Filed under Natural Products.

Earlier we shared how some of our clients are responding amidst COVID-19. Below are four additional stories from our clients and how they’ve had to adapt to this pandemic. Do you have a story to tell? We can help. See Part 1 for more.

Jason West, CEO, Hyatt Life Sciences

“We started out in the field of organic chemistry synthesis and now create scientifically backed dietary supplements. Because we are a small company, we’re able to be nimble and pivot rapidly to meet ever-shifting consumer needs. We utilized our past expertise and facility capabilities to manufacture thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer to help fulfill the needs of medical facilities and hospitals who were quickly running out. We’re striving to fulfill the basic required needs of our local health care facilities by also providing masks and gowns. We’re here to do our part on behalf of those on the front lines.”  

Stein Ulve, Founder and CEO, Eevia Health

“At Eevia Health we have strived to take care of our employees by implementing strict protocols and safety procedures. We have kept production running, however, we have set up a project to counteract the possible disruption of closed borders. A significant part of the annual berry harvest in Finland is done by foreigners and if the borders are still closed in August, that will disrupt the national harvest volume and have a significant impact. We are therefore ramping up our own harvest force of several thousand people, recruiting from domestic workforce, including students who will not get summer work this year, those who are unemployed, pensioners who have time for this (and often are very experienced pickers), and people with available free time looking for additional income. Finally, because we have the ability to handle ethanol in our manufacturing factory, we have begun producing pallets of disinfectant for those in need. We are also working out how we can contribute to the hunger crisis in local communities due to the impact of COVID. We are doing our best to keep up with the demand of our immunity ingredients while keeping everyone involved healthy and safe.” 

Rich Troyer, CEO, Comet Bio

“It can be a challenging time for start-ups like Comet Bio given the economic uncertainty in this pandemic. Fortunately, the nutrition and food industries are less vulnerable to this market instability than the foodservice, hospitality and other sectors. We are in a good position with a fully-funded business plan, a history of prudent financial management, and the support of our investors to continue our growth. And as COVID-19 puts a spotlight on consumers’ health, we are concentrating on how our prebiotic dietary fiber ingredient, Arrabina, can help consumers maintain a healthy microbiome and support immunity. During these unprecedented times, our company’s mission to provide nutritious, sustainable, and high-quality ingredients remains unaltered.”

Morris Zelkha, CEO, TriNutra

“We at TriNutra and our partner, NS oils, are taking decisive action to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 virus on our employees, partners, customers. As an essential business, we have been able to sustain full employment of our team and are operating our site according to the Israeli Ministry of Health Restricted instructions. We have implemented extensive measures and precautions to ensure the safety of our employees and partners and to protect the supply of our cultivated raw materials. We have adopted specific procedures to minimize and manage any future disruption to our ongoing operations. These include expanded safety stocks of raw materials and Personal Protective Equipment, as well as ongoing monitoring of our suppliers’ stock levels to assure future deliveries. We are also continuing our biological R&D work on our cold-press black seed oil, ThymoQuin, which includes testing the antiviral response and amplifying the immune system by using in-vitro and in-vivo modules. We will continue to put the customer first and do everything possible to keep our people safe and healthy while we continue to strive to meet the needs and expectations of our customers.”

Filed under Natural Products.

At BrandHive, we have the pleasure of working with great clients taking extraordinary measures for improved health, wellness and nutrition. Over the past 24 years, we have seen a lot, but nothing quite like COVID-19. As we are all adapting and changing our everyday operations, we reached out to our partners to see how they’ve had to adapt. 

Unsurprisingly, we found that our clients are rising to the challenges of these difficult times. Below are just a few examples of how they are responding to COVID-19. Do you have a story to tell? We can help.

