The approximately $40 billion VMHS
industry has proven to be recession resistant by growing at a mid-single-digit rate through economic cycles.
And it was that broader understanding of systems of processes in hospital operations that led her to be a strong CIO and CFO before ascending to the president position, she emphasized; indeed, it was her strategic background and experience that led VMHS
chairman and CEO Gary Kaplan, M.D.
All four of the VMHS segments tracked by SymphonyIRI Group Inc.
Gary Pigott, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Mason Vitamins, calls the VMHS category "a legitimate profit center with proven results." Pigott predicts steady incremental growth in the market for the next five years.
Leaders in the "alternative" supermarket field have established a solid foothold in the natural products market, devoting their inventories to natural and organic products, health foods and VMHS. A survey by Hartman & New Hope last year of more than 700 natural-product retailers showed that organic food and beverages were the items most frequently requested by consumers, followed by remedies for specific health concerns, notably arthritis, sinuses, heart problems, diabetes and prostate; herbal and anti-aging products; and energy enhancers.
A 1998 survey by Hartman & New Hope of more than 2,300 households that used one or more VMHS products on a regular basis showed that 91% trusted their pharmacist as a source of information.
After subtracting out the private label business and looking solely at VMHS
products, NLI is competing for business in over a $1 billion market.