Michael Ruehle, founder of the Chicago-based company, said demographic shifts will broaden the market for products that support consumers attempts to manage their blood pressure naturally.
“The proportion of the population with high blood pressue is about 30% and some experts are looking for it ti to increase to about 45%. That includes people whose blood pressure spikes only occasionally and peolep who are borderline hypertensive. That’s where I see this as a benefit, to aid in that transition where people are that includes people who are trying to manage their condition with dietary and lifestyle changes. That’s where I am seeing a hole in the market,” Ruehle told NutraIngredients-USA.
The Centers for Disease Control says about 67 million Americans have high blood pressure but only about 1 in 3 of those have their condition under control. In addition, CDC says than an additional 30% of the population exhibits prehypertension.
Family history of hypertension
But he said hypertension respects no national boundaries, and personal experience led to the formulation of the company’s signature product, Rosellica, a blend of hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) with cranberry, elderberry, hawthorn berry and other ingredients.
“My wife’s family is from Jamaica and they drank an infusion of hisbiscus in the form of a tea to manager their blood pressure. But when discussing this with my wife, who is a marketing executive, she said it is going to be very difficult to get Americans to drink enough of the infusion for it ot be effective,” Ruehle told NutraIngredients-USA.
Ruehle said in the traditional preparation, the raw material is boiled for about 30 minutes and then strained. Members of his wife’s family were drinking about 16 ounces of the bitter result. That’s what led him to capsule formulation.
Ruehle said the company has been a slow-but steady growth curve. The company has pursued a strategy of online order fulfilment, and has just added Amazon as a servicer. Clearing the bar for brick-and-mortar distribution was too difficult to start, he said.
“I found that the barriers to entry in the herbal market are pretty high for a single product company. Retailers and distributors seem to want to see a range of products. I don’t want to produce a whole bunch of stuff, although we do have a follow-on product in development,” Ruehle said.