“Amway Answers”


Amway asks, ‘What if?’

When cofounders Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos started Amway in 1959, they did not stop with their initial product offering or American footprint. They kept growing by asking themselves, “What if…?”

That same question is still asked each day by our Business Innovations team. Glenn Armstrong, head of the team, talks about it in this video, the first of several we will be posting.

“If you continue to ask yourself, ‘What if?’ it gets you thinking about the possibilities,” Armstrong said. ”What if we had this many distributors? What if Amway supplied these types of products?

“If you ask yourself, ‘What if?’ you find yourself getting used to being outside your comfort zone.”

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Skincare science

Our R&D experts are truly the gurus of skincare science. They combine science and global trends, with forward thinking technology based on cultural insights.

“It’s my job to find new products that are acceptable in all markets,” said our R&D Insider. “People across the world live, think, act, speak, and believe differently. That is why it is important to listen to them when we create our products.”

The process of development may sometimes be long, but it is studied, evaluated, tested, and vetted by technical appropriateness for world-wide distribution.

Watch this great video for more ways our R&D team looks at the development process of our products.


Science that adds up

While we like to talk about the science behind our products — and there’s a lot to say — the real story is about our experts who stand behind the science.

To be precise, our company employs 800 scientists, engineers and technicians, responsible for more than 950 patents granted and 850 pending, who work at 65 labs around the world.

In tandem with well known global partners and highly regarded scientific leadership, our talented R&D, QA and Analytical Sciences team builds and refines a strong product portfolio.

In collaboration with our manufacturing and marketing teams, they discover, develop, test and help deliver more than 450 nutrition, beauty and home products to Amway distributors and their customers worldwide.

Check out this video from our Research and Development team to find more about the people — behind the science — behind our products.

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Talent talks

Would you like to have a conversation with top experts from a global company in your area of interest…manufacturing, R&D, marketing? If so, do we have a surprise for you!

Last week, Amway Talent Acquisition’s Facebook corporate careers page piloted its first guest-hosted Facebook discussion. During the conversation Jim Brundidge, director of manufacturing at our Nutrilite Lakeview, California, operation, discussed manufacturing and labor trends and shared insights gained in his almost 35 years at Amway.

The pilot went so smoothly that our Talent Acquisition group plans to do it again.

From R&D and manufacturing to supply chain and business services, Amway has more than 20,000 dedicated subject matter experts who serve our distributors and want to change the world. We call them employees – and they’re ready to engage in discussions that benefit their functions, industries and global communities.

So check out Amway’s Talent Acquisition page at and join us in the next conversation, and stay tuned for future Facebook discussions with Amway industry experts.

Our guest blogger is Jon Brickner, of Amway Talent Acquisition.


Calcium Controversy

Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Amway Answers blog.

Last month a study published by the British Medical Journal stated that women who had never taken a calcium supplement had a greater chance of a heart attack after taking calcium as part of a seven-year clinical trial.

However, women who had taken calcium supplements before the study began had a lesser chance of a heart attack, and a lesser chance of dying from any cause after taking calcium as part of the trial, suggesting that calcium conferred greater protection the longer it was taken.

What was this study?

The Bolland et al. study wasn’t a randomized trial, but an after-the-fact look at the results of almost 40,000 post-menopausal women from a previous study, the seven-year Women’s Health Initiative Calcium and Vitamin D study.

What are the reactions?

Typical of initial mass media mentions, Woman’s Day stated online categorically that “post-menopausal women who took calcium supplements had a 13- 22% increased risk of heart attacks” – which doesn’t tell the whole story.

On the flip side, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has called the study flawed, and called for a balanced view. Other mass media channels also have taken a moderate tack, for example the Los Angeles Times on April 20th:

“Calcium supplements appear to slightly raise the risk of heart attack, a new analysis suggests. But the data, from postmenopausal women who took supplements over seven years, are far from conclusive. So don’t throw out the multivitamins just yet – or those calcium supplements that many women take for bone health.”

