BrandHive, a leading healthy lifestyle branding agency providing high-level strategic planning and branding expertise to consumer packaged goods and value-based ingredient companies, was recently named one of the top 22 advertising agencies in Salt Lake City by Sixty-three agencies were reviewed, and the selection criteria was based on reputation, credibility, experience, availability and professionalism.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as a leader among the advertising agencies here in Salt Lake City,” said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of BrandHive. “We’ve been serving local Utah clients, as well as clients worldwide, for more than 20 years, and are honored to be listed alongside some of the most talented agencies in the state. is a website dedicated researching and identifying the top service professionals in more than 100 business categories in cities across the U.S.

CK Nutraceuticals, a trusted North American supplier of innovative, science-based nutraceutical raw materials, announced today its partnership with BrandHive, a leading healthy lifestyle branding agency providing high-level strategic planning and branding expertise to consumer packaged goods and value-based ingredient companies. BrandHive has been retained to help further CK Nutraceutical’s efforts to build its North American presence.

“Our collaboration with BrandHive will help to support our continued effort to grow the Canadian market and also to accelerate our expansion plans in the United States,” said CK Nutraceuticals president, Michael Chernyak. “We’re thrilled to partner with the team at BrandHive to leverage its expertise and long-standing relationships in the natural products industry.”

CK Nutraceuticals’ portfolio of proprietary branded ingredients covers a range of applications for nutrition and health support to help create safe, effective and on-trend dietary supplements and natural health products. Key Canadian ingredients include NEM®, BLIS K-12® and Zembrin™, while key U.S. offerings include EstroG-100®, KitoMax™ and Deep Ocean Minerals™. Visit for more information.

“CK Nutraceuticals has a unique portfolio of ingredients that are rooted in science,” said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer of BrandHive. “It’s a pleasure to work with such a progressive and well-respected player in the industry.”

Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer at BrandHive, in partnership with Nutrition Capital Network, dissected what the current clean label trend means for manufacturers, suppliers and marketers in the educational and thought-provoking webinar, “Translating Clean Label Attributes and Authenticity into Meaningful Consumer Benefits”. The webinar features Hilton’s expertise and insight into the “Clean Label and Transparency” movement, in which consumers are demanding insight into how ingredients are sourced, and about the ethical practices of manufacturers and suppliers. Hilton provides tips for companies looking to grow and keep up with the demand for cleaner formulations and manufacturing, as well as how to best market those benefits to consumers in a meaningful way.

To view the webinar, visit:

whole and natural ingredients

Perfect Storm Opportunity

The premise of this article is that there is a significant marketplace opportunity materializing which offers tremendous awareness and sales potential for the right brands. Perhaps you are one of those brands? Let’s dive deeper to find out.

We are witnessing first hand the evolution of Consumer 2.0. This consumer/customer is highly evolved, totally empowered, but completely overwhelmed with the options available in the market. In addition, there are cultural and behavioral shifts taking place, which are of seismic proportions. Specifically, Consumer 2.0:

  • Has unfettered access to information online
  • Is shopping horizontally across distribution channels
  • Is much more active
  • Has technology available to self-monitor and assess his/her state of wellness
  • Is increasingly interested in maintaining and improving health and wellness

There are new technologies in the marketplace that address bioavailability, delivery methods, and even new metabolic pathways. In addition, new knowledge about human health is emerging. For example, the importance of the gut or GI tract in maintaining good health, or the role of chronic inflammation in overall wellness.

The Gap Between Consumer Knowledge and Product Applications

With the speed of product and technology innovation increasing, most consumers feel like they are drinking from a fire hose when it comes to maintaining or improving good health. Every day brings a new theory or product philosophy. As a result, consumers see a variety of tactics (diet, exercise, supplementation, etc.) but see no way to knowledgeably integrate those into a cohesive and realistic regimen that they can manage or even trust. The marketplace result is that 80% of new products fail, largely because they provide no clearly defined or proven benefits to the consumer. Consumers move through a cycle of trial and rejection that leads to unstable growth and market share gains for most products.

