Originally published January 8 2010
NaturalNews Reader's Choice "Best of 2009" Awards announced
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) The votes have been cast: It's time to announce the results of the NaturalNews Reader's Choice "Best of 2009" Awards!
These awards are given to the top companies and products in seven categories: Best Health Products Retailer, Best Herbal Product Line, Best Natural Protein, Best Skin Care Line, Best Superfood Powder, Best Multivitamin and Best Food Bar.
Nominations were accepted for the awards from our NaturalNews Facebook fans (http://facebook.naturalnews.com). We compiled the nominations into the surveys, then we asked for a round of review to make sure we hadn't missed anyone that deserved to be included. Companies that were only nominated by one person were not included -- a double nomination was required to be listed.
From there, the voting commenced, and it wasn't without some controversy. I originally set the voting parameters to be more inclusive of all readers -- but at the cost of lower security. As a result, we learned that some overzealous fans figured out a way to vote multiple times in the Best Superfood category. After assessing the best way to proceed, we reset that category to zero, reconfigured the security and allowed an additional 48 hours for re-voting to take place for that category. You can read about what happened in my report here: http://www.naturalnews.com/027871_superfoods...
Vote results were somewhat influenced by companies emailing their customers and encouraging them to vote. There's nothing wrong with this, of course. It's perfectly legit to ask your happy customers to support you in an online survey, and the number of customers a company can encourage to vote for its products is a reflection of how many people are really happy about that product or company.
Companies that won this survey result are allowed to claim they are the recipient of the Reader's Choice "Best of the Year" Award from NaturalNews.com. (We'll soon be distributing award graphics to the companies that won.)
Keep in mind, by the way, that these are Reader's Choice awards, not Editor's Choice award. My own preferences differ somewhat from the results you'll see below. Although I agree that all the winners mentioned here are deserving of recognition, I personally have some other favorite products that I'll be naming in a future Editor's Choice awards announcement.
Here are the final Reader's Choice voting results:
Reader's Choice - Best Food Bar = Organic Food BarOrganic Food Bar (www.OrganicFoodBar.com) barely edged out Larabar to win the Best Food Bar category.
Here are the top five results for Best Food Bar:
#1 - Organic Food Bar (www.OrganicFoodBar.com)
#2 - Larabar (www.Larabar.com)
#3 - Garden of Life (www.GardenOfLife.com)
#4 - Greens+ (www.GreensPlus.com)
#5 - Everything Raw (Yoga bar) (www.EverythingRaw.com)
Reader's Choice - Best Multivitamin = New Chapter, Garden of LifeThe votes for New Chapter and Garden of Life were too close to call, so they both receive the "Best of the Year" award!
Ola Loa was winning the contest early on, but was eclipsed by New Chapter and Garden of Life as the voting drew to a close. Here are the top five results:
#1 - New Chapter (www.NewChapter.com)
#2 - Garden of Life (www.GardenOfLife.com)
#3 - NSI (Vitacost) (www.Vitacost.com)
#4 - Ola Loa (www.DrinkYourVitamins.com)
#5 - Pure Synergy (www.TheSynergyCompany.com)
Reader's Choice - Best Skin Care Line = Annmarie'sWho is Annmarie? If you've never heard of her, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn more. Annmarie is the partner of Kevin Gianni of Renegade Health, and she's put together an amazingly healthy, natural skin care product line that just burst onto the scene recently.
During most the voting, Dr. Bronner was in the lead. And no one would argue with Dr. Bronner winning the award. But over the last 24 hours, Annmarie's pulled way ahead of Dr. Bronner's thanks to the votes of enthusiastic Annmarie customers (and some well-timed emails from Gianni!).
Disclaimer: I share a business interest with Kevin Gianni. He and I are the co-founders of Health Book Summaries (www.HealthBookSummaries.com). However, please note that I have absolutely no business interest in the Annmarie skin care line, and Annmarie had absolutely no special advantages in this survey. They won it fair and square.
The top five results in this category were:
#1 - Annmarie's (www.AnnmarieGianni.com)
#2 - Dr. Bronner (www.DrBronner.com)
#3 - Aubrey Organics (www.AubreyOrganics.com)
#4 - Mercola's (www.MercolaHealthySkin.com)
#5 - Avalon Organics (www.AvalonOrganics.com)
Reader's Choice - Best Natural Protein = SunWarriorSunWarrior protein was in the lead from the very start of this survey, and they never let go of their top position. SunWarrior is a raw, fermented rice protein that's taken off among the raw foods community over the last 18 months or so. It has also been well accepted among the "natural" bodybuilding community (as well as with extreme athletes).
