Rainbow Light, a leading multivitamin brand in the natural channel, was founded first on a belief in the benefits of spirulina, Hobbs said. A ‘whole food’ approach was always the guiding principle, but in the company’s beginnings in the mid 80s it was more a matter of belief rather than in reference to any hard data.
Guiding principles, but not much science
“Rainbow Light was one of the first if not the first company, instead of just using straight vitamins in a multivitamin product, to add the herbal component,” Hobbs told NutraIngredients-USA. “The idea was with herbs to get a more systems-wide approach. The effort was to make it more like food so it would be better utilized, rather than just pumping the system full of vitamins.
“That theme is still present, but in the early days there was not much science behind it, really,” he said.
Hobbs has a long history with the company. He had trained as an acupuncturist and practiced traditional Chinese medicine when he first started collaborating with Rainbow Light on formulations in 1984.
“I started using traditional formulation techniques, to harmonize the formulas energetically. Then we started going into functional foods and we slowly got more sophisticated and we started to look at what does science have to say about this,” he said.