Amway grew in almost all regions in 2011

February 27, 2012
| By Pete Daly |
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Amway sales in all of its worldwide regions except one increased significantly in 2011, with total sales exceeding $10.9 billion, or 17 percent more than the $9.2 billion in 2010.

Alticore Inc., parent company of the direct sales giant based in Ada, announced that its sales in Japan were flat last year due to the massive, long-term results of the March earthquake and tsunami. Other Amway markets posting double-digit increases in 2011 include China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam, plus the Latin American region.

Alticor chairman Steve Van Andel said Amway’s success is “due to the millions of distributors all over the world who pursue their goals through an Amway business." More than 3 million people worldwide sell Amway products in more than 80 countries and territories.

Amway President Doug DeVos said that India and China “have probably the largest long-term potential” for Amway sales, “just because of the size of the populations.”

Latin America is not yet one of the Amway’s strongest sales regions but also “certainly holds great opportunity for us,” noted DeVos.

Brazil has now reportedly surpassed the UK as the world’s 6th largest economy, according to Euromonitor International Ltd., which studies consumer product markets around the world.

Amway has been active in Vietnam for less than five years but it, too, holds great potential because it is also “a growing, dynamic economy,” according to DeVos.

According to Amway, the privately held company has increased its overall market share to more than 10 percent of global direct sales of nutritional products, beauty and personal care products, and household products. Its Nutrilite brand of vitamins and dietary supplements lead its sales, totaling almost $4.7 billion last year, followed by its Artistry line of beauty and personal care products at $2.8 billion.

The company announcement last week states that according to Euromonitor International, Nutrilite is now the world's No. 1 selling brand of vitamins/dietary supplements. Sales of Nutrilite Protein Powder and Double X dietary supplements accounted for more than one-third of Amway sales in that category. Major product launches for Nutrilite last year included Memory Builder supplement, Vitamin C Plus Extended Release and All-Plant Protein Powder.

Amway’s Artistry brand is among the world's top five largest-selling premium skin care products and holds the top spot in China, according to Euromonitor. The brand’s Intensive Skincare Renewing Peel, launched globally last year, was the first in a new line of at-home skin care products that offer benefits that Amway says are comparable to clinical treatments. Other significant launches in 2011 were Creme LX Eye and the Artistry Men skin care line.

Home product sales were at $2.2 billion, led by continued strong sales for the eSpring Water Purifier, Atmosphere Air Purifier and the Amway Home line of products.

Other Amway sales of products not in the nutrition, beauty or home categories were about $600 million in 2011.

Amway has 20,000 employees worldwide, with the largest concentration in Ada, where the company has been based for most of its 53 years. It has just opened a new three-story, $24 million manufacturing facility in its main Ada complex, where it will produce Nutrilite products that had been made in Lakeview, Calif.

The new plant will employ more than 50 workers and is expected to be fully functional by the second quarter of 2013. It is the company’s first consumable goods plant in Michigan, and features state-of-the-art production technology, a $1 million quality assurance lab, and what the company calls “an innovative work system.”

“Many of the employees at this plant will have had six months of skill development and team building before the first batch of product leaves this facility,” said Lauren Walker, vice president of Ada operations.

The new facility will produce nutritional powder products such as Positrim, a meal-replacement powder mix; Active 8, a powder drink mix containing eight vitamins; and Invisifiber, a blend of three types of natural, soluble, tasteless fiber that is sold in individual packs.

It will also produce a reformulated Nutrilite All Plant Protein Powder made from a blend of soy, wheat and pea. The powder is lactose- and cholesterol-free.

While planning the new facility, Amway took the opportunity to rethink and restructure its work system with employees’ input, according to Walker. The new system improves efficiency and quality assurance and creates a new career path for employees, while ensuring Amway remains competitive in the long term, according to the company.

The system includes weekly individual work schedules of three 12.5-hour days on, followed by three and a half days off; quarterly rotation of day and night shifts and work days; and cross-training of employees so they can use all equipment.

“We value the input of our employees and continue to empower them to create best practices for their work environments,” said Kelly Savage, chief human resources officer at Amway. “The result is engaged employees who are invested in the process and proud of their work.”

In 2010, Amway announced a series of changes to its supply chain structure. Among those changes, the company announced it would close the Lakeview, Calif., operations by 2013, with some operations relocating to existing facilities at the company’s headquarters in Michigan, in Buena Park, Calif., and company farms in Washington State, Mexico and Brazil.

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