Elyse Lovett, Senior Marketing Manager, Kyowa Hakko

“Being based in New York, we have taken extreme precautions and safety measures, and although we’ve been working from home for some time now, our communication and ability to provide quality products to our customers has been incredibly strong. We are so proud of our team’s dedication, and their ability to adapt to this changing climate. We have seen first hand the devastation COVID-19 has had on our community and the dedication of our health care workers, which is why our team came together to donate funds to the NYC Health + Hospitals organization which provides meals, groceries, hotel expenses, laundry services and more to healthcare professionals in our area. In addition, Kyowa has also partnered with one of its customers, in a program dedicated to helping fitness professionals impacted by the complete shutdown of all gyms and training facilities across the nation.  Overall, despite this pandemic, our team and operations remain strong.” 

Mariko Hill, Product Development Executive, Gencor Pacific

“We have taken precautionary measures to ensure our team’s safety through working from home and implementing extreme cleansing processes in our facilities. Recently, I participated in the charity challenge Run 5 Donate 5 Nominate 5 on behalf of Gencor. I ran 5km, passed the challenge to five people, and donated €5 to the National Health Service (NHS) which went towards its COVID-19 fund. Additionally, our offices in India are providing food to stranded migrant laborers affected by COVID. At Gencor, we are continually working with our customers and employees to ensure a safe working environment while continuing to keep up with the demands of our ingredients.”

Steve Malone, VP of Marketing & Business Development, Valensa

“Valensa formed a COVID-19 task force by March 2020 to ensure the health & safety of all employees and strategize business continuity to serve our customers. We immediately took action to ensure the health and safety of our team by implementing new sanitizing and cleaning procedures in our facilities. We also gave employees the option of working from home where the job function allowed. We understood that production and manufacturing needed to take place to continue providing our customers with the quality products they have come to expect, so in addition to social distancing and limiting the number of team members in the facility, Valensa gave its front line employees a pay increase to thank them for their dedication in keeping our company strong. We’ve accelerated the development of a digital marketing strategy for engagement continuity with customers and industry partners. We are adapting to the new normal and are extremely proud of our team and its quick response to implement safety and ensure supply chain excellence.” 

Rob Brewster, President, Ingredients By Nature

“With a personal connection to the emergency facilities in our area, we understand firsthand the impact of COVID. Our company came together to purchase numerous masks, gloves and gowns, which we then donated to the local hospitals and prospective essential workers. We are beyond grateful for all of the work they continue to do and how they are helping our neighbors get through this together.” 

Filed under Natural Products.

When the unknown dominates conversations your customers need help from reliable sources. Communicate your competency and tell them clearly how you can help them through this time of uncertainty.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

  • Communicate with customers often, make sure to share helpful and reliable information.
  • If your business is open – remind people so they know you’re still there for them.
  • Check in with team members often and give them each a specific focus.
  • Share with customers and employees how they can stay in touch.

Communicate with Empathy and Authority

  • Authority : Your customers need help from competent sources. Communicate your competency and tell them clearly how you can help them through this.
  • Empathy : Communicate your awareness of their concerns and how your services can help them. For example: “We know these are uncertain times. Here’s something you can count on…”

Let Us Help You Focus Your Messaging

  • How does this crisis affect my business?
  • How can I survive the current conditions?
  • How do I keep my customers informed and maintain relationships?

Most importantly – Don’t Go Dark On Your Communications

Don’t miss out on this conversation – you’ll be forgotten – and when you come back, people will wonder where you were during the crisis.

Contact us today and let BrandHive help with your messaging.

Filed under Natural Products.

Like you, the team at BrandHive is concerned about the spread of the coronavirus and we are all working from home as much as possible to take actions in social distancing. While you’re working from home and sheltering in place, we’ve curated our favorite ingredients to help ease the 5 most common conditions you may experience during this time.Read more below for more ingredients and tips!

BrandHive, a global branding firm that specializes in the healthy lifestyles industry, has announced the promotion of key team members as directors. The new directors will oversee the account management, communications and creative teams effective immediately.

“I’m happy to announce the promotion of these key team members as directors of the organization”, said Andy Yorkin, President of BrandHive. “I very much appreciate the important role these individuals have played as both advisors and insightful contributors to the success of BrandHive. I believe that they will each provide tremendous value to the team and better serve our clients as we continue to grow.” 

