What is in this article?:
It’s been almost a year since Paul and Barbi Schulick announced selling their supplement company to CPG giant P&G. Some predicted huge changes for the longtime whole food supplement brand. Were these people right? We talked to Paul Schulick and New Chapter’s new CEO, Kyle Garner, to find out and learn more about what's planned for New Chapter's future.
When Paul and Barbi Schulick told the world last March that they were selling their dietary supplement company New Chapter to Procter & Gamble, the reaction from the natural products industry was mixed. Certainly, some championed the sale for its ability to bring greater scale to New Chapter’s business of making quality whole foods supplements. Others, however, were swift to bemoan losing an independent supplement brand that had long been a favorite within the natural channel to a multinational consumer packaged goods giant.
Many predictions were made for how P&G would change New Chapter. “I see the end of a great company & it’s products,” wrote one anonymous commenter on this site in response to the news.
Now that nearly a year has passed since the Schulick’s announcement, newhope360 was wondering what really has changed so far for the supplement company and what's planned for the future. We sat down with Kyle Garner, New Chapter’s new CEO, and Paul Schulick, the company’s co-founder, to find out. Below is an edited transcript of our discussion.
newhope360: The question on everyone’s mind is what change has P&G's ownership brought to New Chapter?
Kyle Garner: The big thing for us is that we’ve been committed to trying to maintain the magic of what makes New Chapter New Chapter. The biggest way we have been able to do that is through maintaining the key leaders. Aside from me coming in, the rest of our leadership team is the same. The rest of our broader team is also the same. We have added roles and that has been great. We have invested heavily in our science and innovation team and more than doubled the size of that group to give us added resources in what we think is a very important space for us. We have also invested in and added people to our quality and regulatory group. But the core of the team is the same as it has been, and having people such as Paul still playing a leadership role has been critical to guiding us through this last year. The things that people have known and loved about New Chapter are the very things we are trying to carry forward into the future.
Paul Schulick: The only piece I would add would be to all the people who were concerned in the month or two following the transaction. In the very beginning of our process, we also had those same concerns. But as soon as we started working together as a team, it became incredibly clear that what Kyle referred to as the magic of New Chapter was not only going to be preserved but it was actually going to in many ways be enhanced. When I started in this industry 30 years ago I had a dream that we would be able to reach a large group of people with a quality product that would make us all proud. That dream is becoming more and more a reality.
What do you believe is making that dream more of a possibility?
PS: As Kyle said, we are increasing the sizes of our teams responsible for bringing out the quality product. I know that there are a number of naysayers who were suggesting that our quality would be reduced by the presence of a large multinational corporation like Procter & Gamble, but as we very quickly discovered, it has been exactly the opposite. They sent in their teams of supply chain and quality experts to enhance our skills and that has been very beneficial. Before the sale, we were a relatively small company with $100 million approximately in sales, but we now have [P&G’s] resources to buoy up many areas of our business. It is giving us the opportunity to hold this vision of reaching more people with our quality products and bringing more people into the stores.