Colorado small businesses are less likely to change health insurers for the upcoming year, even as they anticipate continued price increases, according to the second-annual Delta Dental of Colorado Small Business Survey.
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The company’s EnerFood Super Food Green Drink, water filters and bulk food products, its bags of coffee with special immunity-boosting properties, its Cocoa Mojo mixes, the coconut milk powder products and other items appeal to a broad range of customers, according to co-founder Steve St. Clair. All company food products are certified organic, but the company doesn’t focus specifically on the natural-foods market, St. Clair said. The Super Food Green Drink is a powder with 20 ingredients that he says help the human body purify and rejuvenate itself.
With that in mind, St. Clair sold cocoa mix and other goodies to conference attendees at a Self-Reliance Expo held in Colorado Springs in November. Enerhealth’s herbal tinctures (herbs mixed with alcohol used in a variety of remedies) are for sale at Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage stores (Lakewood-based Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets, Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange: NGVC). Other company products sell at Clark’s Nutrition health food stores in California and at other independent health food stores in the Midwest.
“Customers that we have range anywhere from an acupuncture clinic to the guys on the swing shift at night at some factory, and that’s kind of the way we like it,´ said St. Clair, who co-founded the Boulder company with herbalist Darren Craddock in 2005.
With more consumers than ever looking for healthy lifestyle products, St. Clair said he wants to grow the company by targeting the “everyday common folks who love our products.” Enerhealth advertises itself on the Internet, on radio and through word of mouth – customer to customer.
“It’s just timing. Our strategy is working right now,” St. Clair said. “You have to deal with people where they are, and start where they are. We’re firm believers that everybody deserves to be healthy.”
If a potential customer is interested in the company’s Nutricafe Organic Immune Support Coffee (a 12-ounce bag sells for $12.99 on the company website enerhealthbotanicals.com), that’s a great way to get him or her interested in other Enerhealth products, St. Clair said. The coffee is infused with special mushroom-based, immunity-boosting properties, but it doesn’t taste like mushrooms, he said.
“A lot of people say, ‘I don’t know about this ‘green’ deal, but that coffee sure looks good,'” St. Clair said. “Maybe they’ll buy into (healthy living) a little bit further, and a little bit further. Maybe they’ll start exercising more. That’s our best customer.”
A customer might buy the EnerFood Super Food Green Drink every month for $46.95, or Enerhealth’s California Coconut Cleanse product at $85.46. A Sport Berkey Portable Travel Water Purification Filter (not made by Enerhealth but sold on the company website) that looks like a bicycle water bottle sells for $27.95 online.
The company’s strategy appears to be working. Company revenues in 2005 – its first year – were $63,700. In 2012, they were $1.5 million. The company has eight employees operating from an office in Mead with a Longmont mailing address. St. Clair projects company revenue at $2.5 million to $3 million for 2013.
In addition, Enerhealth Botanicals recently was named a 2013 “Colorado Company to Watch” by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
The state office highlights companies “with a significant capacity for growth … who are creating jobs, valuable products and services,´ said Sam Bailey, program director and business development manager for the office. State officials want to support such companies because they account for 36 percent of all jobs created in Colorado, Bailey said, even though they make up just 6 percent of the state’s revenues.
While the “Colorado Company to Watch” award is nice, Enerhealth is starting to get notice in the industry as well, St. Clair said. He and Craddock now are looking for strategic investment of $1 million to $5 million to help Enerhealth Botanicals move into national grocery store chains such as Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) as well as Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) and smaller independent grocery store chains. Current distribution is about 80 percent Internet and 20 percent retail sales, St. Clair said.
Kroger owns the local King Soopers and City Market chains.
It doesn’t hurt Enerhealth’s potential for growth that the natural-products industry continues to see double-digit growth every year, according to Steve Hoffman, a managing partner of Compass Natural LLC, a marketing communications firm in Boulder that focuses on the natural-products industry.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic food sales rose to $27 billion in 2012 from $11 billion in 2004. Organic food sales – mostly produce – now account for 3.5 percent of total U.S. food sales. Enerhealth products are certified organic by the nonprofit agency Oregon Tilth, Craddock said.