Caruso's Natural Health is the honoured winner of the 2021 Innovator Award.
Frank Caruso of Caruso's Natural Health accepts the CMA 2021 Innovator of the Year award.
Industry veteran, Frank Caruso founder and CEO of the company says: "Our boardroom now proudly houses five CMA awards – as well as the Lady Cilento award. The Innovator Award joins CMA awards for training and marketing. “It’s an honour receiving the CMA Innovator Award. I am so proud of my team who have worked so hard to create something unique, and to be recognised for their creativity by the industry makes it extra special," says Frank.
Having been involved in the industry for nearly 40 years, Frank believes that creativity is the key behind the team’s win. Frank said, “Creativity Takes Courage” because it means taking risks. There is always a really good chance of failure when you choose to be creative that’s what makes it exciting and so challenging." Frank says.
To introduce an overhaul of the company’s labelling system and retail architecture, the team decided to use a combination of colour coding and easy-to-understand point-of-sale information for customers and for retailers. “It is all about the presentation,” says Frank, emphasising that the message must be clear and simple. To explain the radically new concept, the team produced a video that was submitted with their nomination to showcase the innovation. The video featured a new shelf management system which incorporated easy-to-follow colour coding on shelf talkers and labels. The shelf management system includes white plastic trays that support the company's shelf-talkers that clearly highlight each of the products' health benefits.
The new concept in product label design, category simplicity, and shelf management mostly stem from Frank’s 13-year experience as a health food retailer. "When I was a retailer in the 1980s, I saw that product ranges were classified in health categories, but it was confusing. One of the things that puzzled me was why there was a women's and men’s category – it didn't make sense to me because apart from a couple of items, all products within the range could be used by all customers. So, this inspired us to totally rethink our label designs and shelf management system. Our strategy was to simplify the categories, create a design that had mass appeal hence improving the customer experience when shopping across the range. Steve Job’s once said; “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!”
So, Caruso's design team went to work. After 9 months of hard work and presenting hundreds of new innovative concepts and designs the team finally achieved our ultimate goal. The result, three major categories across the Caruso’s range, each easily identified with a distinctive colour. These were Health Solutions in bright Red, Herbal Therapeutics in lime Green and Nutritional Support in vibrant Blue.
The Health Solutions category features complex formulas that address specific health conditions in alphabetical order. The Herbal Therapeutics category includes single, standardised herbal extracts also in alphabetical order and lastly our Nutritional Support category features a range of vitamins and nutrients from A to Z.
Each product is easily identified with its own colour coded label and shelf strip displaying the listed indications.
“We knew we had finally got it right when we unveiled the new look across all platforms, including digital. The reaction was welcoming and positive – our reps, pharmacy staff, and customers all embraced the coding for its ease of understanding. It has achieved what we set out to achieve – a straightforward and effective approach for customers and retail staff,' Frank says.
Custom made Australian bottles
Taking the product labelling and retail launch a step further, Frank decided that the products should be available in custom made products.
"We designed our own custom bottles and worked with a local bottle manufacturer to help us with design for all the different sizes for the range. The new recyclable bottle design is unique; We could have easily used standard bottles, it certainly would have saved a lot of time and money, but attention to detail is very important to us so we had to tick every box. So needless to say, our custom bottles are manufactured in Australia using a special high quality, premium material that is designed to protect the active ingredients plus seal in the freshness," Frank explains.
Since launching the new shelf management system our sales have increased dramatically over the last two years. Caruso's is proud to have many number one best sellers in pharmacy; These include Veins Clear, Fluid Away, Astaxanthin, K2, Magnesium Cream and many others within the herbal category range.
"This is quite an achievement when you consider that the Caruso’s brand was launched only 8 years ago. We brand was called ‘Totally Natural Products’ for 16 years before we decided to change the brand name to Caruso’s. It’s my family name, I’m the fonder so I thought it was appropriate to change the name to Caruso’s. Many of the other major supplement brands have been around for decades, some between 50 and 90 years. We have to remind ourselves on how far we have come in 8 short years!” says Frank.
As well as providing high quality products, Frank and the team also emphasise the importance of a healthy diet and exercise in all their books and on their website as essential pillars of good health.
"The team and I are so excited about being awarded the CMA Innovator Award – we are humbled because we know that it is a very competitive award. It’s a big deal for us and it inspires us to do better every year. I really don't know what other companies do or how they run their businesses, but we do things diffidently at Caruso’s particularly when it comes to new product development and marketing.”
Frank finishes by saying; “Innovation takes courage, but it also takes one more important ingredient, it takes PASSION. Nothing great in this world has ever been created without it!”