40 Years, WOW!

Words that come to mind are proud, excited, humbled, and appreciative.

This sums up my gratitude for every one of you that has worked with us over the decades, for what we have accomplished in these 40 years, and for our future together. When my father, Howard Wainer, purchased WholeFoods Magazine and formed WFC, Inc. in 1984, I was just a kid. I had no idea what my family was getting into, but luckily my dad did. I knew what a magazine was, but did not know how one was made. I knew Howie and my mom Sandy saw the value in giving me vitamins and natural foods, but had no clue where they came from. I was a quick study, though, and going to trade shows is one of my best childhood experiences. I’ve been told I was awesome at giving away Free subscriptions.

Fast forward to when I took a full time job at WFC: It was life changing. Besides having a career and learning that I can be successful, I earned my dad's praise. I learned that we could change the way people think nutrition and health. We've seen this world continually changing, and as an industry we change with it to create better, healthier options. I've seen the dietary supplements industry grow from a niche industry to a nearly $60 billion industry with 75% of Americans using a supplement, according to CRN’s annual survey. We've seen trends come and go while many more become mainstays. WholeFoods has covered them all.

Technology changed how we do business. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy the relaunched WholeFoodsmagazine.com. Please sign in on the website for extra content targeted to your needs and interests. Plus, we relaunched the Source Directory Online.

This year we mark the 30th anniversary of DSHEA, but we cannot stop fighting, as new threats are continually rising—see calls to action from industry leaders. We can't stress enough to get involved with the trade groups who are here to support us.

We share our anniversary with many other influential companies and many great friends, such as Vitamin Angels, which is celebrating its 30th this year. I am proud to be a supporter, knowing we are helping so many women and children worldwide. I saw it firsthand when I traveled to Peru and Honduras to assist their efforts. And they aren't stopping—enjoy this update on Vitamin Angels.

The pandemic has framed the 2020s. Our industry had a boom, but also supply chain problems, and we felt the effects of lack of personal contact with no in-person meetings. As with all industries, the pandemic changed how we work. 

We saw the rise (and fall) of CBD, the surge of microbiome, immune, active nutrition, mental wellness, delivery systems, plant based, mushrooms, and much more. This creates opportunities that helped WFC grow with the introduction of Naturally Informed events, our podcast The Natural View, our sample boxes, and more (see page 19). We're honored to inform and educate industry members in a variety of ways.

As WFC is Woman Owned and Woman Led—and the only woman owned publishing company in our industry—it's heartwarming and revitalizing to see the growth of woman in the industry to prominent positions, as well as increased attention to products for women, putting our needs in the forefront.

Life post-COVID has returned to a new normal. Some things remain the same, and that includes our love and respect for our industry and why we need to keep fighting for it. I love what I do and the people I meet, and I can’t imagine doing what I do anywhere else. I know you feel the same. My wish for the next 40 years is to see supplements and herbs enjoy the same respect as pharmaceuticals, an FDA that recognizes and works with us, and healthy foods being available for all. There is a lot more work to do, and we look forward to doing it with you for the next 40 years and beyond!