Personal wellness is a priority for many individuals. According to research from McKinsey & Company, 79 percent of customers believe that wellness is important, and 42 percent consider it a top priority. The research goes on to show that if consumers had to choose between more natural supplements and more effective ones, they would choose the more natural option by 41 percent to 21 percent. Established in 2015, Nature Cure Labs LLC – now operating under the Palmara Health brand – recognized and championed natural, safe, and quality supplements well before these studies were published.
Recently, our team at The Chiefs Digest had an opportunity to speak with Damon Sununtnasuk (Founder and CEO of Natural Cure Labs LLC – operating as Palmara Health and VitaTails brand supplements). Damon was generous enough to spend time walking our team through his thoughts on the industry and his company’s unique approach to education and product design. This insightful interview provided a refreshing take on this important and growing segment.
The following excerpts highlight our engaging conversation together:
Mr. Sununtnasuk, please introduce to our readers Palmara Health (formerly Natural Cure Labs).
Palmara Health is the supplement brand of Natural Cure Labs LLC – a custom wellness nutrition company providing supplements for people and pets. The company enjoys a long mission-driven history, beginning with a single product and the goal to create the best research-based supplements for immune health possible. Today, the company boasts an extensive portfolio of immune-focused supplements and a dedicated line of functional nutrition for pets.
How did you get started with Palmara Health?
Back in 2015, the market for natural health products was very different – the industry was challenged by products which featured inferior ingredients, synthetic additives, and lacked supporting research. Understanding that quality and safety are paramount to personal health choices, we set out to change the narrative for good and launched a company dedicated to the compliant and transparent manufacturing of natural products which focus on immune health.
What inspired Palmara Health to grow into the brand it is today?
Our company has always been driven by a commitment to research, education, and quality. Our product portfolio has grown to include some industry firsts, including the only 800mg monolaurin capsule offering, a patented “dual capsule” thyroid support product, and an ultra-low water availability tincture that avoids the need for preservatives. All our products follow the company’s commitment to quality, safety, and trust which customers have embraced over the years. Our customers are incredibly loyal, with more than 35% returning month after month to enjoy our clean label formulas.
Challenges can sometimes help transform a company for the better – were there any recent challenges which come to mind for Palmara Health?
2020 was in an incredibly challenging year for most industries, and the natural products industry was no different. Our manufacturing capacity was hindered by import restrictions, stay-at-home orders, and ingredient shortages. However, we were able to use this disruption as an opportunity to reassess and reset our portfolio to respond to customer needs. We launched three new custom products during the year and received several industry awards recognizing our steadfast commitment to quality and safety. Although the year was a difficult one, our double-digit growth suggests we were able to react in a meaningful way.
What are the guiding principles Palmara Health applies to ensure success?
We apply three guiding principles which manifest themselves in every formula, decision, and product. Every aspect of the value chain, from raw ingredients to marketing literature, must uphold these standards.
- Quality – US-based (when possible) raw materials are sustainably sourced, are always vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. ‘Clean Label’ protocols are met using plant-based capsules and natural rice powder as an essential part of the manufacturing process—never synthetic excipients.
- Safety – Manufacturing facilities are cGMP certified, and every product is tested in-house and via a third-party accredited lab to ensure safety and quality specifications are met.
- Trust – All products are released with accompanying literature highlighting the science behind the ingredient. Product literature, labels, and supporting content are reviewed by industry professions to ensure a high degree of accuracy, transparency, and compliance.
How do you define success at Palmara Health?
Success for us is driven by customer happiness – we cannot have a successful business without exceptional customer experiences and unwavering trust in the quality and efficacy of our products. A commitment to doing what is right, not what may be easy, is the only way to achieve this. For example, our comprehensive testing protocols use ISO17025 laboratories at a significant cost. Although using a non-accredited lab or forgoing testing altogether might be easier, adhering to rigorous testing is the right choice for product safety and customer trust.
How do customers factor into your decision making at Palmara Health?
We are unwavering in our commitment to quality, and customers have responded very favorably. We also have responded to the changing needs of customers, their lifestyles, and their feedback. We expanded our line of award-winning monolaurin products to include proprietary blends and higher fill capsules in response to customer interest. We also monitor industry trends and have released new products which reflect the changing needs and expectations of customers. For example, elderberry product interest was up over 1,000% in spring of 2020 and we were able to formulate, blend, and release an elderberry immune complex product in just six weeks. Furthermore, we have expanded our manufacturing expertise to include nutritional products for the growing number of households with dogs. Our VitaTails multivitamin soft chews for dogs offer the same exceptional quality and research you expect from our dietary supplement products for the furry members of your family.
Finally, what makes Palmara Health unique?
Our commitment to research is what truly sets us apart from other brands. Our staff of doctors, PhDs, pharmacists, and compliance professionals help us with the research, formulation, and communication of all our products. With their support, all products come with a dossier of supporting literature that explores published third-party studies of each ingredient found in our formulas. This focus on research drives the formulation and education of our award-winning formulas.
We aim to extend our award-winning portfolio to include additional markets and channels to provide immune support-focused products to as many people (and pets) as possible.