By Alex Stuckey
Idaho Falls Post Register
Melaleuca revenue topped $1.13 billion in 2012 and CEO Frank VanderSloot touts the company's aggressive product research and development for its success.
"We're also aggressive in communicating the difference between our products and grocery-store brands," VanderSloot said. "As times goes by, those differences get bigger and bigger."
Idaho Falls' largest employer increased its revenue about 9 percent from 2011, when it reached $1 billion in global sales for the first time. The milestone was a first for an eastern Idaho-based business.
Melaleuca's revenue has grown in 26 of the past 27 years, according to a company news release.
The company, headquartered in Bonneville County, is a direct seller of about 350 health and household products throughout the U.S., Canada and 14 other countries.
Since 1985, the company has focused on consumer-direct marketing. Under that model, there are no distributors who purchase and resell products and there are no multiple levels of distribution, a company news release said.
"We're just going to sell people what they need," VanderSloot said.
The company made headlines Jan. 29 when it filed a defamation lawsuit against Mother Jones magazine for its Feb. 6, 2012, article, "Pyramid-Like Company Ponies Up $1 Million for Mitt Romney."
VanderSloot has said the article cost his company millions of dollars.
Lawsuit aside, VanderSloot is confident the company's revenue will continue to increase. He said its environmentally friendly products put it ahead of the game.
"The average shopper ... (knows) little about the ingredients in (other manufacturers') products," he said. "We spend a lot of time educating the customer on the difference between one ingredient and the other."
Alex Stuckey can be reached at 542-6755. Comment on this story on Post Talk at www.postregister.com/posttalk/.
For the fourth year in a row, Forbes has listed Melaleuca as one of the top employers in America.
It was the “journey of a lifetime” for eight military veterans who traveled to the nation’s capital last week on an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of Melaleuca.
Melaleuca received the Susan B. Anthony Award from the Alturas Institute, recognizing us for advancing women’s careers and promoting a supportive work environment.