It was nice to host everyone in the beautiful alpine setting of Wasatch State Park last week for the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN) annual conference. It’s not often that we get to share the beauty of what Utah has to offer with our colleagues. Add to this, the excitement of celebrating CRN’s 40th anniversary and you have the makings of a remarkable week.

Perhaps one of the most notable moments of the conference was the introduction of an economic report issued by Frost & Sullivan, which was made possible because of a grant from the CRN foundation. The report, “Smart Prevention – Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” examined how the use of specific dietary supplements in high-risk populations provided both health benefits and savings in health care costs.

Stephen Daniells, senior editor at NutraIngredients, summarizes the report here: “Game changing economic report”

The report emphasizes that supplementation at specific preventive levels in high-risk populations has the potential to reduce medical events and spending. This could potentially represent hundreds of millions of dollars in savings in health care costs! This has very important implications for the industry and US population at large.

Chris Shanahan, global program manager at Frost & Sullivan, described the findings of the report as a “game changer” emphasizing the importance of preventive health care practices that include dietary supplements.

Game changer, indeed. Prevention has taken on an even greater importance. Healthcare practitioners, consumers and all industry professionals will be involved in shifting the paradigm to “smart prevention”.

Filed under Press Releases.

Salt Lake City, Utah, September 18, 2013: BrandHive just announced the launch of a new “hive” on the web. The new website is part of the 16 year-old marketing and PR agency’s rebrand from the Integrated Marketing Group earlier this year. Designed with the user experience in mind, provides a rich sensory exploration with the individual projects and people that form the agency.

“Throughout the process of rebranding ourselves, one thing became clear,” said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and partner of BrandHive. “We realized the need to provide better insight into who we are as a agency. This is one of the reasons the new website showcases the collaborative work of our team. In almost every case, an individual project involved a cross-functional team working closely together. I think our clients really benefit from this type of teamwork.”

From a foundational standpoint, users will first notice easier navigation and robust colors throughout the site. Just as each prism in a honeycomb encapsulates the work of the hive, each tile of the new site can be enlarged for a deeper experience with the content.

In navigating the site menu, the collateral, logo, packaging and advertising sections work together to provide a detailed overview of design capabilities. The website and mobile options provide insight into the portfolio of tech savvy solutions. And finally, the public relations section provides a sample of the agency’s PR communications expertise.

The website also features BrandHive Buzz, the agency’s blog, which reflects the team’s insight on B2B/B2C marketing trends, industry happenings and company news.

“We hope that the new web structure helps visitors understand BrandHive’s extensive range of capabilities, and equally important, how we function as a team,” said Hilton. “We’re always excited to bring more buzz to the natural products industry.” For more information, please visit

To celebrate the launch of their new website, BrandHive is awarding its Twitter followers with a FREE Starbucks gift card! To enter, tweet to @thebrandhive and reference the new website with #HealthyBuzz. One lucky tweeter will be selected each day*.

(*Contest valid between September 18-25, 2013. Daily winner will be announced via Twitter at 3 PM ET)

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

Many natural brands are excited to participate in observations intended to raise the profile of important health issues, like Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While these special occasions seem like great PR opportunities, marketers are often disappointed by a less-than-enthusiastic response from media. But, with careful planning and the right touch, you can increase coverage. Public relations busy bee (it’s national honey month after all)  has five key tips to help organizations make the most of these observances:


At BrandHive, we design ways to get more people to interact with our clients online. One of the best ways to do this is with videos, but if you’ve spent any time on YouTube you know that not all videos are created equal.

To enhance your online presence with videos about your business, follow these seven steps to ensure making a solid impression.

Set Goals

Set goals for your videoThis may probably obvious, but take some time to focus in on your goals for the video: Is it educational? Is it to promote interaction on your website? Thinking about the big picture also helps you understand what type of time and financial investment you’re willing to make. Come up with project expectations. How big of an audience do you want to hit? How will the success of your video be measured? Most importantly, keep in mind that all viewers have one goal of their own: to be engaged. Of your handful of objectives for your video, be sure that viewer engagement tops the list.

Plan the Shoot

Plan your video contentWith goals in hand, decide how to execute the project. Draw a stick figure storyboard on a napkin. Write up the discourse or voice-over. Choose your talent and subjects. Find a quiet location with bright natural light and see what time of day is best for brightness without direct light. If you only have one shot at your shoot, be sure to check your equipment, have back-up batteries, extra memory, and make sure everything’s charged ahead of time.

And here’s the part that has a giant impact but rarely happens: have your talent practice. Most people become uncomfortable when you put a video camera in front of them, but knowing exactly what to say and how to deliver it ahead of time is a sure way to build confidence.