BrandHive’s new directors include:

Meet Nagar, Account Director 

Meet is a seasoned marketer with nearly a decade of experience in brand strategy, advertising, and project management. As account director, Meet will serve as the senior point of contact for BrandHive’s customers. He will coordinate the resources required for building strategic operational plans, as well as the execution of creative work and marketing outreach. 

Kandice Randal, Communications Director and Senior Public Relations Counsel 

Kandice brings over a decade of communications experience to BrandHive. As communications director and senior public relations counsel, Kandice will manage and direct BrandHive’s internal and external communications programs, including public relations and social media.  

Erika Lowstedt-Granath, Creative Director 

Erika has worked for international branding agencies, applying her versatile design capabilities in the creation and implementation of corporate identity, packaging, and advertising campaigns. As creative director, she will be responsible for overseeing copywriters, art directors and designers to deliver high-quality creative content for BrandHive’s clients.

James Fagedes, Digital Creative Director 

James provides over 20 years of creative-based leadership with designing digital experiences. As digital creative director, James will be responsible for managing and conceptualizing creative projects across digital platforms to provide clients with a solid and informed brand presence. 

Founded in 1996, BrandHive will embark upon its 23rd year in business as a leader within the healthy lifestyles industry. For more information, visit

Ever witness the shopper with eyes glaring at the label on the can of snap peas in the aisle next to you? Chances are, they’re analyzing the nutritional label in an effort to decipher its underlying code. Are the peas organic? NON-GMO Project Verified? cGMP? NSF certified? For consumers, shopping has become an alphabet soup of options with regard to certifications. It can be difficult and tiring to understand which certifications really matter.

One may ask if certifications add value. And, the answer is most certainly yes.

Certifications can add credibility and legitimacy to a brand offering. For some, having an implied third party endorsement adds tremendous value.  So, what causes certification fatigue?

Certification fatigue is the result of an increasing use (and misuse) of terms and seals invented by marketers and brands. Common claims such as artificial ingredients, all natural, no high fructose corn syrup or clean label, to name a few, have made it difficult to discern what’s real from what’s trendy. Unlike more formalized certifications, such as USDA Organic, terms developed by marketers often go unchecked by an authorized body.

In an attempt to help brands avoid “certification fatigue”, BrandHive’s Jeff Hilton provided the following best practices in Certification and Claim Marketing to consumers:

  • Start by asking what matters most to the consumer. What assurances do they look for in your category?  Some certifications fall outside the realm of importance for specific brands.
  • Prioritize your claims and certifications according to consumer appeal.  Display them where the consumer is spending time and can study them and understand them.
  • Make the statements more transparent. Don’t say 100% sustainable- say “up cycled from the farming waste stream”.  Don’t say traceable- say controlled from seed to shelf on our own 300-acre farm.
  • Don’t hide behind your seals and certifications.  Certifications enhance your brand and add value, but they don’t define your brand. Define your key messages and use claims and certifications SELECTIVELY to enhance the storytelling, not replace it.

Certification fatigue is indeed real.  By implementing a few best practices, we can overcome the increasing misuse and provide consumers with the information that matters most.

Filed under Natural Products.

BrandHive, a global healthy lifestyle branding agency providing high level strategic planning and branding expertise to consumer packaged goods and value-based ingredient companies for the past 23 years, was acquired by market research and data management company, Decision Sciences Research Associates, Inc. (DSRA). The purchase allows BrandHive to expand its capabilities portfolio to include specialized market research, survey research and data-driven services. The acquisition was finalized in May of 2019.

DSRA is a market research, technology and consulting firm with over 30 years of experience in both qualitative and quantitative research design, development, fielding, and analysis. Led by a strong and tenured management team, DSRA currently provides research and consulting services to several top CPG and luxury brands, including Clorox, Honda, Burt’s Bees, and Air Canada.

