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Australian Dream: an American dream.

CASE DESCRIPTION

The primary focus of this case is on how a small business that has been successful selling an over-the-counter arthritis cream in a regional market can refocus to compete in a national market. The secondary issues include marketing, strategic management, entrepreneurship and e-commerce issues.

Students are provided a scenario of a small business that is on the verge of taking off. The case requires students to do a SWOT analysis, analyze the market environment using Porter's five forces model, and to analyze the business philosophy and practices of an emerging company. Students could be assigned the critical task of developing a plan for moving the firm's product from a regional market to a national market and to generate sufficient sales to stay on the store shelves of a major retail chain.

The case has a difficulty level of four and is appropriate for senior level classes or higher. It can be taught in two to three hours of class time, with students spending six to twelve hours of outside preparation. At the request of the company, this case does not contain any detailed financial data or financial strategy.

CASE SYNOPSIS

Phil and Mark Maddox formed a small company, Nature's Health Connection (NHC), to market a skin cream that was being sold through Phil's pharmacy. NHC own the small company that makes the skin cream with the distinguishing ingredient of emu oil. In 2000, an FDA approved ingredient was added to the cream to create Australian Dream[R] Arthritis Relieving Cream (AD).

Over the last ten years, managing the company has been difficult and at times nerve racking. However, growth has been steady due to learning from mistakes, a little luck, and the sheer determination of the brothers. Phil is the entrepreneur and risk taker, while Mark is more conservative. The brothers have an excellent personal relationship and compliment each other's strengths.

Their initial strategy was to market AD to independent pharmacies in the southeast United States. The product has a high price relative to its competitors, but provides an attractive profit margin for the pharmacies. Advertising has been limited to in-store displays and local newspaper ads. The product has a loyal customer base and appears to be recession proof, but sales have not grown much recently.

A year ago, Walgreens began stocking AD in some of its stores across the country. Once this happened, AD was quickly picked up by a few other large chain stores. The capital investment required to meet the sales quotas of the chain stores has almost caused Phil to throw in the towel. Going national requires costly changes in advertising strategy that seem insurmountable. However, Phil and Mark are adapting quickly.

NHC's growth has caught the attention of a business broker who represents a group of venture capitalists that might want to buy NHC or to provide needed capital for NHC to go national. Phil strongly believes NHC will be worth a lot more if they can create a national brand image, introduce other products, and expand their distribution through other national and regional chains. The big questions facing NHC is: How to do it? Should they go it alone? Bring in investors? Sell NHC now, or wait for the company establishes itself as a national brand?

INTRODUCTION

Nine months ago, Phil Maddox almost called it quits. He was getting very discouraged with the way things were going with Nature's Health Connection (NHC), a company he co-found in 1998 with his brother Mark. Phil's had always wanted to grow NHC into a viable national company. Through a series of shrewd promotional moves, the sales of their sole product, Australian Dream[R] Arthritis Relieving Cream (AD), have grown, despite the national economy diving into the worst recession since the 1930s.

According to Phil, the journey over the past ten years has been filled with plenty of bumps, pitfalls and sleepless nights. Managing NHC has been difficult and stressful. However, the company has grown, sometimes rapidly and sometimes slowly, through trial and error, well-calculated decisions, and sheer luck. The Maddox brothers have taken AD from a local market product the verge of becoming a viable national market product. This growth has caught the attention of a business broker who has approached the Mattox brothers to see if they are interested in selling NHC. While the idea of selling NHC is tempting, Phil and Mark think the value of NHC would be much greater if they can make AD national brand and widely sold in national retail chains, such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and others.

PHIL'S BACKGROUND

"I'm a marketing guy. It's what I have always done. It's what I enjoy. My dad was a doctor who ran a small clinic in small town in Kentucky. My brothers and I helped in the clinic when were kids. After high school, I enrolled in college with the thought of following my father's footsteps. However, I found the courses in the pre-med program, especially chemistry, uninteresting and often fell asleep in class. The thing I enjoyed most was my work-study job at the campus TV studio. I enjoyed so much, that I switched my major to Radio and Television."

After graduating from college, Phil moved to California where he worked for a national photographic distributor for several years, before moving back to Kentucky and opening a pharmacy next door to his father's medical clinic.