Set up for your video shootNow you’re really having fun: set up the camera and do a practice run. Put the camera on a tripod or even just a stack of books to steady the shot to help viewers concentrate on the content. Have someone sit in front of the camera to get an early feel for the shot. If your natural light is not bright enough, try adding some lights. Do a test shot with your actual subject and check it on your computer to ensure that the footage is properly lit, focus is crisp, your subject looks good, and the audio is as clear as possible. Use multiple video cameras to get different angles, zooms and other creative effects.


Shoot your videoThe moment everyone has been been waiting for: Action! For the shoot, you’ll probably want to have help so different people can focus on different tasks. One person can keep the camera focused on the subject while someone else adjusts lights and another watches to make sure the take is appropriate. Take multiple takes, shoot from multiple angles, and take more footage before and after the shot than you think you’ll need. Have someone behind and in line with the camera so your subject can make eye contact with them. If you’re going to edit your footage, have your subject take longer pauses between thoughts to help ease your edits. Finally, remember that it’s always best to have too much footage in the editing stage as opposed to the alternative.


Edit your video footageDim the lights and break out the popcorn. Save your footage to your computer and be sure to make a back-up before you start editing. Get familiar with your footage so you can make the best cuts with confidence. Remember the goal of engaging your viewer? Keeping your video short is a great way to do this. If you can, brand your video with your company logo, colors, images, and design elements. Add titles, descriptors, and B-roll footage that helps expand on the content. Finish the film with a call to action: visit our website, watch our other videos, share this with your friends, etc. Think of the very last frame of your video as your calling card. When you think you’re done, show the video privately and gather feedback to help inspire you for your final edits.


Publish your video onlineOnce you have as many thumbs up as you need, it’s time to go public. Luckily, many editing apps have tools to publish your video directly to YouTube, Facebook, and more. YouTube is an incredibly powerful tool to ensure great accessibility and to promote engagement with built-in community and user tools. With your video hosted on YouTube, you have a single place for all to interact with your content that you (and other users) can easily embed and share on websites, blogs, and beyond.


promote your video“If you build it, they will come” might work for baseball fields, but I wouldn’t count on it for web videos. Hit your video out of the park by promoting it. Announce the video to your social media outlets and in an email campaign to your contacts. Have your PR team distribute the video to online publication outlets with relevant and strong digital presences. If your content is truly engaging and you’ve taken careful steps to ensure that it reaches the right audience, the video will take care of itself from here.

Putting a video together for your business is a great way to get organized and focus in on your online goals. While your video may not get as many views as “Very Angry Cat” (84,767,208 views and absolutely not worth watching), you will likely increase traffic to your website and enhance the online experience of your visitors. And besides, getting more views than someone’s old cat shouldn’t be that difficult!

hand shaking


Ever wondered how full-service ad agencies are able to offer you such a wide array of expertise? Agencies don’t always do all the work themselves. Often, the expertise comes through their relationships with qualified vendors. In fact, at BrandHive, maintaining good relationships with vendors is a must.

In building good relationships with our vendors, BrandHive focuses on three things:
1. Trust
2. Open dialogue
3. Accountability

1. Trust is primary. Our clients view our vendors’ work as an extension of our own, so quality is our top concern. Highly qualified vendors are more likely to hang around when treated as a valued partner, not just a supplier. We carefully select vendors that have proven themselves worthy of our trust and then make every effort to earn their trust in return.

2. Trust can only develop through open dialogue. We talk a lot. That’s because keeping the dialogue open allows our vendors to understand our expectations, deadlines, and unique client needs.

3. Lastly, in any good relationship both parties need to be held accountable. Unfortunately, mistakes will be made, sometimes on the vendor side and sometimes on the agency side. When that occurs, the party responsible needs to own the mistake and take actions to rectify it as soon as possible. Mistakes not acknowledged (and therefore not corrected) mean flailing relationships and unhappy clients before too long.

In the hive, we recognize how valuable our vendors are in serving our clients. As someone who has direct contact with multiple vendors every day, I go out of my way to be open, honest and respectful with our vendors. Not only does it pay off in better work for our clients, but it makes coming to work a whole lot more fun every day as well.

SALT LAKE CITY – June 26, 2013 – BrandHive’s PR team is expanding. The full-service marketing firm, which specializes in natural, sustainable and organic products, is pleased to announce that local public relations pro Anna West has joined the team.

brandhive_anna_038 2 copy

“Despite the changing face of journalism, BrandHive continues to have strong PR successes,” said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer. “Though traditional media outlets are becoming more scarce, we are seeing tremendous new opportunities in social media, niche publications, online news outlets and blogs.”

