole Living said it also plans to integrate a manufacturing, fulfillment and call center in the UK to support European operations.
Brain Garden president Doug Burdick said: "This is the next logical step for the company's expansion into not only Europe, but creates the footprint to allow this company to launch worldwide."
He added that the United Kingdom is the eighth largest direct sales market worldwide with sales of $2.024 billion, according to the World Federation of Direct Selling Association.
"We will be the only primary nutrition company operating in this market. We will use the initial test data to aggressively move throughout Europe fueling our future growth," said Burdick.