Carb Cutter Gains Wal-Mart Distribution

Jul 17, 2002

Health & Nutrition Systems International (HNS) has begun distributing its Carb Cutter brand through more than 2,800 Wal-Mart stores throughout the U.S. according to the website.

“We plan to continue to expand Carb Cutter brand sales not only to Wal-Mart but also to all our customers,” says Steve Sarafian, the company’s national marketing director.

HNS develops and markets weight management products in more than 25,000 health, food and drug store locations. In addition to Wal-Mart, the company’s products can be found in CVS, GNC, Eckerd’s, Rite Aid, Target, Vitamin Shoppe, Vitamin World and Walgreens outlets. The company’s HNS Direct division also distributes to independent health food stores, gyms and pharmacies.

Moderator Comment: Do retailers have a responsibility to educate consumers on the pros and cons of various diets or is that the job of the health care community and manufacturers?

Consumers are confused and dieting has almost become
an act of faith today. Getting the straight story is tough since no one (conclusively)
seems to know what the nutritional truth is.

For example, the rush to remove dieting aids containing
ephedra (Ma Huang) was interesting to watch. As you probably know, eight deaths
were connected to the use of products containing ephedra and caffeine. To our
knowledge, no deaths have resulted from consumers taking ephedra products that
do not contain caffeine.

As a counterpoint, we’ve seen estimates that approximately
1,000 people die every year from complications related to aspirin. Should there
be a sudden rush to remove aspirin from store shelves? We think not.

Retailers have a role to play in consumer education.
If only, they could be certain of the course materials. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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