Usana Health Sciences: Making a Difference
Usana Health Sciences, Inc. is a popular multi-level marketing company in Utah, which is responsible for an entire line of nutritional products and dietary supplements. Usana products, majority of which are produced at the company’s facility in West Valley City, are available in more than 20 countries through a network of “associates” or independent distributors. Usana positions itself in the market as a personalized brand of health products that allows consumers to think about their personal life choices, and how everyday behaviors can influence their general quality of life.
Usana was a brainchild of immunologist and microbiologist, Myron Wentz. The company’s products can only be purchased from distributors or by direct order and are not available via retail channels.
There are three major product lines under Usana, including Nutritionals (nutrition essentials), Usana Diet & Energy (weight control), and Sens? personal care (skin and beauty). Ninety-percent of Usana products are manufactured in-house.
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Some Usana Nutritionals products are listed on Australia’s Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Products are generally label accuracy-certified by NSF International and categorized as “Dietary Supplements.”
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In 2011, Usana Essentials was tested by ConsumerLab.com, which reviewed 38 leading multivitamin/multimineral products in sold in America and Canada.
The company passed the test, which was based on particular index elements, the solubility of the products according to U.S. Pharmacopeia requirements, lead contamination limits (based on California Proposition 65), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements on labeling.
Usana products are sold chiefly through non-employee “associates” or distributors and online. Associates get their income from commissions, both from their own selling and that of their “downlines” (new distributors they have recruited). The company’s compensation plans assigns commissionable “points” for sales volume. Before they can start selling, distributors are made to sign an agreement banning them from making health claims to sell Usana products, and from making misleading claims about the income they make from their sales.
Usana has provided sponsorships to a long list of athletic organization through its “Athlete Guarantee Program.” The program selects athletes for sponsorship, and should any of them test positive for banned substances because of taking Usana products, the company will compensate them up to twice their annual income up to $1M.
Usana also partnered with the WTA tour in a co-sponsorship agreement in 2006, which was extended in 2011. The 2011 agreement includes Usana giving $1 to the Children’s Hunger Fund with every ace that would be scored at a WTA tournament, right from Wimbledon to the end of the season.
In 2003, Usana name-sponsored the 20,000-seating USANA Ampitheatre, an outdoor ampitheatre in West Valley City, Utah. United Concerts announced in 2012 it would continue naming rights partnership with the company through March 2018.