Nature’s Sunshine: A Simple Idea That Turned into an International Business
This April marks the 45th anniversary for Nature’s Sunshine Products, a leading natural health and wellness company and great home based business. It was founded by the Hughes family in 1972 as a small, family-run company and has grown into a multi-brand, multi-channel international business with hundreds of thousands of independent distributors across the globe.
Nature’s Sunshine began when Gene Hughes took capsicum (cayenne pepper) by the spoonful as an herbal remedy for a nagging stomach condition. He felt better and tried to get his wife to take it, but she insisted on taking it in a capsule. Upon discovering that no one offered encapsulated herbal products, the Hugheses revolutionized the supplement industry with easy-to-take, encapsulated herbal supplements. This simple innovation has helped shape the modern supplement industry.
“IT WAS SUCH A SIMPLE IDEA, BUT AT THE TIME, NO ONE WAS DOING IT. WE WENT TO THE HEALTH FOOD STORE AND THEY HAD RAW, POWDERED CAYENNE PEPPER, AND RIGHT NEXT TO IT THEY HAD A BIG BOX OF GELATIN CAPSULES. YOU COULDN’T HELP BUT ASK, ‘WHY AREN’T THEY TOGETHER?’”
Nature’s Sunshine co-founder, Kristine Hughes
The Hugheses began by encapsulating herbs by hand around their kitchen table, but they soon discovered that they couldn’t keep up with the demand for encapsulated herbs. Committed to the principles of quality, service and integrity, the Hugheses determined that Nature’s Sunshine would manufacture only the finest supplements on the market. The Hugheses established Quality Control labs and testing procedures and demanded that only the highest quality ingredients would be used in their products. Today with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certifications from NSF International and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, the company has built a reputation for offering the highest quality supplements in the industry.
“Nature’s Sunshine has grown and maintained its relevance because of its commitment to its core values of innovation, quality, service, integrity and community,” says Gregory L. Probert, Chairman and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine. “These principles guide everything we do as we strive to become the world’s premier health, wellness and lifestyle company.”
The innovative spirit that helped found Nature’s Sunshine in 1972 lives on today through the Hughes Center for Research and Innovation. Named for company founders, the Hughes Center opened in 2015 and houses a cutting-edge research laboratory dedicated to improving our understanding of how nutritional supplements work within the body.
“FOR US, QUALITY IS NOT JUST A WORD, IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT IN OUR PRODUCTS AND IN OUR SUCCESS. QUALITY IS HOW WE EXPRESS CARE AND RESPECT FOR OUR PARTNERS AND CUSTOMERS AROUND THE WORLD.”
Co-founder, Gene Hughes
Located in Nature’s Sunshine’s corporate headquarters, it employs multiple PhD scientists, researchers and a medical professional who work to discover synergistic combinations of natural ingredients with powerful health benefits. With a focus on metabolic health and function, these individuals work together with Nature’s Sunshine’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board to drive innovation and develop unique, proprietary formulations.
Nature’s Sunshine’s innovations extend beyond the Hughes Center to its international business operations. In 2014 the company entered into a unique joint venture with Fosun Pharma, a leading healthcare company in the People’s Republic of China. The joint venture was the first of its kind between a U.S. company and a Chinese company for direct selling products in China. Known as Nature’s Sunshine Hong Kong Limited, the joint venture has established offices in Shanghai. China is home to the world’s second-largest direct-selling market, and the supplement industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the Chinese economy.
“When you think of all the companies in the world today, very few can say they’ve been in business for 45 years,” says Probert. “Such longevity doesn’t happen by chance. From our founders to our products and from our employees to our distributors and customers, Nature’s Sunshine is truly a remarkable company, and we look forward to sharing health, wellness and prosperity with the world for many more years to come.”