“DSRA’s expertise in market research perfectly complements BrandHive’s strategic branding expertise, providing our clients with turnkey research capabilities,” said Jeff Hilton, Co-Founder of BrandHive. “BrandHive has been on a steady growth trajectory creating extraordinary value for our clients as a full-service branding agency. The DSRA partnership allows us to provide additional value to our clients with programs to enhance customer loyalty and business revenue at a time when data mining and management are emerging as key competitive advantages.”

BrandHive will retain its identity, along with its current staff. Hilton and BrandHive Co-Founder, Matt Aller, will also remain in active consulting roles.

“BrandHive is a tremendous adjunct for DSRA, providing highly experienced branding services to our clients,” said William Fisher, President and CEO of DSRA. “BrandHive’s long-standing reputation in the B2B and B2C natural products channels, along with DSRA’s analytical expertise, will allow us to create and implement data-driven branding initiatives to directly impact the revenue and profitability of our clients.”

DSRA is excited to add BrandHive to its strong portfolio of companies, including CX Solutions and Bass Reports. CX Solutions is a leading research consulting firm in the United States, focusing on Customer Experience, Training, Change Management, and Consulting. The DSRA family also includes Bass Reports, which specializes in working with companies to ensure their employees deliver superior satisfaction and service required to build customer loyalty.

“DSRA is really focused on achieving significant results for our clients through the application of real time data and solutions. This focus has been the most important contributor to DSRA’s success since our inception in 1982” comments Fisher.

For more information, please visit

Jeff Hilton will be presenting at Vitafoods Europe in May as part of an educational summit, “Closer to your digital consumers: insights and marketing strategies”. The summit will address the valuable role of a digital marketing strategy in reaching today’s consumers.

Jeff’s session will focus on specific strategies brands can leverage to navigate the new Digital World. Here’s a brief synopsis from his presentation:

Times they are ‘a changing. Monthly. Daily. Sometimes hourly. Marketing theory and best practices are evolving at an exciting (or alarming) rate depending on your perspective. The Digital Age is in full swing. And, it’s not too late to get digitally savvy. Here are a few tips on what brands can do to more successfully make the move to a digital-forward marketing effort?

Here are some suggestions to consider:

• Embrace the OmniChannel. Research and anecdotal evidence shows that consumers are increasingly shopping horizontally across distribution channels (rather than vertically in a particular channel) depending upon what they need, when they need it and where they are. Brands need to be present wherever the customer is. And that means an online digitally fluid presence is essential.

• Make sure your digital footprint is responsive. By that I mean compatible with different browsers for easy viewing on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile. If your Web site or newsletter or eBlast is not easily consumed across devices, you lose 50% of your audience right off the bat. Can you afford that?

• Adopt a digital-first philosophy. It all starts with your Website. Now more than ever, that is the digital home base for your brand. It needs to be compelling, it needs to be interactive, and it needs to entertain as well as educate. Visitors to your site should be able to get every thing they need there to learn about, locate and purchase your brand. A smart Website is the foundation for your digital footprint.

• Get social. Social media is not a nice to have, it’s a have to have. Whether B2B or B2C, a robust social platform presence is mandatory to reach today’s socially connected consumer. And don’t forget to integrate your social platforms with your Web site for easy access.

• Plan To fail. The nice thing about digital communication is that it can be changed or deleted with a keyboard stroke. Don’t be afraid to try new approaches, test pricing levels, test different features and benefits. It’s fast, easy and smart. And you can track the metrics for better decision-making.

• Use video. Every brand, including B2B customer-facing brands, needs video assets in today’s marketplace. Videos get greater attention, engagement, and retention of the information shared is higher than any other medium

It’s not too late to get started on a digital marketing plan for your brand. Make it a priority and get started.

Questions? You can reach Jeff at

BrandHive, a global healthy lifestyle branding agency providing high level strategic planning and branding expertise to consumer packaged goods and value-based ingredient companies, was retained by Spinato’s, a Phoenix-based specialty frozen pizza brand, to create a new website and execute their public relations and social/influencer outreach programs.