An accompanying editorial in the BMJ itself called the Bolland study flawed, and also noted the findings of “extended survival” in the group of women who were calcium users.

The chart below summarizes the effects of taking calcium (compared to placebo) in women who had either never supplemented with calcium before the study started, or had supplemented with calcium at some point in their lives before the study started. The asterisk * over the first red bar on the left shows the worrisome results: women who had never taken a calcium supplement before the study showed a (statistically significant) 16% increase in the risk of heart attack after taking calcium as part of the study. There wasn’t any effect on the risk of a death from any cause (first green bar).

By contrast, the double asterisks ** over the second set of bars shows a significant 12% and 16% reduction in risk of heart attack and all-cause mortality respectively, in women who had been or were calcium users prior to the study’s initiation.

As John Hathcock, Ph.D., of CRN has said of calcium and vitamin D supplements, from this study “it appears the more you take, the better off you may be.”

Why the confusing findings?

Such a mix of results is par for the course in these kinds of studies which reanalyze huge datasets from old clinical trials. The study authors speculate that the higher risk of heart attacks in women who had never supplemented with calcium could have been because of a sharp rise in blood calcium levels; which does give rise to the notion that first-time post-menopausal calcium users should be instructed to “start low, go slow.”

But, as the authors acknowledge in another part of their paper (page 8), calcium acutely increases serum concentration by only a modest amount. There is yet no clear hypothesis for how these results could have been obtained. On the other hand there are plenty of possible statistical explanations. In typical prospective clinical trials, subjects are randomized evenly to comparison groups. Potential confounding factors that could muddy interpretation are, as far as feasible, controlled for. This type of retrospective study could only make after-the-fact comparisons. Were women who had never in their lives taken a calcium supplement different in other ways (apart from calcium supplement use) than women who had taken calcium supplements or were doing so before the study? And could such a difference account for their negative reaction to calcium supplementation? The dataset does not allow the teasing out of causal factors; in clinical terms, these findings are associations, “A with B”, that do not necessarily reflect real-world, causal, “A leads to B” relationships.

What Should I Do?

As the BMJ Editors as well as the CRN have recognized, this study has produced more questions than answers. The BMJ Editors conclude with a reassurance that several large studies have shown that calcium with or without vitamin D, in combination with medical treatment of osteoporosis, reduced risk of mortality in men by 28% and in women by 38%.

Another reasonable conclusion, one which is in line with the entirety of the literature on the long term benefits of calcium with or without vitamin D, is that long term supplementation with calcium is a good idea.

Daily dietary calcium requirements range from 800 mg to 1500 mg depending on life stage. As Dr. Robert P. Heaney, a bone expert, has pointed out, most women don’t get enough calcium, so the time to start supplementing if you’re not getting enough from your diet is now.


Careful with claims

Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Amway Answers blog.

At Amway, one of our best and biggest assets is the 500 plus scientific professionals that work for us worldwide. Their backgrounds and expertise includes chemistry and biochemistry; micro- and molecular biology; industrial design; food, nutritional and material science; horticulture and plant science; chemical, manufacturing, electrical, mechanical, quality and package engineering; mathematics and statistics; toxicology, pharmaceutical sciences; clinical research; physics and more.

In addition, we gather the expertise of a number of credible third party individuals and organizations from around the globe when we need to.

We reached out to internal and external experts after we read that consumers fearful of radiation exposure in Japan, the United States and other countries were purchasing surplus amounts of products containing potassium iodide. We wanted to confirm that Nutrilite products, exclusively from Amway, should not be offered up as a way to protect people from the adverse health effects of radiation exposure.

There are a few facts related to this issue that are important for all Amway audiences to understand:

First and most importantly, Nutrilite products are for general nutrition and health use and will not prevent any adverse health effects from radiation exposure.