The top five winners in the Best Natural Protein category are:
#1 - SunWarrior (www.SunWarrior.com)
#2 - Nutiva (www.Nutiva.com)
#3 - Vital Greens (www.VitalGreens.com)
#4 - Ruth's Hemp Foods (www.RuthsHempFoods.com)
#5 - Living Fuel (www.LivingFuel.com)
Reader's Choice - Best Herbal Product Line = Mountain Rose HerbsNot many people really knew about Mountain Rose Herbs until the last few years, but the company has grown immensely in popularity recently. It used to be "the best little secret in the bulk herbs industry" (in the USA, at least).
Without question, Mountain Rose Herbs deserves this award. They offer an amazing product line at very reasonable prices.
Here are the top five results for Best Herbal Product Line:
#1 - Mountain Rose herbs (www.MountainRoseHerbs.com)
#2 - Baseline Nutritionals (www.BaselineNutritionals.com)
#3 - Nature's Sunshine (www.NaturesSunshine.com)
#4 - Wellness Resources (www.WellnessResource.com)
#5 - Young Living (www.YoungLiving.com)
Reader's Choice - Best Health Products Retailer = VitacostThere was never really any competition in this category: Vitacost took the early lead and maintained it throughout the voting. Whole Foods remained a distant second.
We accidentally listed iHerb twice in this survey, resulting in their vote being split among two entries, so in fairness, we're reporting the sum total of those two entries, meaning that iHerb takes a solid third place with 12% of the votes.
The top five results for Best Health Products Retailer are:
#1 - Vitacost (www.Vitacost.com)
#2 - Whole Foods (www.WholeFoods.com)
#3 - iHerb (www.iHerb.com)
#4 - Swanson Vitamins (www.SwansonVitamins.com)
#5 - Sunfood (www.Sunfood.com)
Reader's Choice - Best Superfood Powder = (It's a tie!)There was never really any question that this category was a competition between Delicious Greens and Boku Superfood. They were neck and neck at several points, and then one would edge out to take the lead for a while until the other one caught up.
What's clear from this is that the customers of Delicious Greens and Boku Superfood are super loyal!
During our first round of voting, in which we discovered there were some extra votes cast from the same computers, Delicious Greens received 915 votes, and Boku Superfood received 835.
After we reset the poll back to zero and reconfigured the poll security to limit each IP address to just one vote, Delicious Greens received 145 votes, and Boku Superfood received 713 (as of the time of this writing, anyway. Results may now be different).
You might think this proves the initial Delicious Greens votes were being padded, but no, that may not be the case at all! It turns out Delicious Greens has quite a following in one particularly large corporation where all its users share the same external IP address (which is actually common in a corporation). I actually read some emails sent by people from this company, and they're legit.
Here's the kicker: In the second round of voting, all those votes from the same company only counted as a single vote! (Because of the IP-limit security setting I felt was necessary to put in place.) So the Delicious Greens votes for the second round of voting is artificially low due to the IP voting restrictions.
The upshot of all this is that as the editor of NaturalNews, given the special circumstances surrounding the voting in this category -- and the fact that all other products were a distant third to these two -- I have decided to give the "Best Superfood Powder" award to both Delicious Greens and Boku Superfood. It seems to be the most proper result.
We'll never actually know exactly how many votes in this category were lost due to the IP-voting restriction, nor how many extra votes were cast during round one when the restriction didn't exist. So the only fair decision here seems to be the granting of this award to both companies. This doesn't take away from either one, and it recognizes them both as being the top choices among NaturalNews readers. They both have outstanding products, by the way. I actually like to mix them together.
So here are the top five results in this category:
#1 and #2 - Delicious Greens (www.Greens8000.com) and Boku Superfood (www.BokuSuperfood.com), both granted the "Best of the Year" award.
#3 - Vitamineral Green (www.Healthforce.com)
#4 - Garden of Life (www.GardenOfLife.com)
#5 - Pure Synergy (www.TheSynergyCompany.com)
What it all meansThank you to all who participated in this award survey. With your help, we were able to bring some well-deserved recognition to many outstanding companies in the natural health industry.
This survey encompassed some of the very best products in the natural health industry. At the same time, I want to point out that there are many other remarkable products and companies that deserve similar recognition but aren't known well enough to make it into this survey. I'll keep working to find and report on the best products in the industry, regardless of whether they come from big companies or small ones. Many of the companies winning the awards here, by the way, are quite small!
Please continue to support the natural health industry with your product purchases. It is your choice to select healthy products over junk products that keeps this industry alive. Without your business and customer loyalty, none of these companies would exist, and the world would be missing out on some fantastic products!
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