Nature's Way Purewater Systems Inc.
Nature’s Way Purewater Systems Inc. has fast become one of the top contract manufacturers in the beverage business. Nature’s Way has been bottling up success since 1996, serving some of the biggest names in the industry. Over the last three years, Nature’s Way has effectively doubled in size, creating many high-quality local jobs by increasing manufacturing capacity and taking on many exclusive beverage agreements.
Based in Pittston, Pennsylvania, the company’s location allows it to serve many major metro areas along the East Coast. “We are the preferred beverage partner for many major brands due to our high capacity production and our attractive geographic location,” explains Prashant Shitut, president and chief operating officer of Nature’s Way. “We are close to five major highways and can quickly and efficiently serve many cities from Philadelphia to New York City, Boston and beyond. With a high volume of brand owners on the East Coast, this bodes well for our business.”
In addition to its strategic East Coast location, Nature’s Way offers diverse product and packaging options, as well as product development assistance. Situated on 50 acres, Nature’s Way has a 200,000-square-foot high-capacity manufacturing facility and access to Pennsylvania’s spring water sources within 25 miles of its location.
Standing out in the crowd
Although the company is now one of the largest players in the premier beverage contract manufacturing business, Nature’s Way started small in 1996. At inception, the company primarily served the home office delivery market in northeastern Pennsylvania, using a 20,000-square-foot facility.
In 2000, Sandy Insalaco Sr., chairman of the board at Nature’s Way, assumed ownership of the company. The son of Italian immigrants, Insalaco was raised on a large family farm in Harding, Pennsylvania. One of eight children, Insalaco and his father and brothers would take their farm-fresh produce and deliver it to area supermarkets. This blossomed into the family’s own grocery business, which eventually grew to 14 successful stores.
“To get shelf space in the supermarket today, you have to stand out,” explains Shitut. “After years being in the grocery business, Insalaco knew what it took to get a product to stand out. He saw the demand for good private label beverage manufacturers and 16 years ago, he took over Nature’s Way.”
Under his leadership, Nature’s Way expanded its efforts in the single-serve and bulk-water markets, establishing itself as an international water bottler with a diverse, high-volume production line. “Things really started to take off in 2011,” says Shitut. “We started landing more national accounts and major brand names.”
Products and special certifications
Among other water sources, Nature’s Way continues to use spring water as a major source for manufacturing. The spring water is sourced from 24 miles of its production facility. Water products include: spring, distilled, purified and carbonated. The company also offers water enhancements, adding flavorings, vitamins and nutrients, as well as electrolytes and high pH enrichments for private-label customers.
In labeling, Nature’s Way offers PSL, roll fed, cut and stack and shrink sleeve in tray and shrink and RSC box packing. The production line is capable of 12-ounce, 16.9 ounce, 700 and 750-milileter, 1-liter and 1.5 liter PET bottle sizes in six, 12, 18 and 24-pack configurations.
Not only has Nature’s Way grown in the size and scope of capabilities, the company has also successfully maintained a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level 3 certification since 2009. Nature’s Way is also Orthodox Union (OU) certified; the world’s largest kosher certification, as well as a U.S. Army certified manufacturer, approved to deliver water to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Taking it to the next level
In 2013, with a sharp focus on PET beverages and becoming the contract manufacturer of choice on the East Coast, Nature’s Way began executing a capital improvement plan. “There have been significant changes in the last few years,” reveals Shitut.
“In the last three years, the company has effectively doubled in size, adding more than 60 positions and we are now running production on all lines around the clock, 24/7,” adds Shitut. “This also includes a recent $12 million investment in expanding manufacturing capacity.”
In addition to the manufacturing site, the company maintains state-of-the-art quality control labs, storage facilities and spring water well sites. “We also have two fully functional laboratories in-house for testing and new product development,” notes Shitut.
Having joined Nature’s Way in May 2014 as director of operations, Shitut was promoted as president and chief operating officer in early 2015. He has been influential in carrying out this expansion. With more than 25 years of senior management experience, Shitut has helped moved Nature’s Way forward.
“Since joining the company, Shitut has demonstrated the ability to take the organization and its employees to the next level,” said Insalaco in a press release on Shitut’s promotion to president and chief operating officer. “We share the same philosophy. Our goal is to give each and every employee the opportunity to realize their full potential. The recent growth of the company has resulted in several promotions for employees at Nature's Way and Shitut will lead our company to provide job security for the long term. “
As the beverage industry ramps up in technology and efficiencies, Nature’s Way is keeping pace with the demand and taking full advantage of the opportunities at hand. The company’s ongoing capital enhancement and investment in innovations in production and laboratory equipment and high-quality people, make Nature’s Way Purewater Systems Inc. a leader in contract beverage manufacturing.