West comes to BrandHive after more than seven years working for Crowell Advertising. There she focused on consumer PR for health care, tourism, retail, sports, arts, entertainment and nonprofit brands. West holds an M.S. in health education from Utah State University, and worked for the Utah Department of Health prior to Crowell as a spokeswoman and social marketer. In January of 2013, Catalyst Magazine named her one of 100 culture catalysts in in Salt Lake City and she is a member of the board of directors for KRCL. With this new addition, the BrandHive PR team boasts five members.

Filed under Natural Products.

My first Vitafoods experience in May of 2013 was unforgettable. It kicked off with a party hosted by BrandHive client, OmniActive.  The event was held on the outdoor deck at La Perle du Lac, on the edge of the Lake Geneva, Switzerland.  In addition to an informative talk by Dr. Jorg Grunwald, President of Analyze and Realize, who provided an update on EFSA claims, there was a terrific jazz quartet, amazing food, and the wonderful company of international colleagues. The warm, sunny weather that evening brought a parade of walkers, bikers and joggers along the lake path and the city really came to life.

The next day I easily navigated my way from downtown Geneva to the Palexpo exhibition center via the quietest train I have ever experienced (thanks to Swiss engineering expertise). Hitting the tradeshow floor, one immediate difference soon became apparent.  While most US tradeshow exchanges are handshakes and the occasional hug, the European “kiss hello” was offered by almost everyone. I had a few anxious moments as I worked on my aim and tried not to bonk anyone’s glasses.

After spending a few hours on the floor show it appeared that most ingredients and finished goods were primarily marketed toward “prevention” and healthy aging. Similar to what we see in the U.S. market, heart, cognitive, joint, and skin health products seemed to predominate. Emerging interest in protein supplementation was prominent at this show. In addition to enriched foods for the elderly, there were products targeting vegetarians, dieters and children. The targeting of product benefits to clearly defined small niches was in line with the trend towards “personalize nutrition” that was also a hot topic at the show.


In the afternoon, it was fun to participate in a long-standing Vitafoods tradition — a Norwegian specialties buffet at the Epax stand!  The smoked salmon with our client Gunilla Traberg’s special mustard sauce was a real treat.  A party theme perfectly suited to a Norwegian company with a 170+ year history in marine Omega-3s, this event was extremely well attended.

BrandHive has been designing the Epax Vitafoods stand graphics and event invitations for many years. It was great to see the stand in action and to attend the educational events they host. This year’s topics were the Effects of Marine Omega-3s on Telomeres, and PUFA’s affects on Inflammation biomarkers, both presented by Dr. Morten Bryhn, Scientific Advisor to Epax.

In the evening, the Nutrition Business & Technology Awards Gala was held at the Starling Geneva Hotel with Jeff Hilton acting as the event host for the second year in a row. Several BrandHive clients were nominated for awards, including Epax 1050 TG for Outstanding Application in Health Management, and Gencor Nutrients’ Libifem for Most Innovative Ingredient. While neither client walked away with an award this year, it was an honor to have them nominated and recognized for their efforts in product excellence.

Thursday was the last day of the show, and the slightly slower pace allowed for several client meetings to recap show highlights and discuss upcoming projects. In the afternoon, I made my final rounds to say “Good-bye”, “Au revoir”, “Auf Wiedersehen” and “Ha det!” before heading back to the hotel to pack my bags.

Overall, Vitafoods was a fantastic experience and a wonderful opportunity to support our BrandHive clients who market in both the U.S. and European markets. Next year Vitafoods will be held on May 6-8, 2014.  I hope to see you there!


BrandHive is buzzing with growth, having added Gary Gonzalez and Meet Nagar to the team.

“Despite tough economic times, BrandHive’s business base continues to expand in the U.S. and internationally,” said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer. “I think our growth reflects the robust, dynamic state of the natural product industry.”

Nagar now serves as marketing assistant for the agency, providing support, analysis and project coordination for many of BrandHive’s key clients. He graduated from University of Utah in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Marketing. Previously, he worked as an Associate Chemist at Schiff Nutrition, verifying label claims for chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids. Nagar enjoys the outdoors, sampling exotic foods and travel.

Gonzalez is BrandHive’s new public relations coordinator. The Seattle native opened his own clothing and digital marketing companies to help him pay his way through college. In 2010, he interned for Real Salt Lake’s marketing team. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Westminster College’s communications program in 2012. The sports enthusiast recently took third place in his age category in the Salt Lake Marathon’s half marathon and was a star member of Westminster’s soccer team.

meet-nagar gary-gonzalez
Filed under Natural Products.
BrandHive Launches Lutein for Every Age


When BrandHive client OmniActive Health Technologies set out to launch its education initiative – Lutein for Every Age – they wanted to do something flashy that would immediately capture the attention of Engredea/Expo West tradeshow attendees. We had just the idea!

