How does the supplements industry deal with credibility bashing?


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The New York Attorney General’s investigation has led to attacks on the industry by the mainstream media, so how does the industry deal with the credibility bashing?

NutraIngredients-USA caught up with George Pontiakos, CEO of BI Nutraceuticals, and Jeff Hilton, CMO of BrandHive, at the recent IFT Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago to get some answers.

“We’re a $36 billion industry, we’re global, and we’re asking the consumer to trust us, and the drama and reaction out of the industry was to challenge the veracity of the test methodology. I thought it was embarrassing,”​ said Pontiakos.

“The fact that this industry has a significant component in it that is price driven is infecting the rest of us with poor product and a poor reputation.”

“We did some focus groups with moderate supplement consumers, and the curiosity about whether the products make a difference, or concerns about the quality, and I think the NY AG affair exacerbates those kind of questions, but I think those concerns were already there,” ​said Hilton.

“I think the awareness that has been raised allows the legitimate manufacturers to tell their story and consumers will pay a little more attention to that,” ​added Hilton.

“The good companies, the marquee companies, have always been way ahead of this,” ​said Pontiakos. “If you cannot protect your receiving dock then you cannot support your organization. The integrity leaders in this industry have been doing that for many years.”

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