"From the beginning we wanted to make our products available to as many cultures as possible" said Glen Jensen, CEO of the Provo-based multi-level marketing company. "From Day One, we opened in 10 countries and we set out to have all of our products kosher-certified for our Israeli team members and halal-certified for our Muslim team members."
Over 3,000 people from 40 countries are expected at the Agel event, which will run through Saturday at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
Founded in 2005, Agel is one of the latest entrants into the already-crowded dietary Utah dietary supplements industry. At least 105 companies based in the state sold products worth $4.4 billion last year according to the United Natural Products Alliance.
Agel may be young, but it's not small. The privately held company does not publish its revenues, but Jensen said sales this year are expected to exceed $100 million.
"We've really grown fast," he said.
The company says it has 100 employees in Provo and another 50 people stationed at 15 foreign offices. They support over 100,000 independent salespeople who market Agel products door-to-door, over the Internet and from kiosks and small shops, Jensen said.
Multi-level marketing businesses are a way of selling products through salespeople who are often called distributors. People who sign up as distributors receive commissions for their sales and those of other people recruited to join the business, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The products Agel distributors sell are antioxidants, weight-loss formulas, joint maintenance, vitamin and mineral supplements and other commodities suspended in gel packs.
Gels are supposed to be more convenient than pills or tablets. They are more portable and can be taken without a liquid. And while the company doesn't claim that the body absorbs supplements suspended in gel faster, Jensen says gel is a better delivery method than "highly compressed" tablets or capsules.
To illustrate his argument, Jensen compares suspended gels to advances in the music industry.
"I would compare pills and tablets to cassette tapes. What we deliver is more along the lines of an iPod," Jensen said.