There is a gap in the marketplace between consumer knowledge and consumer understanding and application of that knowledge which brands have not fully bridged. Consumers are empowered, yes. They have tools, yes. And they have some knowledge. But they don’t know how to build anything yet. They must be taught and instructed by industry.

In my opinion, the steps within industry to successfully bridge this gap are:

  • Innovation and technology
  • Education and dissemination
  • Collaboration and partnership

In the face of a rising tide in consumer confusion about health, consumers are returning to what they know: simple, fewer ingredients, less processed foods, and no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Also, less sugar and salt. This burgeoning trend toward “simple” has also fueled the growth in structured diet regimens or philosophies including paleo, vegan, gluten-free, organic, etc. This type of structured diet helps people consume within boundaries and make sense of the health advice madness. Meal kits and delivery programs also play to this audience who want to eat healthier but don’t have time to shop or don’t like to cook.

I believe there are signs all over the place that consumers are moving from an era of Doctor Care (70’s and 80’s) to an era of Self Care (90’s and 2000’s) and now to an era of Custom Care (2010 and beyond). The future is frankly all about custom health care solutions that may be dictated by an individual’s DNA, genetics, lifestyle habits and daily activity level.

So, What Does This Have to Do with Clean Label Claims?

Clean label, sustainability, and transparency are all terms that marketers have coined to “pre-empt” or own this new type of messaging. The problem lies in that most consumers don’t think or talk this way. A recent New Hope Natural Media study cites that 78% if consumers don’t understand what “clean label” means. The same study shows that consumer confusion between Organic and non-GMO is rampant. Yet clean label claims continue to populate packaging at retail and online with almost 25% of U.S. product labels featuring clean label claims according to Innova Market Research.

In essence, clean label, clear label, sustainable, transparent, non-GMO, and many other marketing terms, become consumer shorthand for “healthier and better for you”. That said, the vast majority of consumers don’t really understand and/or differentiate between these terms as they relate to products in the marketplace. Consumers hear the marketing language, and research shows that they are open to new ways of thinking about and purchasing cleaner brands, but consumers do not yet grasp:

  • The significance of these descriptors
  • How they relate to everyday health and wellness for them personally

Consumers are left largely to grasp at straws for meaning and relevance.

So the “good news” is that consumers are indeed ready to embrace “cleaner product” initiatives. Certainly their aspirations have been heightened, but the “bad” or at least “cautionary news” is that the education process behind clean label initiatives has just begun, and there is a long road ahead for brands to define and differentiate themselves based on these characteristics.

Smart brands that understand this will capitalize on positive consumer sentiment by:

  • Researching and defining “marketing language” as it relates to specific, product-related features and benefits
  • Fleshing out terms and messaging that consumers can relate to readily and begin over time to associate with their brands over time

It Takes A Village

Brand building in today’s volatile and competitive marketplace is a complex and expensive valuable process. In my opinion, the responsibility for building successful brands has to be shared. Because increasing brand awareness and educating consumers about features and benefits and scientific support is EVERYBODY’S business. Clearly, both manufacturers and suppliers play a key role. As an industry, we are moving from individual silos to increased joint collaboration. It’s not just about clean finished products; it’s about clean sourcing and supply chain practices as well. For raw material providers and marketers, it’s not just about selling ingredients at $X per kilo. Branded ingredient suppliers must add value and embrace a new, more turnkey role. In turn, manufacturers and brand owners must be willing to pay the price for value-added ingredients with a pedigree of quality and proven scientific support. This goes back to my earlier statement about industry steps to bridging the consumer gap between tactical steps and integrated, custom health solutions.

Consumer Segmentation is Key

Modern marketers are learning that audience segmentation plays a critical role in product success. Consumer audiences are increasingly differentiated and display varying buying behaviors and needs. For clean label products specifically and custom health solutions generally, research shows that millennials (ages 18-33) are driving the trends and stimulating demand. This group is all about custom solutions, having options, and they demand more sustainable, transparent products and services.

It’s a new and confusing world out there. But it’s also an exciting one for marketers who are willing to jump in and invest in consumer education and awareness. The marketplace is reflecting a perfect storm of new opportunity. Consumer 2.0 is waiting. It’s your move.