To be more specific, both our Daily and Daily Free Multivitamin/Multimineral and Double X Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient contain 150 micrograms of iodine. This is 100% of the nutritional daily value recommended for ongoing use, but the amount of potassium iodide recommended for adults after a radiation emergency is much higher. In fact, it’s 130 milligrams (not micrograms!) per day, according to one source.

Second, those 130 milligrams would need to be taken within three to four hours of exposure. Amounts taken after that time frame have not been clinically proven to reduce the risk of thyroid cancer in people who have inhaled or ingested radioactive materials.

Finally, this doesn’t mean you can’t be a positive source of information to your friends, family, coworkers or others with concerns. Please know that there is very good information about the current situation in Japan – including what to do in the event of a radiation emergency – on the Center for Disease Control website. Recommending Amway products is not one of them, but you can certainly remind others to be wary of some deceptive marketing phrases – that we don’t and never would use – like, “miraculous cure,” “secret ingredient,” “easy fix” and “ancient remedy.”

This is a time to be caring, not careless.


Never say never

Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Amway Answers blog.

My preschooler now has homework.

The assignments are basic: Write the names of two of your friends. Draw a triangle and color it green. Write the letter “G” seven times.

The assignments are also “optional” and I think we all know what that means. My translation? If he doesn’t do his homework – and his friends do – they will be more prepared for kindergarten than he is. So each night, we spend time doing this “optional” homework.

In the Amway business, retailing products is a little like that. In most Amway markets, distributors are not required to retail. However, if they want to make money and earn a bonus, they do have to. That’s right. Distributors do not make any money unless they sell products. They need to sell products to customers (not to themselves or other distributors) to make money.

Amway is unique in that we don’t have monthly sales quotas in order for distributors to remain in our business. After all, there are months in life that are harder than others. There are college degrees to finish; family matters to tend to; vacations to take without worry. We think it’s important that activities like trying out our products, attending events and taking online learning courses help define a distributor just as much as selling product does.

Unfortunately, this may have have caused some people to believe that, “You’ll never have to sell anything.”

Not true.

First of all, our distributors should want to sell. Selling products is a requirement to receive bonus money and is an important part of a profitable Amway business. It’s also great practice for presenting and “selling” the Amway opportunity to others. Product sales improve the awareness and favorability of the Amway brand – people who try our products generally like them. And if they like them, they’ll buy them again.

The bottom line? Selling can help people in the Amway business make more money, faster. Selling is a vital skill to a career in almost any field, and our business is no different. It makes our distributors eligible for bonuses; gives them experience in mentoring up-and-coming distributors they’ve sponsored; and most importantly, creates a more stable foundation for success.

It’s just like the homework. Will my son get kicked out of preschool if he doesn’t do it? No. But are there rewards for doing it, including passing on to the next grade level? Absolutely!


What's in a name

Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Amway Answers blog.

I think it’s cool that my first name, Cynthia, means “Goddess of the Moon.” I’m neither a goddess nor an astronaut, yet it just seems to fit. I don’t think Heidi or Molly or Jenna would work.

The name that fits our business? The Amway business opportunity.

We’ve heard our business called by many other names. And frankly, they just do not fit.

Examples that we’ve heard – and that we consider deceptive – include the following: private franchise, wholesale buying club, virtual mall and tax shelter (one we particularly hate).

We’ve also heard Amway business opportunity meetings called things we don’t like or endorse, including “a financial seminar,” “ground floor investment opportunity” and even job interview.

Don’t get us wrong. We know that the name “Amway” triggers different reactions based on people’s history with, or perception of, our company. In inviting prospective distributors to talk further about their interest in becoming an entrepreneur, we don’t have the expectation that “Amway” will be thrown out in the first sentence.

But once it gets down to business, we do expect that. Once a person has said they want to earn a supplemental income, or help others become more financially stable, the transparent – and simply the right – thing to do is tell people that the opportunity they are considering is one powered by Amway.

