I have known about NOW Foods for a long time. I first discovered the brand when I was looking into supplements and looking for organic sugars to make water kefir. Over the years I have bought several of their products so when I was approached with the opportunity to visit their headquarters I just had to say yes.
I was nervous about what I would discover. My standards when it comes to brands are really high and knowing that I would learn about all that goes on behind the scenes made me wonder if I would still like NOW Foods after this visit. I also had some questions about their products, like the essential oils line. I wanted to know more about the quality of their ingredients and why some of their products were so affordable when other brands are selling them for twice as much.
NOW foods headquarters are located in Chicago. They’re a family owned company and do have other locations but their main operations are in Chicago since that’s where the brand was born, almost 50 years ago.
The day I arrived I was greeted with two giant bags filled with products!
We got the meet Chef Suzy Singh, who is the happiest person on Earth! Haha! Seriously, I have never met anyone as excited to work with a company and with such a great personality. She’s one of the people in charge of creating the food line and after talking with her for a while I learned that NOW Foods is extremely strict with the ingredients they use on their products.
Not only do they use natural products, nothing artificial, but they’re also committed to creating products that actually taste good.
That day we had a cooking challenge using mostly NOW products. It was so much fun to see what everyone created! Our dish won third place:
The second day we got to visit the NOW Foods headquarters and learn all about the company. What I learned during this visit is very important and what I want to share with you.
Does natural mean anything anymore?
The word natural has been thrown around so much that it’s starting to lose it’s meaning. I am now used to reading labels because I cannot trust a company just because it says it’s “natural”. So I wanted to learn what natural means to NOW foods.
What I discovered surprised me – absolutely all of their products are non-GMO and a lot are organic. The main focus of this company is to create products made with ingredients found in nature. You can read all about it here and you can find a list of all the ingredients they will never use here.
You’re probably wondering, but wait, natural is not always good! Yes, there are also some naturally occurring minerals, like lead, that are found in nature and harmful… So natural is good, as long as it doesn’t contain toxins. NOW Foods is committed to sourcing the very best natural ingredients for its products and ones that are safe for us.
You can only determine if a product is safe by doing testing on it, which leads me to my next point.
NOW Foods is a giant laboratory
When I arrived to their headquarters I expected to see a huge manufacturing line putting ingredients together, packaging them and shipping them out. What I discovered was the biggest lab I’ve ever seen.
NOW Foods is so committed to providing you, the consumer, with real natural ingredients that EVERY single batch of ingredients that arrives to their plant goes through testing first. The lab makes sure the batch isn’t contaminated with other ingredients it shouldn’t have, it makes sure there are no artificial ingredients or contaminants and also makes sure it’s up to their standards.
They also recognize natural doesn’t always mean good. For example, arsenic is found in rice and it’s naturally occurring but it is harmful. Of course they know this so their ingredients also get tested for harmful minerals that are found in nature to make sure the product you buy DOES NOT contain anything harmful.
They have many different types of labs and do all sorts of testing. I heard they’ve invested over 60 million dollars (I might be a bit off with this number) on their lab equipment. They’re able to test from big particles to tiny molecules in their products and ingredients.
Once the ingredients have passed their initial testing they are sent to production. If the ingredients failed the testing they are sent back to the supplier and depending on the gravity of what they found, they might not work with that supplier again.
All the products are made in house and are also tested before they are shipped out to you.
This was a dream come true to me because I love testing. I want to know that what I’m buying is truly what the label says it is. NOW Foods is committed to this, so what you see on the label is what you’re getting.
Did you know that if a company ads 1-2% of a certain ingredient to their product they are not legally required to disclose it?
This is why, every now and then, you will see on the news a natural product that was discovered to have a not-so-natural ingredient. However, NOW Foods discloses every ingredients they use, even when it’s less than 2%. That’s why they do all this testing on their ingredients and products to know exactly what they’re selling to you. They’re really committed to being transparent.
They even have dedicated rooms for each type of product so there isn’t any cross-contamination. As you can see we were allowed to see their labs and manufacturing process. However, even though we were covered head to toes, we weren’t allowed in the actual room because they are committed to the quality of their products and we could have contaminated it.
I have never seen any other company commit to this much testing and use so much of their funds to make sure their ingredients are top-notch quality.
To say I’m impressed it’s an understatement. During the tour I called my family and told them we’re switching to NOW Foods since I know now the quality we’re getting. Which leads me to a question I get asked:
Why are NOW Foods more affordable than other natural brands?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen comments of people wondering why some of the products sold by NOW Foods are more affordable, especially when it comes to their essential oils.
I was also skeptical about the essential oils because even the brands that are not part of a MLM company are still more expensive than theirs.
What I learned is that NOW Foods is huge company, which means they have the financial power to buy ingredients in bulk – at prices most of the smaller companies cannot get. They’re also committed to affordability and since they have such a wide range of products they can make less profit in some and more profit in others.
So, for example, the essential oils line doesn’t make as much profit as other products but they had a goal to make them affordable. So they don’t spend too much marketing money on this product, they buy the ingredients in giant batches and they make up for it with sales from other products.
In case you’re wondering about their essential oils, they are the real deal. They are pure and the oils come from the first distillation of the plant. I personally have switched to them since I use essential oils in all my DIY products and I’m really enjoying them.
I see so many complaints that the healthier and safer products are very expensive but that’s not entirely true. A company like NOW Foods can offer lower costs without compromising quality because they have so many products they sell that they are able to produce them and sell them in big quantities.
So, can NOW foods be trusted?
Usually I’m scared to answer a question like this. We all have seen companies that claim one thing, only to discover they’re not what they’re claiming but after getting to know NOW Foods, the people behind it, the quality of products they produce, I stand 100% behind this company.
NOW’s Quality Control and Quality Assurance programs is why I completely trust them and have already ordered more of their products on Amazon. At the end of the day, what’s important for me are my kids and knowing they’re not exposed to unnecessary harmful ingredients. I don’t know any other company that does the amount of testing NOW Foods does and this is why I trust them. Even if their product were more expensive I would still buy them because I know I’m getting quality.
If you’re still skeptical I have good news for you! NOW Foods is all about transparency, which means if you want to get a tour of their facilities and talk to one of their scientist you can do so! Just contact them and set up a tour of their facilities.
If you have concerns or questions about a specific product you always reach out to them and they will provide with all the information you need.
NOW Foods sells over 1400 high-quality, natural and affordable products. You can get supplements, beauty & health products, essential oils, sports nutrition products, pet health supplies and even natural foods from this brand.
I was really surprised to learn about NOW Sports because my family is filled with athletes so I am well aware that the sports industry is filled with questionable products. If you’re into nutritional supplements you should definitively check them out!
Their products are not only heavily tested by them and third-party labs but they don’t use anything artificial. They also state every single ingredient on the label, along with quantities, so if you’re a pro athlete you can rest assure you know what you’re buying. But the best part for me was that their sports line is made using natural ingredients, so they’re even safe for those of you with teenagers needing to supplement.
Be sure to check all of their products and don’t forget to try their nut snacks – I might have eaten a whole bag by myself.
Over the years I’ve gotten many questions about NOW Foods, their practices and ingredients, so I wrote this guide with all your questions answered. It is very extensive and if your question wasn’t answered on this article, you will very likely find it on this guide which covers the wide range of products they sell.