Jeff Hilton
Co-Founder and CMO

Filed under Natural Products.

BrandHive recently finished production on our latest video project for Lip Clear Lysine+ from Quantum Health: CUL8R, Cold Sore! The video provides a fun take on the "haunting feeling" that often precedes the onset of a cold sore.

With the stress of back-to-school, upcoming holidays and seasonal climate changes, cold sores become much more prevalent. In this video, BrandHive helps Quantum Health offer a light and educational take on the benefits of using Lip Clear Lysine+ to fight unsightly cold sores.

BrandHive, a leading healthy lifestyle branding agency for consumer packaged goods and value-based ingredient companies, has been named as the agency of record for Quantum Health Products, Inc., developer of natural, science-based products that improve quality of life, and address common daily health needs of consumers.

BrandHive is working with Quantum Health on a comprehensive communications program to help build awareness and stimulate brand trial in the North American market for Quantum Health brands, including Buzz Away Extreme, Lip Clear and Thera Zinc. The program includes web design, advertising, paid search, public relations and social media initiatives, as well as strategic planning.

With over 30 years in business, Quantum Health is recognized for both its high-quality, effective products, as well as its exceptional customer service. Driven by the desire to remain progressive and responsive to its customer’s needs, Quantum Health pursued the expertise of BrandHive to help establish educational and consumer engagement strategies that highlight its natural approach to insect bite protection, cold sore treatment and immune health support.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with Quantum Health, a company firmly committed to the quality and efficacy of its products, and who advocates for the health and safety of its customers, ” said Jeff Hilton, chief marketing officer and co-founder of BrandHive. “Quantum’s quest to help consumers by addressing everyday health needs with proven, natural solutions, is reflected in the strategic and creative direction of our communications efforts.”

For more information on Quantum Health Products, Inc., please visit

Filed under Natural Products.


I remember back in the 1990’s sitting in meetings at Nature’s Way talking about the potential of the functional food and beverage sector, which at that point was in its infancy. Now, over two decades later, we are in the ramp up to significant expansion of the category with new products entering the market on an almost daily basis. A simple walk down the beverage aisle of Whole Foods provides an excellent example of the proliferation that has occurred. The sheer volume of functional beverage entries is both staggering and intimidating. Even more sobering, probably 50 percent of those brands won’t be on the shelf one year from now. The beverage isle is a brutal retail battleground where brands either thrive or die. Functional food brands have not yet proliferated to the extent that functional beverages have, but based upon a review of marketplace activity and trends, many more functional food product introductions are on the horizon. And the key driver here is the consumer, believe it or not. In survey after survey, consumers have stated that they prefer their health and wellness to result primarily from what they eat and drink on an ongoing daily basis, so it is not a huge leap to expect expanded growth for these once vertically niched market segments.

This article seeks to identify, review and discuss some significant and relevant ingredient and formulation trends in these growing categories.
Read more »

BrandHive, a leading healthy lifestyle-branding agency, recently finished production of their latest video project for Buzz Away Extreme from Quantum Health. At just under two and a half minutes long, the story for the video educates viewers about certain implications associated with mosquito bites and the safe and proven solution delivered with Buzz Away Extreme. Andy Yorkin, Account Director overseeing strategy for Quantum Health, believes the timing of the video release is perfect: “The video is very timely considering the Zika virus outbreak coupled with a growing interest amongst today’s consumers to find more natural alternatives to chemical-based products.”


With close client collaboration, BrandHive developed several concepts to tell the Buzz Away Extreme story. After careful consideration of current events, the concept was chosen that tells a narrative of the safe and natural insect repellant to defend against mosquitos, ticks, flies, gnats and no-see-ums along with the associated health concerns. With BBQ and picnic season upon us, the timing couldn’t be better.


