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Swiss Herbal

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Swiss Herbal started out as a small home-based import business in the fifties, but has grown over the years to become the provider of Canada's largest selection of natural health remedies.

Swiss Herbal started out as a small home-based import business in the fifties, but has grown over the years to become the provider of Canada's largest selection of natural health remedies.

Rolf Zimmermann, the company's founder, was a German baker who immigrated to Canada in 1952 with $32 to his name. After settling in Toronto, Zimmermann discovered that many traditional European natural health products weren't available in Canada, so he began to import them and sell them to his friends.

Encouraged by the obvious appeal of his products, Zimmermann opened a store in Toronto in 1958 and began offering his health food products and natural remedies to a larger market. He named his store Swiss Herbal Remedies to reflect the European heritage of his products.

Since then, Swiss Herbal has become one of Canada's top-selling health product companies. According to company president Jim Maranda, Swiss Herbal now offers close to 1,000 different items. "We're expanding all the time and always on the lookout for innovative new products," Maranda says.

To house its ever-growing product line, the company recently moved its headquarters to a new location that's twice as large as their previous premises. "We now have 100,000 square feet, which is going to help us increase our manufacturing and packaging capabilities," reports Maranda.

Health Science

Maranda says the key to Swiss Herbal's success is its focus on providing quality products that are based on sound science. All its products undergo rigorous testing and are closely monitored through the entire manufacturing process, then sent to independent labs for further testing. "We're committed to science-based research and development," Maranda says. "That's what our consumers are demanding."

The company is so confident about the quality of its products that it provides an unconditional guarantee. When it comes to ensuring quality, Maranda knows what he's talking about. Before joining the Swiss Herbal team, he worked as a drug inspector for Health Canada's Food and Drug branch. He was in the middle of conducting an inspection of Swiss Herbal in 1970 when Zimmermann hired him to head the company's wholesale business. He's been president of the company since 1978.

What's Hot

When asked to name the company's most popular product, Maranda has trouble identifying just one. "Our top sellers are vitamin D, menopausal products, multivitamins, glucosamine, and cranberries," he says.

A recently introduced product that's doing well is Total One, a complete antiaging multivitamin and mineral supplement that boosts the immune system and helps prevent degenerative diseases.

Except for items otherwise labelled, all Swiss Herbal products are yeast and dairy free. They contain no added preservatives, artificial colours, artificial flavours, starch, salt, or corn.

Swiss Herbal currently sells its products in 15 countries and is exploring new markets in Asia and the Middle East. "We're concerned about all consumers," Maranda says. "We want to improve the quality of health on a global level, not just domestically."

To learn more about the company's products, visit its website at swissherbal.ca.

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