So, if you hear us being called Heidi or Molly or Jenna instead, kindly let us know. We know this practice is diminishing, but we’d like to see it demolished.



Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Amway Answers blog.

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is in A Christmas Story, when Ralphie fantasizes that his essay on Santa bringing him a Red Rider BB Gun earns an “A-plus-plus-plus-plus” grade from his teacher.

We didn’t get the name from Ralphie or Miss Shields, but Amway North America does have an “A+” program, which stands for Accreditation Plus. A+ ensures that all Business Support Materials (BSM) content is consistent with Amway Quality Assurance Standards that approved providers of BSM must abide by.

In the US and Canada, only approved providers are authorized to sell or promote BSM to Amway distributors (called Independent Business Owners in these markets). It’s our quality assurance program. Requirements for becoming an approved provider include:

  • Take a training course on what should, can and definitely can not be part of business support material content.
  • Submit their training and motivational materials for our review and final authorization before they can be sold or distributed.
  • Their ability to sell or promote BSM is contingent on signing a uniform agreement and complying with all A+ program requirements.

The purchase of BSM is optional, and probably one of the most important things that A+ approved providers must do is let new IBOs know that. They also need to let them know that within their first 90 days, all BSM materials purchased can be returned for a full refund. This includes event tickets.

And one of the most important things that A+ approved providers can’t do is suggest that the opportunity is anything other than the Amway business opportunity. It can’t be suggested that it’s a job. A buying club. A tax shelter. It can’t be suggested that the Amway business opportunity guarantees an income for life.

There are other requirements, too. We’re committed to the accuracy and transparency of these materials, and so are the approved providers. We don’t want anyone to be misled by a brochure or video that isn’t authorized by Amway, or in line with our beliefs of how this business opportunity can and should be presented. If you have questions about a specific BSM, please contact us at 616-787-6712.

Business Support Materials are an important part of our business in some parts of the world. They have a place in helping people achieve success – not only in Amway, but in life. We applaud Amway North America for paving the way and adopting A+.


No Blind Eye

Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on the Amway Answers blog.

My grandmother is 92 years old. Although she lives in the dollar-using United States of America, she still says “Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.” My mom, who never dealt in British currency, prefers, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

No matter your idiom of preference, there is always a time to save and a time to spend.

We are a company that lives and breathes entrepreneurship. A few of our online critics have accused us of turning a blind eye to training our distributors about the expenses involved in starting, managing and growing a successful Amway business. We take issue with that.

Training new distributors to track, manage and even lessen the expenses related to their Amway businesses is important to us. Without giving too much away, here’s how we do it:

  • Millions of Amway distributors have free access to a state-of-the-art, multi million dollar sales training program. Some courses are delivered in person; others online via the largest electronic Learning Management System we’ve ever had. The content in some courses comes directly from Amway; other content is delivered by people who sponsor others into the Amway business.
  • One of the courses offered is “Basic Business Administration,” covering financial management and offering a number of easy-to-use templates.
  • One of the templates we provide is an accounting journal for logging all financial transactions. We encourage distributors to record everything. We show examples of expenses, like purchasing catalogs and samples; making photocopies for a sponsorship meeting; paying for gasoline or cab fares; and even paying for their home Internet service.
  • We are constantly developing new tools and courses. One of our newest, Analyzing Your Business, is a full-blown workshop designed to help distributors understand every aspect of their business. A big part of this? Entering and studying financial data – including expenses!
  • We encourage distributors to take a close look at the profitability of their business; to compare different scenarios of spending and structuring to grow their businesses; and to find ways to reduce their biggest expenditures.

Good financial management can make a big difference between a successful Amway business and an unsuccessful one. We want all distributors to be successful, which includes being profitable.

That “blind eye” doesn’t exist. In fact, we’ve got a magnifying glass out – promoting and constantly improving on this category of training.

Suat Eman and provided the magnifying glass image.