Since 1981, Quantum Health, based in Eugene, OR, has been producing and marketing the safest and effective natural products to address everyday health concerns including cold sores, immune support and bug bite protection. Today the company offers more than 60 scientifically formulated products at leading retailers throughout the United States and Canada, including Buzz Away Extreme® DEET-free mosquito and tick repellent and Lip Clear® Lysine + Coldstick and cold sore treatment products. All products are manufactured under strict quality control standards.

As a preview to VitaFoods Europe, I want to share a few thoughts on building consumer awareness for branded ingredients.

The Opportunity

Thought leaders and others in the manufacturing and supply chain sectors of the healthy, natural, organic space are beginning to reach consensus that the best way forward to future growth and market success is founded in a partnership strategy or approach. By that, I mean that true innovation in today’s market space requires R&D focus and capabilities that many smaller entrepreneurial companies do not have at the ready. Likewise, there are a host of ingredient suppliers who either serve as brokers/marketers or simply do not have an R&D pipeline for new product discoveries or technological innovations. So the increasingly logical approach is to share that overall responsibility and combine resources to discover, foster and cultivate new ingredients and technologies with implications for improved human health. This increased collaboration allows brand owners and branded raw material suppliers to mix and match their IP to create something greater than the individual contributions might suggest. Now more than ever, successful product introductions, particularly in niche markets, come from a vibrant combination of expertise where players are less silo-driven and more collaborative. In short, you can play in my sandbox, and I will play in yours. Nowhere is this opportunity more pressing than in building consumer demand and awareness for new products and the ingredients, features and benefits driving them. That is very much a shared responsibility with shared accountability in today’s marketplace and brand owners expect legitimate suppliers to actively play a role in consumer education and building demand at the consumer level. Long gone are the days of selling raw ingredients at $X per kilo and good luck with that. The supplier of the near future must approach brand owners with a much more comprehensive approach which addresses consumer positioning, value proposition, and proposed messaging to support ingredient claims. In addition, growing suppliers are also now expected to participate in consumer education and outreach.

The Challenge
Consumer outreach is not cheap. We all know that. It also requires detailed planning and execution and is often beyond the wheelhouse for many ingredient suppliers who focus on B2B communications. So the hurdle is related to both financial concerns and lack of expertise. Yet the expectation lingers, and smart and savvy suppliers are seeking a way forward.

An Approach
May I suggest that the correct path of thinking for a raw ingredient supplier is to outline a program of cost-effective, guerilla-style tactics that can assist in the brand-building process at a reasonable budget. The primary goal here should be to 1) educate consumers about the branded ingredient and 2) send them back to your brand partners to purchase at retail or online.

Tools for consideration include:

– Social media: Choose 2-3 platforms and establish a presence for your branded ingredient. Create a content calendar and post regularly. Feature your brand partners in posts and send consumers back to your Web site or a landing page where participating brand partners are highlighted with live links to their web sites. You can outsource this function for a few thousand dollars a month. You should also allocate some money to purchase social media advertising, boost posts, etc.

– Event sampling: Pick a few key markets for your brand partner and arrange to sample your ingredient (with a card attached leading the individual to a local retailer where the product is sold). Getting included in goody bags for half marathons, yoga retreats is relatively inexpensive and often the sponsoring organization is looking for samples and will gladly include you at no charge.

– Blogger outreach: There are literally thousands of blogs in the “blogosphere” to choose from. Many of them are focused on health and wellness issues or specific disease conditions like obesity, heart health and diabetes. Reach out to prominent bloggers with an offer to supply them with free product samples to try provided they will post in their blog about the experience. You can also encourage them to plan a giveaway or blog promotion built around your ingredient and it’s benefits. Many bloggers will provide coverage for free if they like the product, and those who charge for a review are usually quite reasonable.

There are other ideas but these will give you a starting point. Give up the idea that you need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on print, online and broadcast advertising which you can’t afford, and start thinking about small ways that you can help get the word out through more localized, guerilla tactics. Reaching the consumer is s joint effort between brand owners and suppliers. Suppliers don’t need to do all the heavy lifting, but they need to actively help share the load.

Filed under Natural Products.

We’re proud to celebrate 20 years in business! Thank you for your support of BrandHive. We’re sharing our celebratory video from this year’s Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA. Enjoy!