NOWFoods Immersion Session & Unbelievable Giveaway
By Ryan Light, Running/Anxiety Coach
I had the good fortune to be selected by NOWFoods to be part of a wonderful 2 day #NOWGetFit Immersion event a few weeks ago. I assumed that during this event we would learn more about NOWFoods – their products, facilities, testing procedures, etc…you know the boring stuff. How I was shocked! Yes, we learned about their products, facilities, and testing procedures, however I was not expecting their passion, care, service and mission as it relates to us their consumers. I have to be honest, I was absolutely blown away by what I saw as they live out their CORE values, “Since 1968 NOW’s mission has been to provide value in products that empower healthier lives, and this mission is summed up in our company’s core values.”
When I heard about the opportunity to to visit NOWFoods I was super excited as I have been using the NOW brand over over 10 years. I was turned onto the brand from a friend of mine that was a health nut, but to be honest, broke. He would tell me, “If I could only find a health company that had great quality at affordable prices.” I remember him being so excited when he came across NOWFoods. He told me that he had done the research and found that NOWFoods had some of the best quality products for the money. After doing some of my own research and using a few of their products I was sold. After visiting them for the #NOWGetFit immersion event, I’ll be a customer for life.
Most that know me know that I hate to fly, so much so that I have to take something to calm me down. In fact- this was why I started to use NOWFoods. Some of their products help ease my tension, especially when I fly. I flew out on a late Thursday morning. I was shocked to get through the Atlanta security and at my gate within 15 mins of arriving at the airport. This obviously put me in a great mood, and eased my tension. I arrived at Chicago 2 hrs later, where I met some other folks attending the event. NOWFoods had a car waiting to pick us up – First Class! We were staying at the beautiful Eaglewood Resort, in Itasca, IL.
We were met by NOWFoods reps when we got our room keys, and had a few hours before the festivities began. When opening up my room, I was welcomed with this incredible amount of products – it was so generous and wasn’t expecting that whatsoever.
NOWFoods took us out to dinner to meet some of their employees. I was expecting, you know the PR guy, the social media gal, and someone from maybe middle management. Nope, again blown away, the CEO, the who was the nicest man, social media and public relations ladies, who were again, some of the nicest, down-to-earth people, and last but not least one of the owners- Yes! The owners of the company, who actually sat at our dinner table! We had the best conversation about the company. The CEO, Jim Emme explained to us some of the history, present, and future plans for the NOWFoods brand. What I found to be amazing was that he spent about 5 mins talking about the company and spent about 20 mins talking about his people – NOWFoods employees. His passion and thoughtfulness for his people showed the care that he has for them. He also talked about us, the consumer and how their brand always strives to meet the needs of their consumers with the best possible price without cutting the quality. For someone that has been in the corporate world for almost 20 yrs, it was refreshing to hear a CEO talk about his employees, brand, and customers is such a way.
Here where some of the real fun begins! We started out with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. Where we were lead by a Eaglewood Resort trainer on various exercises. I got a real sweat on. After which we were delighted to receive a NOWFoods protein/recovery shake which was made up of a number of NOWFoods products. Next on the agenda was a outstanding presentation from Tina Tews on the NOWFoods extended line – beauty & health along with essential oils. She not only went through the line of products, but backed up the brands research, testing, and innovations in these spaces. To see the presentation please link here – Fitfluential Bloggers 2017. I didn’t realize, even after using their supplements for 10 years that they have a long list of these types of products – I was blown away. We also did a DIY kit using a number of their newly released essential oils. I of course made an oil for sports recovery mixture.
The Facility (Where the Magic Happens)
After the HIIT workout and a light breakfast, we were off to visit the facility where the magic happens. At first glance there is nothing magical about it. It looks like a regular old building with the NOW sign hanging off the side. We entered a room where we were greeted by the NOW team– including some of their scientists, back office folks, and of course their CEO (again shocked). Some of the scientists gave us a short presentation on the company, their founding, the mission, their purpose, and testing standards. Interesting enough I was actually listening and felt very engaged in the presentation. You know how some of that stuff goes, why we are the best, why everyone needs to use us, blah, blah, blah. But it was nothing like that.They simply shared with us the background of the NOW brand.
After the presentation, we started on our tour of the facility wearing our smocks and goggles. I felt like a real “scientist”, but the smocks were that jail color orange, not that pretty starchy [doctor office] white. We were off on the tour. The very first thing I noticed was the CLEAN air I was taking in. I felt as though I back in Seattle climbing Mount Rainier.The air was crisp, dry, and clean. As we walked through the intake (where the packages come in) I noticed the cleanliness- no dust, open boxes, no garbage at all. Again, I was amazed at their standards. Even their intake was quite impressive.
Next up, we visited the processing section of the facility. In this section they have various rooms where they are mixing the multiple elements to make up their product. The rooms are air tight and very controlled. Each room had numerous people sampling through quality control tests to ensure what NOW puts on the label is actually in the product. After each change in product, the room is cleaned thoroughly, to guarantee no cross contamination within their products. We continued on, passing the mixture rooms where processing, packing, labeling, and boxing happens. The system is mostly automated; however, there are a few individuals that oversee the conveyor system process and they do random sampling on bottles. One thing that blew me away was when we were walking around, Jim the CEO knew everyone’s name. He would stop, say” Hello”, ask how they were, and made sure they were doing OK. What a testament to not only him, but his employees and the company as a whole. Sorry, back to the tour….At the time we were visiting, cinnamon was being packaged and through every step you could see tests, validation, checks, and sampling being done – amazing!
Our next stop on the tour was the with the scientist – in the “Lab”. Here we learned the various testing mechanisms and the quality control measures in which the NOW brand takes to make certain they are providing the best quality products. They have various labs from food, health & beauty to supplements.
After the tour is was on to to lunch and the main office. Here we learned about the NOW Sports vertical. As I already noted I have been taking their products for some time so I was quite familiar with a lot of their sports products. However, I came to find out they they have a wide selection of sports related supplements, protein powders, and foods. Their line of sports nutrition has grown over the years, and there were many I didn’t know they carried – I look forward to trying and using many of these products. Here is more information on their sport line – 2017 Sports OpenHouse.approval FDA
Last but not least we headed to the Chef’s Kitchen where we got to taste the wide selection of NOWFoods nuts, oils and ready made soups. I must admit after lunch I wasn’t that hungry, but after smelling these soups and oils, I justcouldn’t help myself – they were delicious!
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