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Natural Product Industry Award Winners Announced

20 March 2014

Natural Product Industry Award Winners Announced

Natural Products NZ this evening announced the winners of its annual industry awards:

Cawthron Institute Innovation in Science & Technology Award: Comvita
James & Wells Intellectual Property Excellence in Marketing Award:
Winner: Clinicians
Highly commended: Oxygen
Skincare DHL Global Forwarding Exporter of the Year: SeaDragon

Natural Products NZ (NPNZ) is a national industry organisation representing this country’s natural products, functional foods, complementary medicines, cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals industries.

Announcing the winners, NPNZ’s Executive Director Alison Quesnel said New Zealand’s natural products industry had remained vibrant throughout the recession so the positive economic outlook boded well for making excellent progress towards the industry’s goal of becoming one of New Zealand’s top export earners by 2025.

“The ability to think outside the square was demonstrated by all of our winners and this attitude has been a key to the natural health product industry’s success as a whole. Many of NPNZ’s members are doing well in export markets, which have been helped by New Zealand’s reputation for producing high quality, innovative and unique plant, marine and animal products.”

Ms Quesnel commented that NPNZ members were at the forefront of innovating in these fields.

“Our members have also shown themselves to be adept at commercialising their innovations by successfully finding niche markets in which to promote their products in New Zealand and offshore.“

Award winner overviews


The award recognises innovation in scientific research conducted in support of the natural products industry or for individual product(s); or for the successful development of a novel process/processes or technological advancement/s.

Te Puke-based Comvita won the award for its formulation, technical development and clinical trial work for fresh Olive Leaf Extract.

Comvita worked with The University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute and in the UK with the University of Reading to conduct trials that resulted in proof that Comvita’s fresh Olive Leaf extract improves the way insulin is secreted and works in overweight men. The research was peer reviewed and published in March 2013.

The company has a 37-year heritage in therapeutic bee-based products and is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of Manuka (Leptospermum) honey. It has also developed a range of other natural health products in the wound care, health care, skin care and functional foods categories. These are sold in more than 14 countries.


This award recognises a company or employee of the company who has achieved exceptional results from the innovative marketing, advertising or promotion of a service or product achieving significant market growth or market access.

West Auckland-based Clinicians is committed to promoting optimum wellness through providing high-quality products and supporting pharmacies, practitioners and health shops. The company is a subsidiary of Douglas Pharmaceuticals, a wholly New Zealand-owned company.

Award judges noted that, like many businesses, Clinicians’ challenge was to differentiate their product and obtain consumer attention.

Although the company followed a traditional customer research approach to come up with a marketing solution, judges were impressed with the highly effective outcome demonstrated by the Clinicians for Women campaign’s success.


Nelson-based Oxygen Skincare is dedicated to providing affordable natural health and beauty products. The company was launched in 2009 and has since grown from humble beginnings to achieve international recognition and a growing list of customers and stockists in New Zealand and off-shore.

Judges were impressed with Oxygen Skincare’s innovative campaign that took an inventive and nimble approach to the age-old small business problem of how to market products on a shoestring.


For the company with the most significant export growth and/or who has successfully conquered new market/s in the 2013 year.

Nelson-based SeaDragon is Australasia’s largest refiner and blender of high-quality, internationally certified concentrated fish oils and fractions (i.e. distilled derivatives), including Omega-3 oils. The company obtains its raw materials from sustainably managed fishing zones, and uses by-product that previously would have been commercially unusable.

Judges praised SeaDragon’s unique product propositions and innovative ability to commercialise resources that would otherwise have been disposed-of. They were also impressed with SeaDragon’s impressive market growth, including 213% in one market and showed an overall growth of 40% year on year in 2013.


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