NuvoCare Health Sciences Inc.

Science-backed wellness products in Canada and the United States
Written by: 
Jeanee Dudley
Produced by: 
Forrest Lancaster

With an education in food science and pharmacology, Ryan Foley, president and CEO of NuvoCare Health Sciences Inc., got his start in the nutraceutical industry as a research analyst at age 20 at MuscleTech R&D Inc. (now a division of Iovate Health Sciences Inc.).  Ryan spent almost six years understanding all aspects of the business by moving into product development and brand management before leaving in late 2005. “Health, nutrition, and fitness have always fascinated me,” he says. “My mom got me interested. She was always into health and exercise and she helped get me my first job at a health food store at the age of 13.” In late 2006, at 27, Ryan resigned from Allmax Nutrition Inc. as director of research and development and brand management to incorporate NuvoCare Health Sciences Inc. and has since leveraged his expertise and business savvy to create a veritable empire of research-backed nutritional products.

AGEOFF is one of NuvoCare’s flagship anti-aging brands, which was first marketed through The Shopping Channel on Canadian live television in February 2008. The line quickly grew into four major brands and went to retail in 2010, when Foley was featured on CBC’s Dragons’ Den. While his appearance on the show proved to be a solid platform to garner exposure of his products, a deal with former Dragon Brett Wilson was eventually declined in favor of a more lucrative deal that gave up less equity and offered more capital. “Brett Wilson is an amazing human being and businessman who I respect and look up to as a mentor, but I eventually declined the deal due to restructuring,” Foley says.

Foley worked to make the business viable on a retail scale and began adding more products. Now NuvoCare offers four categories of supplements: Anti-aging, daily health, weight loss and better sleep brands. We put ourselves on the map and now it is about innovation and maintaining our marketing trajectory,” says Foley. “It has been a rollercoaster so far and we want to keep building. My goal has always been to build a sustainable business model that will stand the test of time by focusing on authentic products backed by legitimate science.”

Exclusive formulation

NuvoCare conducts all formulation work, product development and marketing for all of its products. “I am the formulator – we own all of the intellectual property for these products including formula patents and trademarks,” Foley explains. “We design all of our products based on research, we file intellectual property and manufacture our products in state-of-the-art Health Canada and Food and Drug Administration approved facilities. By outsourcing manufacturing it allows us to focus on what we do best and we let our manufacturing partners focus on what they do best. With this approach we are able to deliver consumer a superior product!”

For weight loss, the company’s core brands are SlimCentials, WeightOFF and the NutraCentials Slimming Essentials line. SlimCentials and WeightOFF were designed for our food, drug, and mass partners such as Wal-Mart, Rexall, Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs. NutraCentials is marketed and sold exclusively to our vitamin/health specialty channel partners. While these products brands differ between channels, all products go through the same rigorous development that makes NuvoCare stand out from other supplement companies. Bottom line, you get the same clinically proven authentic product regardless of what channel you purchase a NuvoCare product in.

“Often when consumers purchase supplements from large retailers, they get generic products that have not be studied,” Foley explains. “We spend five to six times more on raw materials because we partner with companies running research on these materials in clinical trials.” The exact materials tested in clinical trials and proven to deliver results are what customers get when they buy NuvoCare products.

For example, NuvoCare and a competitor may both list garcinia cambogia as an active ingredient. Many consumers see that and assume that they are getting the same product at a discounted rate. Foley explains that with generics, customers are not receiving the same source extract, and possibly not at an appropriate, research-approved dosage.

“We partner with companies running the clinical trials and get rights to use their material – the same studied in the clinical trials,” Foley continues. “Specific results are the core of our message and that’s that what we communicate with customers. With our products, they are more likely to get the results they want from these products as opposed to generic products using materials that have not gone through studies. That’s our main focus, and it doesn’t matter what we launch – all of our products are based on the material that was studied. Our brands produce results and we take the guess work out of nutritional supplementation by always being in-line with the research. Our process makes a huge difference between us and other companies.”

Entering the U.S. market

While NuvoCare Health Sciences Inc. has a strong market presence throughout Canada, Foley and his colleagues are planning geographic expansion into the United States over the coming years with its United States entity, NuvoCare of America LLC. The business has partnered with Wakunaga of America, an international wellness brand with head offices in California and Japan. Wakunaga already has a strong line of Kyolic aged garlic extract supplements for cardiovascular health and wanted to get into the weight-loss segment of the business. Wakunaga is also a research-based brand in line with NuvoCare, so the strategic partnership is a good fit.

“We have partnered with them in the vitamin health channel, providing them with marketing and distribution rights to our WeightOFF and our SlimCentials lines,” Foley elaborates. “They are distributing for us under NuvoCare of America in the U.S. There are a lot of channels we are looking to penetrate in that market and this is just the beginning.”

In effort to expand further, NuvoCare is planning to launch new innovations in the vitamin/health channel with new lines to expand its existing business in this important channel. “We want to design authentic products that are best-in-class and let these superior products organically grow to be leaders in the channel,” Foley says. NuvoCare will maintain its exclusivity with Wakunaga for WeightOFF SlimCentials as this is a partnership we want to foster, but Foley and his colleagues will be pursuing a distinct U.S. presence as well. “Our partnership with Wakunaga is a great start,” he says. “But there is a lot more we can do in the U.S. where the population is 330 million – 10 times that of Canada.”

As the business structure adapts, Foley notes that the company’s core values remain the same. “Authenticity and traceability of our products are critical to who we are as a brand and give us a sustainable advantage,” he says. “Science, nature, quality, and results are ingrained into every product we design to deliver a premium consumer experience unmatched by our competition. There are a lot of fly-by-night companies in our industry. We do what we do responsibly and deliver three promises to the consumer every time – Clinically proven ingredients, clinically proven dosages and no cheap fillers.”

Maintaining a focus on integrity and science-based wellness products, NuvoCare Health Sciences Inc. will continue to operate as a trusted partner in health and wellness for customers in Canada and now the United States. 

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Collins Barrow (Vaughan) LLP