“Americans specifically need more fish oil,” said Sam Wiley, CEO at Wiley's Finest. “Women in particular are not taking enough fish oil. Ask a 50 year old man, and he will likely answer yes to question of whether he takes a fish oil supplement for heart health. As the same question to his wife and it’s often a no.”
Wiley was speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, where the company also launched its latest product, Prenatal DHA, the first prenatal fish oil product to be MSC certified, he said.
While the new prenatal product is clearly aimed at women of childbearing age, the company is focusing on all age groups. Wiley explained that Wiley’s Finest is also partnering with Sister-to-Sister: The Women’s Heart Health Foundation.
Three decades of hard work
Despite only being launched in 2012, Wiley's Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil is the result of three generations and three decades of hard work, said Wiley, with the family all strong believers in the benefits of omega-3s and passionate about spreading the message of good health through omega-3’s from fish oils.
The 100% USA message is really resonating with American consumers, he said, and that by talking about the sustainability and traceability of the products, Wiley’s Finest is “elevating the conversation around omega-3s”, he said.
“We’re proud to have our family name on the box,” he added. Indeed, each and every product that the company makes carries the Wiley Family signature, written by different family members.
In addition to the family signature, all but one product in the range carries the MSC certified seal. The MSC is an independent non-profit organization that operates a leading certification program for environmentally sustainable and well-managed wild-capture fisheries. Currently, there are 221 certified fisheries around the world with a further 101 being assessed.
The products are made from the family’s AlaskOmega-branded pollock oil. The Alaska Pollock fishery is the largest fishery in North America. Initially certified in 2005, it was re-certified in 2010.
The overall omega-3 market may be in a slump or a decline, according to recent data from GOED, with omega-3 sourced from anchovy being hit the most in the US market. Data from Nielsen has indicated a $27.4MM drop in value sales for anchovy from 2012-2013.
While some consumers are leaving the category, many are reportedly upgrading and taking growth to the niches, including pollock. Wiley said that they have been experiencing rapid growth, and that the messages of 100% USA-made and an emphasis on quality have been winning consumers (AlaskOmega has the lowest Totox value of any fish oil in the world, he said).
He is also bullish about the future, not just for Wiley’s Finest but for the sector in general. “We’re confident the category will turn around.”
The omega-3 space has seen some consolidation in recent years with acquisitions and mergers, but Wiley says the company will remain independent and family owned.