AUSTRALIAN DREAM[R] ARTHRITIS RELIEVING CREAM

When Mark and Phil were in high school, they purchased a used coffee vending machine and placed it in the office of a local business. Whenever the coffee machine broke down, one of them would voluntarily fix it, without squabbling about whose turn it was, "just to keep the nickels flowing." From this experience, they discovered that they made a good business team because they had complementary skill sets, were good at making joint decisions, and trusted each other to do whatever needed to be done without complaining. So, after Phil moved back to Kentucky, they kicked around the idea of going into some sort of business together. They decided to open a pharmacy, because the small where their father medical clinic was located did not have one.

According to Phil, "local independent pharmacies operate much like convenience stores in that they have little pulling power to attract new customers and expand their market base and revenue. What we needed was a product that no other pharmacy in the area had." In 1998, they purchased a local small business that made a skin cream that contained emu oil. Emu oil is a good skin cream ingredient because it is odorless, greaseless and penetrates the skin quickly. The product was successful in drawing customers who bought other products when they came to the pharmacy to buy the skin cream. In fact, sales were so good that Phil and Mark decided to start a company, Nature's Health Connection (NHC), to market the skin cream to other pharmacies.

Two years later, a second product was developed by adding histamine dihydrochloride (HD) to the skin cream. The new product was named Australian Dream[R] Arthritis Relieving Cream (AD). HD is not a true pain reliever. It works by relaxing the blood vessels to stimulate blood flow to the applied area. Medical research has found that creams containing "cetylated fatty acids--similar to omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil" to be "a promising arthritis treatment, improving the flexibility of achy joints" ("Arthritis Treatment Cream Shows Promise," 2003). Emu oil has omega-3 fatty acid, omega-6 fatty acid and omega-9 fatty acids (Appendix A). HD and emu oil work together to provide a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, healing, moisturizing product. NHC owns the registered trademark rights for "Australian Dream"

The Maddox brothers marketed AD to independent pharmacies in the southeast United States. AD has a high price relative to its competitors, but a high profit margin which pharmacies find very attractive. The initial competitive strategy was to focus on placing AD on shelves in independent pharmacies, rather than major chain stores such as CVS, Walgreens, et al., because the major chains will not sell a product that is not a national brand.

However, things began to change for NHC in 2005 when Walgreens bought a large independent pharmacy in Florida that was NHC's biggest customer. The store manager, retained by Walgreens, continued to sell AD even though it was not one of Walgreens' national "planogram" products, because the sales volume and profit margin of AD boosted his bonuses. He shared this information with other Walgreens managers at regional sales meetings. Soon, they were stocking AD too. Eventually, word about AD reached Walgreens' corporate headquarters in Chicago. A phone call was made to Phil Maddox to invite him to Chicago to talk about selling AD in Walgreens stores across the nation.

The meeting with Walgreens national sales managers took place in late 2007. A deal was struck in which AD would be placed on shelves to see if it could reach sufficient sales volume to become a planogram product. No specific sales figures goal or time frame were given. In 2008, AD was placed in 6,200 Walgreens stores. Shortly, thereafter, NHC leveraged its Walgreens success with placement in 1,200 Kroger stores, 120 Meijer stores and several SuperValu stores. By the end of 2008, AD was being sold in over 10,000 retail outlets. Maddox brothers now have their sights set on product placement in CVS (6,900+ stores in 41 states) and Rite Aid (4,900+ stores in 31 states).

The big challenge for NHC is to get permanent placement of AD in the big retail chain stores. To do that, they need to make AD a nationally recognized brand name. NHC needs to develop and implement a national marketing campaign, which is something they have never done before. They need to take AD from a regional brand to a national brand to generate sufficient sales to stay on the chain store shelves.

NATURE'S HEALTH CONNECTION

Initially, NHC was incorporated as a C corporation, but changed to an S corporation in 2008. Its primary Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is Perfumes Cosmetics, and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is Toilet Preparation Manufacturing.

MISSION

The Mission of Nature's Health Connection, Inc. is "to provide arthritis sufferers with effective pain relief. We want to make our product easily identifiable and widely available throughout the United States. Producing quality products and delivering those products with a satisfaction guarantee is our goal."

MANAGEMENT

Australian side of the business and Mark handles the operations side. They work as a team by collaborating on the important issues and supporting each other, especially when the workload becomes demanding.

PRODUCT

AD is an external analgesic for the temporary relief of the minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with arthritis. The active ingredient in AD is histamine dihydrochloride which eases pain through vasodilatation. Vasodilatation provides pain relief by widening the blood vessels to increase blood flow to the specific area of pain.

