Health E-Insights: What is Unigen’s competitive advantage?
Ms. Schneider: Unlike a commodity ingredient supplier, Unigen produces proprietary, patented, clinically proven natural product active ingredients for the dietary supplement, functional food, cosmetic, medical food and botanical drug markets.
Health E-Insights: What are the top two metrics to which your company pays the closest attention?
Ms. Schneider: Outside of the typically top-line and bottom-line growth one is customer acquisition measured by licensing and supply deals and two, completed clinical trials measured by publications in leading peer-reviewed journals and/or presentations at high profile scientific conferences.
Health E-Insights: What words come to mind when you think of your brand(s)?
Ms. Schneider: Clinically proven and proprietary naturals.
Health E-Insights: What do you feel is the future of dietary supplements?
Ms. Schneider: With the ever-increasing aging baby boomer population any business associated with healthcare, directly or indirectly, has a strong growth future. Boomers are fighting the aging process every step of the way. They are much more educated, and self-directed, than their parents when it comes to their own personal healthcare. They are also more likely to challenge traditional physician-based approaches to disease treatment and are more pro-actively oriented toward disease prevention. Boomers have embraced this concept of prevention as a three-legged stool of diet, exercise and supplementation. Boomers actively educate themselves about supplements—80% of all boomers engage in some type of supplementation, even if it only includes a daily multivitamin. Boomers are also making up a significant part of the population and have a strong voice in Washington, D.C. Despite the current talk on Capitol Hill about NDIs and overly burdensome regulations on dietary supplements, if boomers could no longer find their supplements on the shelves of their favorite stores, I think you would have what is analogous to anarchy on the streets of D.C. and a mass uprising lead by groups such as AARP, which is a strong force to be reckoned with. All that being said, as boomers continue to age and the population pyramid inverts, the demand will only grow stronger for dietary supplements, and the future has never looked brighter.
Health E-Insights: What is one characteristic that you believe every business leader should possess?
Ms. Schneider: Vision equals dissatisfaction with the status quo.
Health E-Insights: What’s your proudest career achievement?
Ms. Schneider: In my 30-plus year career, I have successfully launched over 500 new health and wellness products worldwide generating more than $1 billion dollars in new revenues. One of the best career decisions I have ever made was to move into the dietary supplement category in 1996. It was the Wild West back then, but it was started by some of the most passionate people I have ever met in my professional career. It’s an industry that you feel good about—bringing healthy and natural alternatives to millions of people and helping them achieve a healthy, active lifestyle.
Health E-Insights: If someone walked up to you and handed you $100,000 how would you spend it?
Ms. Schneider: I’d donate it to Vitamin Angels. I think Howard Schiffer and his team are doing an amazing job bringing essential nutrition to children around the world through vitamin supplementation.
Sheldon Baker wants to interview you. For more information contact Sheldon at firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit his website at www.bakerdillon.com and blog at www.NutraInk.com.