Franchise News Release: Pittsburgh, PA - (Nov-15-2001)

GNC To Open 300 `Smoothie Bars' in 2002

General Nutrition Centers, the nation's largest specialty retailer of vitamins and supplements, today announced that it will open as many as 300 GNC Smoothie Bars in 2002 as branded elements of its company-owned and Franchise stores.

GNC Smoothies offer consumers healthy frozen fruit drinks combined with specific supplements that address common health and lifestyle concerns like diet, health, sports performance and energy.

Mike Meyers, President and CEO of GNC, said, "GNC Smoothies take a healthy frozen fruit drink to new heights through proprietary formulas including ginseng, whey protein, MetRx®, Scan*Diet® and ArginMax®. Our tests show that consumers prefer GNC Smoothies to other products because they trust the GNC brand and see GNC as a credible and authoritative source of information about dietary supplements."

Meyers added, "In test stores, both in mall and downtown locations, GNC Smoothie Bars increased foot traffic and created significant increases in supplement sales. At the same time, GNC Smoothies add to our competitive advantage in three ways. First, they provide GNC stores with another health-related product segment. Second, they leverage the GNC brand and our multi-million dollar advertising and promotions campaigns. And third, they leverage, at minimal cost, the existing investment in more than 4,500 corporate and franchise stores nationwide."

The GNC Smoothie goes beyond competitors by mixing an array of fruit, including bananas, strawberries, peaches and berries, with GNC's most popular supplements to whip up a healthy fruit drink that also provides nutrients to meet customers' health and lifestyle needs. GNC will offer smoothies in a variety of categories, including Sports Nutrition, Energy, On The Lighter Side, Good-n-Smoothie, and Lifestyle, with interesting combinations and names, including Hear Me Roar, Go The Distance and Joint Effect. Each smoothie can be combined with 18 additional supplement choices.

"We're very excited about the growth opportunities and competitive advantages of the GNC Smoothie Bar," Meyers said. "Smoothies are a proven healthy alternative to drinks that may be high in calories and over processed. This is a natural for GNC because we can provide a great-tasting drink that is also nutritionally balanced to meet the health and lifestyle needs of our customers."

General Nutrition Companies, Inc. (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest nationwide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 5,300 retail outlets throughout the United States, including 1,360 domestic franchise locations, and 26 foreign markets including Canada and Mexico. GNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Numico N.V., a worldwide market leader in specialized nutrition that includes infant and clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, Royal Numico's operations include manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries and research facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., China, Australia and the USA.


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