AD has been a popular product in independent pharmacies and health food stores, not only for what is does, but for what it doesn't do. Customers like AD because it is odorless, does not burn and contains no colored dyes that could stain skin and clothing, like many of the competing products.

The primary ingredient in the cream is emu oil. The emu oil absorbs rapidly into the skin and promotes faster absorption of the other active ingredients into the skin and muscles resulting in quick pain relief (Appendix A). Emus are raised on poultry farms all across the United States and Canada. The American Emu Association and Canada Emu Association have set purity standards for the refining of emu oil (see "The Truth about Emu Oil Refining").

TARGET CUSTOMER AND MARKET SIZE

The primary target customers for AD are females, ages fifty-five and above who have aches and pains from work or exercise. These are the active baby boomers who seek an arthritis product, so they can enjoy playing golf, gardening, hiking, or sewing, etc.

Arthritis comes in more than 100 forms. The most common form is osteoarthritis. Arthritis causes chronic pain and immobility to individuals in every country. Approximately 350 million people worldwide suffer from at least one form of arthritis. In the USA, over 40 million people suffer from arthritis (20 million with osteoarthritis and 3 million with rheumatoid arthritis).

An estimated 46 million Americans have some form of arthritis (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) and approximately 350 million people worldwide. In the US, over 50% are over the age of 65 and 60% of them are women. Arthritis leads to 750,000 hospitalizations and 9500 deaths in 2003. Arthritis accounts for $50 billion in medical costs and $40 billion in lost productivity each year. (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion)

In a 2005 report, the CDC stated that women are more likely than men to have arthritis. By 2030, the number of adult Americans with doctor-diagnosed arthritis is expected to climb to 67 million, or 25 percent of the adult population. Twenty-five million adults (37%) will have significant physical activity limitations due to arthritis (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2005).

Worldwide estimates reveal that about 420 million people are over the age of 65 years. By 2030, there will be nearly 1 billion people in the world over 65, and over 20% will have some form of arthritis. Currently, the market for arthritis treatment products is a nearly $400 billion a year (Untitled document, 2009).

PRIMARY COMPETITION

Topical arthritis cream products are preparations applied to the skin. Many of the arthritis cream products can be purchased over-the-counter. These products effectively soothe minor arthritis and muscle pain. Many arthritis creams contain the active ingredient salicylate, while others contain capsaicin or menthol (About.com: Arthritis).

The national arthritis cream/liniment market is highly competitive and dominated by long-established companies. The pain relief market is growing as aging baby boomers, and people over 40, are staying physically active longer.

The top selling topical arthritis creams are shown below (Eustice and Eustice, 2009).

1. Zostrix Arthritis Cream

Research has shown this arthritis cream works by reducing levels of substance P, a chemical involved in transmitting pain impulses to the brain. When applied to the surface of the skin, it has a pain-relieving effect. Active ingredient is capsaicin.

2. Bengay Arthritis Cream

It offers temporary relief of minor joint and muscle pain. It is an arthritis cream which has lasted the test of time. Active ingredients found in this arthritis cream are methyl salicylate and menthol.

3. Aspercreme

Arthritis cream temporarily relieves minor pain associated with arthritis, simple backache, muscle strains, and muscle sprains. Active ingredient of this cream is trolamine salicylate.

4. Icy Hot

Topical arthritis formula has dual action--gets icy to dull the pain and then gets hot to relax it away. Fast, long-lasting pain relief for sore muscles, backache, muscle cramps, and joint pain. Active ingredients are methyl salicylate and menthol.

5. Sportscreme

Arthritis cream provides fast, temporary relief from minor pain associated with sore muscles, muscle strain and stiffness. This cream does not smell like medicine. Active ingredient is salicylate.

6. Tiger Balm

Has a soothing action that relieves muscular aches and joint pain. Product contains active ingredients such as camphor, menthol, cajuput oil and clove oil.

7. Mineral Ice Original

Cool, greaseless, pain relieving gel penetrates deep to provide fast, temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscles and joints. Active ingredient is menthol.

PRODUCTION

The production of AD is outsourced to the Pure Source Company of Miami, Florida. Pure Source manufactures the cream, fills labeled jars and packs them in individual boxes. The individual boxes are packed into larger containers and shipped to NHC's facility in Campton, Kentucky. NHC, in turn, ships the product to brokers and wholesale distributors. Pure Source is an international company that makes cream products for many companies. It has a large production capacity and can ramp up production of AD quickly if needed.

