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Company History


In 1948, with the natural food and supplement industry in its infancy, an entrepreneur named Paul Richard bought Fearn-Soya Foods, a manufacturer of grain and legume-based products in the Chicago area, for $900. Thus began a six-decade legacy of supplying consumers nationwide with high-quality, affordable nutritional products.

Paul carefully nurtured his fledgling business until 1960, when his son, Elwood Richard, inherited part ownership in Fearn and became the company’s president. Elwood adopted his father’s ideals concerning health and well being, including his vision of making quality supplements and natural foods available to the public at prices they could afford. Elwood opened the first of many Fruitful Yield retail stores in the Chicago area devoted to natural products, and, as time passed, both Fearn-Soya and the company’s retail chain grew and prospered under Elwood’s leadership.

As the industry grew, Elwood was surprised to find Fearn products in a local supermarket sold at prices lower than his own store. He realized that he must change his business strategy to compete with the larger retail chains. Elwood vowed that high prices would never again drive customers from health food stores. It was time for a health food store committed to courteous service, in-depth knowledge of natural products and better nutritional value at affordable prices.

Elwood began manufacturing his own supplements to increase savings that he could then pass along to the consumer. These products were labeled under the NOW® brand, which stands for Natural, Organic and Wholesome; values that define the original vision of Paul Richard, and hold true to this day.

From these humble beginnings, NOW has grown from a fledgling regional brand to a leader in the natural food and supplement industry with an inventory of over 1,800 products, including nutritional supplements, natural foods, supporting literature and retail supplies.

Today, it is more important than ever that nutritional products be sold by specialized retailers with comprehensive knowledge of the many different vitamins, herbs and functional foods flooding the marketplace. Independent health food store owners and their staff are knowledgeable about dietary supplements and have the resources to offer personalized service to help consumers realize health through supplementation.

At NOW® Foods,we remain committed to our original goal – to produce the highest quality nutritional, herbal and body care products available…at prices people can afford. We do this by sourcing our  raw materials directly from the manufacturer, thereby relying less on brokers and distributors, and avoiding costly television and radio advertising. We do not employ an outside sales force, relying instead on practical, cost-effective marketing methods such as mail promotions and no-pressure telephone sales. Our high-volume business has allowed us to build strong business ties with some of the best raw material producers in the industry. Our savings are passed on to our customers in every product we manufacture, every day.

NOW® Foods continues to look for ways to cut costs with out sacrificing quality. We have moved into our permanent home, a 209,000 square foot manufacturing facility with room for growth. We continue to expand our production capabilities by making almost all of our products in-house, therefore realizing substantial savings and increasing quality control standards.

Our new facility has allowed us to expand our quality control department which includes a new state-of-the-art laboratory. We now have the capability to improve existing analytical methods. Research done in our laboratory on SAMe will soon be published in a leading medical journal. We have gained membership to many of the leading organizations in our industry, allowing for unparalleled product quality and safety.

Many consumers have come to trust the NOW® brand and have shown their approval and support by helping us become one of the leading dietary supplement manufacturers in America.

Today, more than ever, NOW® Foods makes quality affordable, and we will continue this tradition for many years to come.