While attendees were waiting patiently for the show floor to open at the Anaheim Convention Center, a flash mob adorned in Lutein for Every Age t-shirts and neon sunglasses formed, singing and dancing to the classic song “I Can See Clearly Now.”



In total, three flash mobs of about 75 people broke out across various parts of the convention center grounds the morning of the show’s opening day. These unexpected flash mobs delivered OmniActive’s message about the importance of supplementing with lutein for maintaining eye health, no matter your age, in an exciting and unconventional way.

The program was even awarded the Editors’ Choice for “Best Marketing Campaign” at the show. Now that’s clearly a win for everyone!


Being part of the functional food and beverage movement is sort of like journeying with Indiana Jones to find the Arc of the Covenant. You never know what is around the next corner, and you are trying desperately to reach the destination before your competition. A simple walk down the drink aisle of Whole Foods really says it all. The sheer volume of functional beverage entries is intimidating.  Even more frightening is the fact that 50% of those brands won’t be on the shelf one year later.  It’s a fight for survival in the beverage aisle.  Functional food brands have not yet proliferated to the extent that functional beverages have, but it won’t be long. Consumers have clearly stated in survey after survey that they want their health & wellness to result primarily from what they eat and drink, and so it is not a huge leap to assume expanded growth for these once niched market segments.  Increasingly consumers are looking for foods that are “naturally functional”.

Trend #1: Survival of the Fittest


Functional foods and beverages topped $40 million category in the U.S. alone. In 2012, the functional category outpaced traditional food and beverage sales in the U.S. So the first trend to note is brand proliferation followed by a shakeout of slow movers. We are already seeing this happen within the beverage sector, and foods will follow suit as the number of entries expands.

Trend #2: Hot Health Conditions


Whether you are talking foods, beverages or supplements, it’s all about condition-specific applications. Increasingly, consumers are shopping based on specific and identified health needs. They are smarter and are honing in on personal health issues and potential solutions. Consumers are looking for a more focused approach that allows them to assess results and health improvements or lack thereof. The most dominant health conditions at this point in time include Energy/Performance, Healthy Aging, Immunity, Digestion, Cardiovascular, Joint Support, Weight Loss and Diabetes.

Trend #3: High Failure Rate


It is estimated that roughly 80% of new functional products fail in the marketplace. This is largely due to inadequate promotion, inadequate consumer and trade education (just because it is a food, don’t assume that consumers will readily see the added value or be willing to pay more for it), and the fatal flaw of introducing undifferentiated me-too products (how many energy drinks can the market support?). Despite increased creativity and innovation in the sector, don’t expect this pattern to improved anytime soon. If anything, risk will increase as the category proliferates.

Trend #4: Super Fruit Boom Hasn’t Peaked

sunfood maqui berry

There are literally hundreds of undiscovered fruits hidden in the rainforests of the world.  Don’t expect this trend to subside anytime soon.  Americans are enamored with these healthy superfoods.  Next on the horizon are sea buckthorn berries (beauty), yacon (diabetes) and camu camu (immunity).

Trend #5: Still Going Strong


Antioxidants continue to be the belle of the ball, primarily due to increased consumer awareness and demand.  Shoppers may not know what antioxidants are, but they do know they are good for health and wellness.  Likewise, the other power players in functional food and beverages continue to be fiber, soy or whey protein, Omega-3’s and probiotics/prebiotics.

Trend #6: On the Rise

tart cherries

Expect to see spices and seasonings emerge as functional ingredients over the coming months.  Also keep an eye on tart cherries, which boast some impressive research on gout/arthritis treatment.

Trend #7: Less Is More

6 ingredients

Mom research supports what we all suspect.  She is totally overwhelmed with food choice and making the right decisions for herself and her loved ones.  Generally, the fewer ingredients on the nutrition facts panel the better.  Keep is simple is their new mantra.  Are we listening?

Trend #8: Taste Still Matters


Don’t go thinking that because consumers are seeking greater functionality in the foods and beverages they consume, that taste is a secondary consideration to performance.  Successful brands must deliver on both great performance and great taste.  Delivery on those two key benefits has been the driver behind the success of functional brands like Corazonas in recent years.  The old adage “if it doesn’t taste good, nothing else matters” is still true.

Trend #9: Walk the Talk


It’s important to remember that product education in this category is in its infancy.  Consumers may talk about eating healthy and making better food choices, but that doesn’t always translate to purchase behavior.  The more your customers know about your products health benefits and clinical support, the more likely they are to embrace your brand.

In summary, functional food and beverages are definitely a categories to watch over the coming years.  Consumers are clamoring for new products and are looking to food first for enhanced nutrition and functionality.  Soon demand will exceed supply.  Get busy.