Jamieson Laboratories – Canada’s #1 brand for vitamins, minerals and nutritive supplements
Established in 1922, Jamieson Laboratories is Canada’s largest manufacturer and distributor of advanced natural-health products and a world-leading innovator in the development of proprietary formulas. The company was Canada’s (and North America’s) first manufacturer of vitamins and nutritional supplements, and for more than a decade, ACNielsen has ranked Jamieson as Canada’s #1 brand for vitamins, minerals and nutritive supplements. With corporate offices in Toronto, Jamieson exports products to more than 50 countries around the world.
Business Elite Canada recently had a chance to have a phone conversation with the Executive Vice President of Marketing, Frank Lucchetta, and ask him a few questions. Lucchetta, who joined the company almost a quarter century ago, has enjoyed the role Jamieson has played as Canada’s oldest and largest manufacturer and distributor of natural vitamins, minerals, food supplements, herbs, and botanical medicines.
“I’ve been here for 25 years. [I] started in ’89 and I was in the cosmetic industry for 11 years prior to that. Seeing this company grow from its health food/small pharmacy base to now we export to 40 countries, it’s been a pretty cool, steady, and exciting 25 years.”
For over 90 years, Jamieson Laboratories has been dedicated to developing the finest and most innovative products to advance the health and vitality of all Canadians. With a well-known reputation for manufacturing products with the finest sustainable natural sources, Jamieson is constantly searching for ways to improve their products and services, and they make every attempt to exclusively pursue partnerships with progressive, like-minded partners that strive for these same high standards.
“In our minds the foundation for a great industry that would enable more consumers to come into the category was safety. As long as they knew that the product wasn’t going to harm them they would be more willing to try it… We have recognition around the world as being a high quality product.”
Lucchetta added, “There has been this consistent campaign that has developed the trust factor with the consumers. It gets reported back to us every time we do our consumer focus groups – it’s the trust factor [that’s important].”
Trust, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, is becoming increasingly more important, especially in the face of recent scandals.
“We are always in a fight to establish credibility… Anytime one of those [bad] stories comes out it hurts not only the company that tried to scam the consumer, it hurts the industry in general. We’ve taken a leadership role on this front trying to establish safety and protocol factors. It’s a struggle because small [companies] don’t want to put in place that infrastructure; they don’t necessarily understand the quality control aspects.”
Although innovation is important, Jamieson Laboratories isn’t willing to sell its soul for a quick profit. Once again, safety and reliability stand as fundamental goals of the company.
“Many times we don’t launch things that seem to be very popular and at times that hurts because you lose a perception of innovation with the customer… In the end, these things go through quick cycles and the consumer soon realizes why [the product] was never launched by Jamieson. [Our] review process is extensive and it takes probably upwards of 3 years. It has to meet those traceability, sustainability, and purity benchmarks that have been established so that the safety factor is always there.”
One place that epitomizes Jamieson’s core values is Windsor, Ontario. Home to manufacturing laboratories, a warehouse, and a brand-new, $22 million facility, the city serves, in Lucchetta’s own words, as a “center of excellence”.
“We’ve always been this quiet little secret here in Windsor, Ontario… The laboratories on the R&D side, on the quality control side, and on the quality assurance side, is probably one of the most robust and professional facilities in the industry and in the world.”
Not only interested in providing top-of-the-line facilities, Lucchetta also stressed the importance of having the right people working in the company.
“1 in every 4 employees in our Windsor manufacturing laboratories has a science technical background, whether they are a chemist, pharmacist, [or a] biochemist… We embarked on establishing Windsor as a center of excellence in the way of not just the production of the product, but understanding the traceability, and the sustainability of the ingredients, and then the assurance of the purity of those ingredients.”
Although the company does the majority of its business domestically, it continues to export products to over 50 countries and maintains a strong world vision.
“Moving forward on the global front is very important for us… It would be wise for us to make sure that we’re starting to establish ourselves in different countries… We have great opportunities on the international front in Asia, the Middle East, and in some of the European countries, and we really want to put in motion what needs to be done to establish [Jamieson] as a global brand.”
Asked where he saw the future of pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs, Lucchetta believed the rest of the world would follow in the Unites States’ footsteps.
“In the US there is not a health care system that pays for prescriptions drugs. The American has to stay healthy or it impacts their job or their livelihood. Canada and most of the rest of the world have health care systems that occupy or neutralize the pain of prescriptions drugs and doctor visits. [However], as the world evolves and the ministry of health in many countries find their budgets reduced and impacted, what the Americans have already experienced is starting to be experienced in the rest of the world.”
What does the future hold in store for Jamieson Laboratories? Lucchetta believes that the rising life expectancy rate will certainly play a part, as will stress and way of life.
“From a product and innovation perspective… you may see more in the way of product offerings where sleep and stress or digestive or cognitive functions will be enriched with the kinds of formulations that we have in the works now, either in their theoretical stage or in their development, finished stage.”
Throughout its history, Jamieson has been a pioneer in the natural healthcare market, providing consumers with innovative products of the highest quality. Still holding true to the tradition it started in 1922, Jamieson will continue to adhere to the hallmarks of its trusted brand — quality, purity and safety.