Sunday, January 31, 2010
Since we were down in the area to upgrade our baseball seats we decided to tour the Nutrilite plant. You know, the vitamins Amway sells. We love them, and take them everyday. Even William takes the children's chewable. (No, this post isn't going to be a pitch on how you should stop taking your K-Mart vitamins and take Nutrilite. Breath easy.)
The tour was absolutely fascinating. I've been asked in the past why take them over some other cheaper brand. I simply didn't know. Now I do. After a three hour tour of the 33,000 square foot facility, which boasts some of the industry's most expensive equipment typically only found in universities or global pharmaceutical companies, I was simply amazed.
We learned how Nutrilite uses concentrated plant products (not dehydrated) to make their tablets, testing millions of them each month to insure quality (something other brands don't do simply because the industry isn't regulated). At the Buena Park location they manufacture over a half billion tablets and over 5 million food bars. Due to the fact that they are in high demand in other parts of the world, they ship the vitamin powder directly to some countries, and they in turn "tweek" the ingredient amounts to suit the needs of their people. For example, the Japanese people, scientists have determined, need more calcium in their diet so their Nutrilite XX vitamins have more than the American XX. (Did you know the tablets are called XX because when they were first made they cost $20? Get it? Roman Numerals? I thought that was interesting.)
I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you. Here are some pictures.
This scientist is doing some Vitamin C testing, making sure the tablets contain the right amount and....other tests. Hey, I was holding Abby who by this time was sick of touring.
I mean really, if you had to wear a hair net to cover your bald head wouldn't YOU be cranky?
This picture simply doesn't do this warehouse justice. This room was huge! It contained millions of vitamin tablets ready to be shipped out. (You can see the man in the right hand corner, to give you an idea of how high the boxes were stacked.) The tablets remain here for no longer than one week before they are shipped to 40 different countries.
This scientist was not our tour guide, but was on break or something. His job was to test for Vitamin D. Anyway, he showed us various labs (like the one above) and explained what happened in each.
Here's a lab that does food bar testing.
It was a great tour! Kind of long for the kids, but well worth it. Every year I've tried to get a tour but have never been able because it's a high-demand tour that's usually booked way in advance. The gal on the phone felt sorry for me (I think...I gave her a sob story and basically begged her for a tour) so she arranged another tour just for us, which turned out to have several other families that also joined us. Since Amway products are huge in other countries (what's with Americans not liking Amway?) the tours are usually in languages other than English (Chinese and Japanese tours are jammed!). Anyway, if you get down in the area I highly recommend checking this place out.