“They along with their parent company, NBTY, are pretty much at the top of our list of contributors. I don’t know of anyone who has outdone them, especially in terms of their long term giving,” Kim Samm, communications director for Vitamin Angels told NutraIngredients-USA.
“They are unique because they make cash contributions to us and they also donate products.”
Two annual campaigns
Vitamin World ran its donation campaign during May and June, giving customers the chance to donate at the register. Between product donations from Vitamin World, a division of NBTY, and contributions from Vitamin World customers in stores, the company said it is on track to surpass the milestone of reaching 10 million children with essential vitamins through its partnership with Vitamin Angels.
Since 2008, Vitamin World has dedicated five months out of each year to fundraising in-store as well as on its company website spread over two annual campaigns, "Angels for Mom" and the holiday campaign.
"Our partnership with Vitamin Angels provides us with a conduit through which we can help provide wellness and health to those who are unable to access it on their own," said Vicki McGuire, senior vice president of Vitamin World.
Additionally this year, Vitamin World is donating 75 million children's chewable multivitamins, manufactured specifically to Vitamin Angels formulation and specifications to at-risk children in countries all over the world including Vietnam, Haiti, Guatemala, Nigeria, Peru and Madagascar. The contributions from Vitamin World and NBTY have also supported the expansion of Vitamin Angels' U.S. program, which will reach approximately 70,000 women and children this year.
Shift in product focus
“We’ve shifted away from taking almost any branded products (as donations). As we’ve gotten into a more evidence based technical approach, almost all of the products we accept now are directly manufactured for us,” Saam said.
“The gross majority of the work we do is with vitamin A. Hardly anybody manufactures vitamin A, so that sort of self-selects (the source of the products). With multivitamins, we concentrate on prenatal and infant formulas,” she said.
“All of our standards are based on World Health Organization and UNICEF standards. It simplifies getting the products through customs, but we also want consistency in the field. The mothers recognize the label and recognize the bottle.
“We do get companies that call us and want to give us (for example) fish oil that has almost expired. We have to redirect them to someone else or encourage them to consider a new giving model if they want to work with us,” Saam said.
In the months of October, November and December, Vitamin World will hold another campaign dedicated to raising money for Vitamin Angels by asking customers to make contributions at the register. In 2012, Vitamin World's Holiday campaign raised over $530,000 for Vitamin Angels.