Franchise News Release: Pittsburth, PA - (Dec-12-2001)


GNC Announces Expansion of Animal-Free Products


General Nutrition Centers, the largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, is expanding its vegetarian line to provide a wider selection of animal-free products for vegetarian-conscious consumers.

The expansion will bring GNC's total herbal and nutritional vegetarian supplements to over 100. A national print advertising campaign will be launched in March to raise awareness of GNC's new vegetarian symbol that will help consumers more easily identify these supplements.

"We're continuing to expand our vegetarian offerings because we recognize that many vegetarians rely on supplements to maintain a healthy diet, and we want to give them a one-stop shop with a wide selection to meet their individual health needs," said Karla Willman, GNC's Vice President of Public Relations and Communications. "Consumers who are looking specifically for vegetarian products can feel confident that they are getting supplements that are guaranteed to be 100 percent animal free, with the highest-quality ingredients."

Over the past decade, the numbers of vegetarian-friendly consumers in the U.S. has skyrocketed. There are 12.4 million self-identified vegetarians in the U.S. (Vegetarian Times, 2001) and an estimated 57% o the population sometimes, often, or always orders a vegetarian item when dining out (The Vegetarian Resource Group, 1999 poll).

GNC's products in its vegetarian line enhance its Preventive Nutrition® brand of body specific formulas designed to provide maximum nutritional benefit. The initial 14 new vegetarian products, expected on the shelves in January, include PN Bone Formula, supplying 800 mg of the patented ingredient calcium citrate malate (CCM), which has been found to be more bioavailable than an ordinary calcium supplement. Additional new vegetarian products include PN Cardioflow™, designed to support a healthy cardiovascular system; PN Cartila™, designed for healthy joint function; PN Liver Formula, designed to support healthy liver function; and PN Ocular, which provides dietary support for eye health.

GNC's animal-free supplements include vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, zinc, and multivitamins, as well as a new line of vegetarian herbal products, such as milk thistle, cranberry and echinacea that balances the entire vegetarian line.

Strict vegetarians, who completely avoid animal products, may be at risk for several nutrient deficiencies. Many experts agree that vegetarians may need to supplement their diets with vitamins and minerals, such as:

-- Calcium -- commonly found in dairy products can help to maintain bone health and may reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.

-- Vitamin B12 -- present only in animal-based foods and a limited number of specially fortified foods.

-- Riboflavin, vitamin D, zinc and iron - other essential nutrients found in animal products that many vegetarians may not be getting sufficient amounts of in their diet.

General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 5,300 retail outlets throughout the United States, including 1,360 domestic Franchise locations, and 26 foreign markets including Canada and Mexico. GNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Numico N.V., a worldwide market leader in specialized nutrition that includes infant and clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, Royal Numico's operations include manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries and research facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., China, Australia and the USA.




 






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