PRICING

The retail price of the 2 oz. jar of AD is $19.95, $29.95 for the 4 oz jar, and 59.95 for the 9 oz. jar. NHC only sells the 4 oz. jars in the chain stores, and the 2 oz. and 4 oz. jars in independent pharmacies and independent wholesalers. Consumers can buy all sizes directly from NHC's Web site. The 9 oz jar has proven to be the most popular on the Web.

The high price of AD differentiates it from the popular national brands of pain relief creams. The high price provides a profit margin for the retailer. Another reason for the higher prices is that NHC anticipated that prices would be sticky and that raising prices in the future would be difficult. In fact, the prices of arthritis creams, in general, have been stable for last several years.

"We feel pain is the prime motivator for people with arthritis, not price. This is why we chose to position AD at the high end of the market. It helps create an image of a superior product. If AD can stop the pain quickly, people will gladly pay the price."

An additional pricing issue is that the large chain stores reserve the right to lower the price of AD periodically for sales promotions. In which case, if Walgreens decides to run a $5 off sale, NHC will be paid $5 less for each jar sold. Walgreens will get its standard cut and NHC still make a net profit on each item sold.

PACKAGING

Phil had a firm develop the packaging for AD so that it takes up less shelf space than the competitor brands. The combination of higher price and using less shelf space gives AD a gross margin per unit of shelf space potential that is three times greater than the competing brands.

PROMOTION AND ADVERTISING

Originally, AD was marketed exclusively to independent pharmacies. To get a pharmacy to agree to have AD placed on its shelves, NHC stocked the shelf space with 2 oz. jars and a sign touting NHC's 100% money back guarantee. There was no upfront charge to the pharmacy. Then, NHC would run advertisements for AD in local newspapers 30 days. After 30 days, the broker servicing AD would return to the store, bill the pharmacy only for the units sold, and pick up the items that had not sold, if the pharmacy did not want to continue carrying the product. If the pharmacy wanted to continue carrying AD, the broker replenished the stock. This marketing strategy work well when applied to a single regional market, but would be prohibitively expensive on a national scale. A different strategy was needed for the national marketing campaign.

The initial national marketing campaign started off with placing advertisements in Reader's Digest and Guidepost magazine to target 55+ year old women. The ad placements were very expensive, and only boosted AD sales slightly. Next, Phil placed ads in Ladies' Home Journal and Woman's Day magazines in order to reach both the 40+ and 60+ year old women. Shortly after these ads appeared, sales of AD increased substantially. Phil thinks this is because younger women purchasing AD for their parents and trying out for themselves.

Two after these monthly magazines come out, sales of AD peaks and then falls off until next issue comes out. This pattern is present for both in-store sales and Internet sales. Fortunately, the sales peeks are increasing each month. Phil thinks that after consumers have seen the AD advertisements in the national publications several times, they begin to perceive it as a legitimate and trustworthy product.

Recently, Phil began buying remnant advertising space (i.e., advertising space that a media company has been unable to sell) through a third party. Buying ad space directly from a magazine publisher at the standard rate costs $69,000 per issue. However, purchasing remnant advertising space through a middle man, costs only $25,000 per issue. Additionally, since Phil is a hard negotiator, he has worked out a deal where NHC pays for the advertisements 30 days after they appear in a magazines issue, rather than the standard of 45 days before. Due to the severe economic recession, the large advertising firms have become very flexible in negotiating with clients.

Phil is now considering the possibly using TV infomercials. Typically, it costs $50,000 to get a telemarketing company to produce and pilot test an infomercial. If the test is successful, the telemarketing company will work with the client to develop and conduct a full-blown advertising campaign. However, the costs are enormous. NHC would have to front all of the infomercial production costs, pay the telemarketing company to take the calls 24/7, do the shipping, processing and everything else that goes with fulfilling orders and customer service. Phil is talking to several telemarketing companies in hope of negotiating a better deal. He hopes to work out a partnership arrangement a reputable company that will handle the phone banks and production costs.

NHC uses the Internet in two ways to spur the sales of AD. First, a high-quality Web site (www.australiandream.com) was created build consumer trust and creditability for NHC and AD. Potential customers can go to the site to get free samples and company information such as: company mission statement, contacts, product guarantee, where to find retail stores that sell AD, promotional video, product information, shipping and placing online orders. The color scheme of the Web pages matches the color scheme of the AD packaging in order to enhance brand recognition.

