Natrol promises quality investment

Related tags Marketing

Supplement maker Natrol said this week that it will invest further
in better product development and quality assurance to meet growing
consumer demand for higher standards.

A product development laboratory and pilot plant expansion will be completed in mid-2004 to accommodate new product growth plans for Natrol and its subsidiaries, revealed the firm, which has annual revenues of around $70 million.

"Our sense is that the public will continue to demand higher standards for all nutritional suppliers,"​ said Natrol chairman and president Elliott Balbert.

Natrol is currently aiming to refocus on its core vitamin and supplement business, selling off its new multi-level marketing business Annasa in December and direct marketing group Tamsol previously because they 'could not operate effectively under our umbrella'.

It now plans to concentrate on developing value-added products for a variety of distribution networks, including health-food stores, catalogs, drug stores and mass merchandisers.

The Californian firm has added five new members to its product development staff in recent months and has also recruited Dr Forouz Ertl, with previous US Pharmacopeia experience, as vice president of Quality Assurance and Quality Control.

"During the next year we will nearly triple the size of our lab facilities with appropriate increases in staff to support the expansion,"​ Balbert said.

Natrol's Prolab Sports Nutrition division has recently launched a new line of five weight control and fitness products products in conjunction with BodyShaping, the morning fitness show on ESPN2. The supplements will be sold through QVC on-air sales from next week.

The new products should fill the hole left by ephedra, marketed by Prolab until early last year.

Natrol reported a 4 per cent rise in sales for the first nine months of 2003 over the previous year (to $55.8 million) but it has so far failed to make a profit on sales, recording a -$1.2million operating deficit. Its cash pile has also significantly declined from $10.1 million last year to just $2 million in by the third quarter 2003.

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