Since 1968, NOW Foods has been a leader in the natural products industry. Even when healthy foods and natural supplements weren’t mainstream, we’ve never wavered from our mission – to provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives. Now, in 2019, we're introducing our award-winning range of supplements, vitamins, probiotics and more to the South African market.

Empowering healthier lives since 1968

Back in the early 60’s the health food industry was in its infancy. “Health foods” were obscure and peculiar, and health food enthusiasts were broadly categorised as hippies and granola-heads.

During these raw and formative early years, entrepreneur Elwood Richard started a small chain of health food stores in the Chicago area called Health House. A degreed physical chemist, Elwood’s collegiate research had focused on enhancing physical performance through the use of healthy foods and nutritional supplements. The knowledge he acquired during this time left him a firm believer in the benefits of natural products for health and quality of life, and laid the early foundation for his life-long love of nutrition and health foods.

After losing customers to a local supermarket due to the high cost of his products, Elwood realised that in order for his health food stores to survive and thrive they needed to offer affordable natural products. Healthy foods wouldn’t last if no one could afford them. So he started his own natural products manufacturing company to supply his stores, which afforded him complete control over product cost and quality. NOW® Foods was born.

Today NOW is still owned by the Richard family and has grown to become one of the natural product industry’s most recognisable brands, providing one of the most extensive lines of natural products available. NOW has always remained true to Elwood’s original vision – to meet consumer need for health foods by offering affordable, high quality natural products.

Historical Milestones

  • 1948 – Paul Richard (Elwood’s father) purchases Fearn Soya Foods from estate of close friend Dr. Charles E. Fearn
  • 1962 – Elwood Richard opens first retail store in Elmhurst, Illinois
  • 1968 – Elwood Richard founds NOW® Foods - 4,500 square foot within Fearn Soya
  • 1974 – Al Powers joins NOW Foods
  • 1975 – Retail stores adopt the name The Fruitful Yield
  • 1978 – NOW expands operations and moves to 7,000 square foot Villa Park location
  • 1983 – NOW introduces Max EPA; within two years sales reach an all-time high
  • 1985 – Elwood’s son, Dan Richard, joins NOW Foods and upgrades labels and catalog
  • 1988 – NOW moves into a 12,000 square foot facility in Glendale Heights, Illinois
  • 1991 – HealthCo, NOW's International division, is launched by Elwood's oldest son, David Richard
  • 1993 – NOW celebrates 25 years in business
  • 1994 – NOW expands again and moves to the Mitchell Road location in Glendale Heights (45,000 square foot)
  • 1995 – Jim Emme joins NOW as Plant Manager
  • 1998 – NOW moves into state-of-the-art 203,000 square foot facility in Bloomingdale, designed by Elwood’s brother Louis Richard
  • 1999 – NOW wins an unprecedented 32 Vity Awards
  • 2000 – NOW earns GMP certification from the NPA (then NNFA) with an ‘A’ rating, and attains certified organic manufacturer status
  • 2000 – NOW purchases Puresource in Guelph, Ontario
  • 2003 – NOW is named Manufacturer of the Year by Nutrition Industry Executive Magazine
  • 2003 – NOW opens shipping facility in Sparks, Nevada
  • 2005 – Elwood Richard retires; Al Powers named president
  • 2005 – NOW acquires Burnham Labs and begins in-house manufacturing of personal care products
  • 2006 – NOW becomes the first for-profit business in DuPage County to fly the Earth Flag
  • 2007 – NOW honoured by Nutrition Business Journal for “Efforts on Behalf of Industry” and “Educational Initiatives”
  • 2007 – NOW purchases ICP-MS machine for the advanced testing of heavy metals
  • 2008 – NOW celebrates its 40th anniversary
  • 2008 – NOW named the #1 selling brand in the natural channel according to SPINSscan Natural
  • 2009 – NOW expands, adding an additional 45,000 square foot of manufacturing and laboratory space at our Glen Ellyn Road plant
  • 2012 – NOW builds and moves into new 130,000 square foot facility in Sparks, Nevada to better serve West coast customers
  • 2012 – NOW’s President, Al Powers, is promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NOW Health Group, Inc.
  • 2012 – NOW’s Chief Operations Officer, Jim Emme, is promoted to President of NOW
  • 2012 – NOW founder Elwood Richard inducted into the inaugural Industry Hall of Legends
  • 2012 - NOW moves into its new corporate headquarters at 244 Knollwood Drive in Bloomingdale, Illinois
  • 2013 – NOW celebrates its 45th anniversary
  • 2013 – NOW’s new Sparks, Nevada facility is LEED Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council
  • 2014 – NOW Health Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Al Powers retires
  • 2014 – NOW Health Group President Jim Emme is promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • 2014 – NOW wins 7th consecutive Chicago 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For award
  • 2014 – NOW wins first National 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For award
  • 2014 – NOW founder Elwood Richard honored with the Natural Product Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2014 – NOW recognized as a “Founding Supporter” by Vitamin Angels for 20 years of support
  • 2015 – NOW achieves Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Certification
  • 2015 – NOW wins 2nd consecutive National 101 Best & Brightest to Work For
  • 2015 – NOW wins 8th consecutive Chicago 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For
  • 2016 – NOW wins 9th consecutive Chicago Best & Brightest Companies to Work For
  • 2016 – NOW wins 3rd consecutive National 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For
  • 2016 – NOW adds state-of-the-art RiboPrinter® for the verification of probiotic strains
  • 2017 – NOW opens a new 200,000 square foot distribution facility in Roselle, Illinois
  • 2017 – Elwood Richard honored at Natural Products Expo West with American Herbal Products Association’s (AHPA) Visionary award
  • 2017 – NOW founder and industry legend Elwood Richard passes
  • 2018 – NOW celebrates 50th anniversary
  • 2018 – NOW Sports rolls out new label design
  • 2018 – NOW Sports achieves Informed-Sport/Informed-Choice certification
  • 2018 – NOW achieves ISO 22716:2007 certification through UL for all cosmetic products