The primary purpose of the home page is to lend credibility to the product and NHC in order to gain consumer trust. The Web site is not expected to generate a large volume of online orders, however. It is expected that most first-time customers will buy AD from a retail store after visiting the Web site. Loyal customers who want to purchase the 9 ounces jar will buy it from the Web site since few pharmacies or chain stores want to carry the $59.95 product.

Quantcast.com is a Web site traffic monitoring service that collects site traffic data, demographic and lifestyle profiles of online audiences. Their statistics shows that 67% of visitors at www.australiandream.com are female, 91% Caucasian; 83% with no children 17 or under; 23% have household income $60k+; 66% no college.

The second way NHC sells AD via the Internet is through an online healthcare products distributor named 911HealthShop.com. 911HealthShop is an online aggregator or category killer of vitamins and personal care products. According to Quantcast.com, 911HealthShop.com averages about 1,000 unique US visitors per day, 55% are females, 42% are 50+ in age, 76% Caucasian, 12% Black, 7% Hispanic, 4% Asian; 27% have household incomes between $60K- 100K, 21% $100K+; 50% at least one college degree; 19% of visitors are regulars who make up 35% of total site traffic. People who visit 911healthshop.com are likely to visit sites in these categories: healthcare (affinity 5x), pharmacy (affinity 3.6x), and seniors (affinity 3.2x). See Table 1 for breakdown on places where visitors to 911HealthShop.com are likely to visit.

DISTRIBUTION

The NHC warehouse has three employees who unpack shipments from the outsource supplier, Pure Source. They also prepare orders for shipment to commercial and individual customers. UPS is used for shipping orders to brokers and independent pharmacies, while USPS is used to ship small orders to individual consumers who make their purchases through the 911healthshop.com or australiandream.com Web sites.

AD is distributed to Walgreens and Kroger stores through brokers who sift through hundreds of new products to identify which ones would be appropriate for their client, the chain retailer. The broker knows the rules that need to be followed for each chain retailer for choosing candidate products. In the case of AD, a broker will set up and conduct meetings between Mark and Phil and a buyer for a chain store. Once a buyer agrees to carry AD, the buyer communicates with the broker to resolve problems, rather than contacting the manufacturer directly. Meetings the buyer and Mark and Phil occur about once a year. Any problems that arise in between those meetings are generally handled between the chain store buyer and the broker, and, if necessary, between the broker and Mark. The broker is also responsible for ordering, stocking and maintaining the product in the store.

The independent pharmacies deal directly with NHC individually to place orders and to resolve problems. NHC ships these orders directly to the independent's store where the store employees place AD on NHC-supplied custom stands which are positioned near the front checkout counter.

Mark is the eyes and ears of NHC. He is attentive to what is happening in individual pharmacies and the brokers to develop and maintain close relationships with them.

COMPETITIVE STRATEGY

"Our strategy is fairly simple," Phil says. "We have a trial and error approach. If something doesn't work, try something else. Most of our decisions are based on our past experiences, common sense, and taking advantage of opportunities when they prevent themselves."

"I attended a seminar thirty years ago where I learned about risk reversal. If you give guarantees, it shows you are not afraid. As long as you have a good product you believe in and stand by it, you can get others to believe in it. We used this principle in our pharmacy, and we used the principle to convince the independent pharmacies to take a chance on our product. We know there is a lot of competition in the pain relief market, but we have created a product that has a unique formula that we can sell at a premium price. It's all about creating a high-quality brand image. Our customers like what we sell."

NHC has a developed a business model they feel can be used to launch other products or create a new company. The basic principles of the model are:
   Develop a good product, make it unique, and stand behind it.
   Create a quality brand image and sell at a premium price.
   Create and maintain very good customer relations.
   Share high margins and promotions with retailers.
   Outsource all possible elements to keep capital and operating costs
      low.
   Use the expertise and know-how of others to complement what we
      know.
   Remain flexible and creditable.
   Above all, persevere.


PAST AND PRESENT ISSUES

"Hard work and perseverance are keys to our success. We have experienced numerous setbacks, but we learned from them and moved forward. Our first cream manufacturer had undisclosed financial problems. The second one didn't meet the shelf life requirements, which resulted in a major inventory loss for us. We had to redesign our packaging to meet shipping and display restrictions, we had problems with our sales reps, our Web site needed to be redesigned, and we have had to experiment with our advertising to get it to work. I like being creative and solving difficult problems, even though it can be time consuming and nerve wracking."

