His schedule that day was typically full, yet he exuded a youthful energy that partly came from the high of the day’s successful company events. As he faced a small group of members of the media to report on the highlights of his trip to the Philippines, Kevin Guest said he is always amazed at the remarkably fast-paced growth of his company here. He should know. Guest is the international president of USANA Health Sciences, Inc., a direct selling company based in the United States that manufactures, sells and distributes scientifically-based nutritional and personal care products around the world.
USANA was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah 23 years ago. It was founded by Dr. Myron Wentz, an internationally recognized microbiologist, immunologist and pioneer in the development of human cell culture technology. Since its inception in 1992, the company has grown rapidly and become a publicly listed company on several bourses—from the NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol USNA. It is classified as a direct selling company, registering 2011 net sales of about $582 million. At present, USANA operates in 18 markets, which include Australia, the US, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Singapore. Additionally, USANA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, BabyCare Ltd., operates a direct-selling business in China.
In the Philippines, USANA opened a corporate office in January 2009, and still carries its basic line, which includes the complete set of vitamins and minerals, along with a few other complementary products, such as the powdered “Nutrimeal” and recently, the brands called “Pure Rest” and “Vegetarian Procosa.”
Guest happily declared, this most recent trip to the Philippines is another successful and memorable journey for him. “We had meetings with some of the members of what we call our ‘Independent Distributors Council, we’re doing some recognition with a big masquerade ball, and we’re capping the activities with a gathering of about 8,000 of our associates, who distribute our products.”
He added, he’s been to the country a number of times, since the inception of the Philippine office, and described the growth of the business here as “incredible.” Guest explained, “when we first thought about opening in the Philippines, we we’re worried, honestly. We weren’t sure how our products will be accepted because they were premium products. But since then, year after year, we continue to be surprised.”
Guest said that for him, two main points were key to the company’s growth here. One is obviously the business opportunity that is available to those who are here in the Philippines, specifically the opportunity to own their own business, he said. The second and more important point, he said, is the health message, where “you can take control of your health, that you can live a healthy life and you can make the choice.” Guest said they’re seeing this message being adopted at record rates in the country. Translating what he said in figures, Guest said this means an average growth rate of about 30 percent yearly, reaching about P3-billion pesos in sales, and they see no indication of a slowdown in that growth.
The USANA chief executive said the main reasons their products have been so successful consist of a number of factors, such as that they manufacture and control the make-up of their products—unlike other brands—which, he said, means they are able to consistently produce quality products far superior to some of those of their counterparts. Their product potency has also been tested through their partnerships with over 700 world-class athletes who take USANA as part of their regular supplement.
When asked about the company’s prospects for growth, Guest said the future is quite rosy. “The industry that we’re in is very exciting because people talk about health globally” and the awareness and the desire to lead a healthy lifestyle grow tremendously by the day.
In particular, he cited some evolving trends such as the perception of weight loss. “We are moving toward a lifestyle trend of eating healthy, versus just (being interested) in plain and immediate weight loss, which is not considered a healthy practice.”
Guest said he is quite happy that he belongs to an industry that aims to take care of people and make them healthy throughout all stages of their lives. Like everyone who is behind USANA, he said he also feels a genuine sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, knowing he is able to help make people of the world healthier, one step at a time.