In 1971, Chicago residents and entrepreneurs Ken and Elaine Spinato purchased land in Arizona with recognition that their new soon-to-be residence lacked authentic Chicago-style pizza. After finally moving in 1974 to escape harsh Chicago winters, Ken and Elaine established the first restaurant in their new home. The family spent the next 35 years refining and perfecting the recipes, which have made Spinato’s pizzas famous. Customers became increasingly interested in their pizza recipes, regularly requesting take-home options. In an exciting evolution, Spinato’s business expanded to retail.

While the Spinato’s legacy has hinged on it’s family roots, retail demand has increased for the fresh ingredients and authentic family recipes that inspire Spinato’s growing line of frozen gluten free Pizza’s, including their highly anticipated plant-based pizzas, and pasta sauces. Spinato’s retail products are distributed in 750 stores nationwide with plans for expanded distribution to over 1000 additional storefronts this year.

“Spinato’s is a family-owned business that has operated successfully for over 40 years,” said Spinato’s Vice President, Anthony Spinato. “We’ve reached a vital point in the development of our retail business. For this reason, we sought to collaborate with an organization with both communications expertise and knowledge of the industry. We’re truly looking forward to working with BrandHive to support our continued momentum.” 

BrandHive was retained by Spinato’s to capitalize on this rapid growth, focusing on synergistic creative development of its core consumer outreach.

“Spinato’s is at a pivotal stage,” said Jeff Hilton, BrandHive’s co-founder and chief marketing officer. “The company’s retail success dovetails nicely with the growing demand for healthier frozen meal alternatives. Spinato’s has the innovative products; now we can make a connection with consumers to engage, educate and motivate. The company’s website, social channels, etc. are key omnichannel touch points for food and beverage brands to connect with consumers in a powerful and compelling way. We’re truly excited to work with these bright entrepreneurs.”

Some of BrandHive’s other retail clients include Coffee Blocks, Glutenfreeda, Quantum Health, Lifestix, and Lehi Roller Mills. For more information, visit

About BrandHive
BrandHive is branding the natural, organic world. Like any good hive, we’re collaborative and work closely with our client partners to achieve remarkable results for natural brands. BrandHive can help you strategically position your brand within the healthy lifestyles industry. BrandHive clients benefit from our long-standing relationships and decades of experience crafting messages that engage natural businesses and consumers. We specialize in finished goods and raw materials for dietary supplements, personal care, healthy foods and healthy beverages. For more information, visit us at

About Spinato’s
Spinato’s was born from the passion for fresh, flavorful and authentic Italian recipes. Founders Ken and Elaine Spinato responded to the increasing demand from restaurant patrons for the recipes of its famous Spinato’s pizzeria by introducing frozen Gluten Free Pizzas, tomato sauces and dressings at retail. Found in 750 retail stores, Spinato’s is quickly becoming a favorite among the specialty pizza products coast to coast. Spinato’s offers its signature pizza sauces, dressings, and pizzas at

Filed under Natural Products.

BrandHive, a leading healthy lifestyle branding agency providing high level strategic planning and branding expertise to consumer packaged goods and value-based ingredient companies, has been retained by Lehi Roller Mills for brand identity development, and implementation of a comprehensive marketing program to generate awareness. At the heart of the initiative is the desire to optimize the company’s retail footprint and engage with consumers at greater depth.

Founded in 1906 by a co-op of farmers, Lehi Roller Mills is a manufacturer of high quality baking flours and mixes for pancakes, muffins, breads, cookies, brownies and other baked goods. Armed with a solid reputation and established history, Lehi Roller Mills has focused more of its recent effort on innovation in production capabilities for high quality flours. The company’s growth in the retail sector has provided tremendous support for the brand and its commitment to delivering high quality products.

“We’re excited to represent a Utah-based brand with a successful history in milling and farming,” said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer at BrandHive. “Lehi Roller Mills is at a pivotal point in development of their brand. We’re looking forward to supporting their growth in the retail sector by leveraging unique engagement programs. The work we’ll be doing is a demonstrated commitment on the part of Lehi Roller Mills to their retail network, as well as their loyal consumers.”

For more information on Lehi Roller Mills please visit