"I'm a risk taker, and Mark is somewhat risk adverse, probably because of his back ground as an attorney. Sometimes, I wished I owned 51 percent of the company, so I could do what I want. But, I'll have to admit that Mark has saved us from moving down a disastrous path more than once. Like the time I wanted to dump a lot of money into TV advertising. Fortunately, he talked me out of it. We actually make a good team."

"Recently I made a decision to put a lot of my own money into NHC because Mark had cold feet. This was a time when I was tempted to throw in the towel. We had come to a point where we had to decide whether to grow the company to a new level by going national or just remaining a regional company. Walgreens had offered place AD in stores throughout their entire chain. But, we would have to meet certain volume benchmarks or be dropped after a trail period. To meet the benchmarks would require implementing an expensive national advertising plan."

"We knew one of the keys to our past success was advertising at the local level through newspapers. So, we tried to do that in some major cities all across the country. It just didn't work. It was ridiculously expensive. I felt we could get similar results through placing ads in popular nationally distributed magazines, but this was also very expensive and Mark dug his heels on taking this risk. I floated the cost out my own pocket, and it appears to be working. Every time we run ads in the magazines all of our sales increase."

"Even though we are in midst of a major recession, our Walgreens sales are meeting their benchmarks and growing slowly, but steadily. Walgreens recently cut 10 percent of their shelf items, and we survived the cut. It appears that we are on line to meet their first year sales volume target. I attribute this to the fact that we have a good product and that our magazine ads are working. If this trend continues, I feel strongly that we will be able to land the CVS account, other big retail chains like Kroger and Rite Aid.

"If we can get placement in those big chain stores, we could make AD as a household name like Icy-Hot and Bengay. We are already considering launching a new product using our current business model. It would be relatively easy and fairly inexpensive piggy-back it with AD. By making a slight change in the formula of AD, we could produce an anti-wrinkle cream that could be targeted at the same demographic group as AD. We could use the same distribution channels, follow the same promotional strategy and use same outsource manufacturer that makes AD for us. But do we really want to grow by expanding our product line before AD is firmly established as a national brand? Should we be focusing on finding of better ways to position AD in its market first? These are the big issues that confront us now."

Recently, the Maddox brothers were contacted by a business broker who wanted know they are interested in selling NHC. "The amount of money he mentioned was peanuts compared to what we could make if we are successful in turning AD into a national brand with mass distribution. It's tempting to think about cashing out and building another company, but now isn't the right time. Getting the capital for a big marketing campaign to make AD a mass market brand name won't be easy, but I think it can be done," says Phil. "One option is to turn NHC into a publicly held corporation, but I really don't want to do that. I like the freedom to make decisions without having to worry about stockholders."

"At this point, Mark and I need to come to an agreement on how to proceed with marketing AD from here. If we can't, then I'm prepared to buy out his share of the company and go it alone."

APPENDIX A

Emu Oil: A Natural Wonder! (Source: http://www.carlhavenemufarm.com/Body3.htm, June 24, 2009)

Science is proving emu oil to be a modern miracle for relieving the pain and inflammation of injured tissues and joints. Studies and research are proving this complex and ancient oil to be beneficial not only as a topical application, but also when ingested in supplement form. Many of the claims regarding emu oil are documented by medical research as well as countless positive personal experiences. The accolades are pouring in. The emu oil has been put through rigorous testing. This safe, sterile oil has proven to be hypoallergenic and will not clog pores. Use of emu oil has increased dramatically over the last several years.

Anti-Aging Effect

Emu oil is unsurpassed for its moisturizing properties. The fatty acid composition of emu oil and the oil in our skin is very similar. This may explain the positive effect that emu oil has on dry skin as well as noticeably diminishing age spots and wrinkles. This amazing oil penetrates through several layers of skin. There is nothing else like it on the market today.

Arthritis

Emu oil comforts stiff muscles and joints, and reduces the inflammation and swelling of arthritic joints. When used regularly, it acts much like an analgesic but with none of the negative side effects.

Burns

Emu oil has been found to be very effective on burns of all types including sunburn, 1st and 2nd degree burns and radiation burns. Emu oil alleviates pain and dramatically reduces scarring and blistering.

