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By Published on .

St. John's Wort, a natural substance believed to relieve symptoms of depression, earned $179 million in total category sales, according to Hartman Group, a West Coast researcher.

Rexall Sundown garnered $23 million of that market, notably, with a mere $716,000 in ad spending. But the company still managed to lead the pack in sales. For comparison, competitor Pharmaton Natural Health Products' spent $15 million on Movana's campaign, according to the researcher.

Stephen Frabitore, who is president of the Sundown Vitamins division and oversees sales and marketing for Rexall Sundown's retail business in the U.S. and Canada, says his strategy is simple and based on aggressively low prices, a good distribution network and eye-catching packaging with easy-to-read consumer information.

Mr. Frabitore says Rexall was one of the few marketers prepared for the sudden consumer demand for St. John's Wort.

"We have built a meaningful supplier network that has kept our ear to the ground about new herbal products coming down the pike. We were able to see early on St.

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