Chronic injuries and massage

Muscle strains, sprains, injured ligaments and even heel spurs respond well to treatment with emu oil. Professional sports teams are increasingly using emu oil for massages in their training rooms.

Psoriasis and Eczema

Emu oil acts like a therapeutic balm by moisturizing the skin and reducing the itching, redness and scaling associated with stubborn skin conditions.

Hair Care

Emu oil acts as a fortifying agent for limp, dry hair. It helps to eliminate split ends and will restore a natural, healthy shine to your hair. Treat yourself to a hot oil treatment or add a few drops to your favorite shampoo. You will be amazed at the body, shine and overall health of your hair.

How to Use Emu Oil

Whether you use emu oil topically or in supplement form, this 100% all natural oil is safe to use as often as you like. A small amount is all you will need to feel the difference. Emu oil has no odor and will penetrate the skin within minutes of application. It is safe enough to be used directly on open wounds and is also safe for children and babies.

Recent Scientific Research

In studies conducted at the Department of Pathology, University of Adelaide, Australia (Whitehouse and Turner, 1997) and at the Raymons Purves Bone and Joint Research Laboratories, University of Sydney (Ghosh and Whitehouse, 1993), emu oil had a positive effect in reducing inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.

"Emu oil is made from the fat of the emu, a bird native to Australia. It has been used for thousands of years by the Australian aborigines for the treatment of burns, wounds, bruises, and as a pain reliever for bone, muscle, and joint disorders. Emu oil is approximately 70% unsaturated fatty acids. The largest component is oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. Emu oil also contains about 20% linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and 1-2% linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) (Hopkins, 1997). There is some evidence to suggest that the oil may have medicinal benefit (Yoganathan, 2003; Zemtsov et al., 1994).

Emu oil has been shown in studies to aid in reducing scar formation in healed burn wounds, muscle sprains, and arthritis due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties (Emu Oil Properties, 2009). There is evidence that emu oil is also effective against foot fungus. There is also anecdotal evidence of its usefulness in providing relief to sufferers of eczema (Emu Oil: Comedogenicity Testing, 1993).

Emu oil is a complete neutral lipid, since emu oil lacks phospholipids, making it highly penetrating to the skin (Code, 1997; Yoganathan, S. et al., 2003). It has been shown in studies to aid in reducing scar formation in healed burned wounds (O'Banion and Griswold, 1998), muscle sprains, and arthritis due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties (Whitehouse and Turner, 1997).

REFERENCES

About.com. Accessed August 26, 2009 from http://arthritis.about.com/od/topicalmedications/tp/arthritiscream.htm)

"Arthritis treatment-cream shows promise." Accessed August 26, 2009 from http://arthritis.webmd.com/news/20030604/arthritis-treatment-cream-shows- promise.

Code W. (May 1997). "Emu Cream Assists Lidocaine: Local Anesthetic Absorption through Human Skin." Presented at the 88th American Oil Chemists Society annual meeting. Accessed August 26, 2009 from http://www.emu-oil.com/research.htm.

"Emu Oil Properties: Background, study, and guide for uses." Accessed August 26, 2009 from http://www.chemie.de/lexikon/e/Emu_oil/#_note-2/

"Emu Oil Proven To Be Medical Wonder." High Beam Encyclopedia, from Business Wire, 8/10/1998. Accessed August 26, 2009 from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-162642685.html

"Emu Oil: A Natural Wonder!" Accessed June 24, 2009 from http://www.carlhavenemufarm.com/Body3.htm.

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Stephen L. Loy, Eastern Kentucky University

Steven Brown, Eastern Kentucky University

Mark Case, Eastern Kentucky University
Table 1
Other Web Sites Likely to Visit

Column 1                               Column 2

Likely to visit these sites as well:   Affinity
herbspro.com                            96.0x
vitacost.com                            37.1x
herbalremedies.com                      32.5x
iherb.com                               22.7x
swansonvitamins.com                     19.6x
raysahelian.com                         15.4x
w3track.com                             11.1x
vitadigest.com                          10.2x
seacoastvitamins.com                     9.2x
puritan.com                              6.4x
gnc.com                                  6.3x
seniorpeoplemeet.com                     5.7x
become.com                               5.0x
allegromedical.com                       4.9x
bodybuilding.com                         4.7x

Source: http://www.quantcast.com/911health
shop.com/demographics#lifestyle, 8-25-2009
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Author:Loy, Stephen L.; Brown, Steven; Case, Mark
Publication:Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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