Ernesto Hartog. Regional Director Central Europe at Juice Plus+. Ernesto was born in 1970 in Den Haag, the Netherlands. Graduated in economics. For eighteen years he lived in Germany, twelve in Switzerland then in Poland. He loves to tavel, cycling, running and diving. He plays the blues harmonica whenever nobody is around.
Hello Ernesto. Tell us please: what is your favorite fruit?
That question is easy to answer. Bananas as they are good for on-the-go and taste delicious. You can easily mix them up with our Juice Plus+ shakes and they have a good nutritional value. Of course, there are so many other amazing fruits I like but I just love bananas the most.
And does the Juice Plus capsule contain bananas? Or maybe your favorite vegetable?
Our Juice Plus+ capsules contain 30 different fruits, vegetables and berries, but bananas are not one of them. My favourite vegetables are French fries. I am joking. Being half Italian it is of course tomatoes. I love them in all forms, fresh from our Juice Plus+ tower garden, as a sauce on pasta or as zupa pomidorowa.
Speaking of the Juice Plus capsule. You say that is „Next Best Thing to fruits and vegetables”. But why exactly?
Many people try to eat healthy every day and we all know that this is not always easy. While Juice Plus+ isn’t a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables, the juice power concentrates from more than 30 different fruits, vegetables and berries. Juice Plus+ can help you bridge the gap between what you eat and what you should eat every day. With this convenient way you benefit from valuable phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals that will provide you with optimal antioxidants that are important for your well-being.
Let’s talk a bit about the history of your company, NSA (National Safety Associates). It started selling home fire-protection equipment. It is a long way from it to dietary supplements.
Back in 1970, Jay Martin founded NSA (National Safety Associates) in Memphis, Tennessee (USA). The company has made it its mission to make people’s lives safer and better. In 1993, the foundation stone was laid for the company as we know it today: The launch of Juice Plus+. Since then, the Juice Plus+ Company has continued to develop and expand its offering. We relied on solid clinical research for product development. With a unique, long-term and sustainable business model that focuses on customers and partners, we have been able to expand the Juice Plus+ vision in countless countries on several continents over the past 26 years.
Every respectable company has values that it follows. What are yours?
Our principles have been refined over and over again since the company was founded in 1970, but have not changed in principle. We have always remained true to our corporate values of longevity, authenticity, quality, community and simplicity, which is highly appreciated by our partners and customers. We naturally try to adapt our services and products to our partners and customers in order to make their daily lives as simple and carefree as possible. We always try to have an open ear for feedback on our products and servicesto make everything even easier.
Juice Plus is not only the legendary capsule. You also promote a healthy lifestyle. Ernesto, is it hard to convince people to change their habits?
We all know there is an effort involved, However, the growing health awareness of the population is far more than a trend. It has become a necessity that is recognized and lived by more and more people worldwide. “To inspire people world-wide to a healthier and better life” is not without reason our mission. We constantly face the challenges of a changing society with different needs and try to inform responsibly and competently about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
As company, you are present in over 20 countries. In your opnion are there differences in promoting a healthy lifestyle in different countries?
We are over 500 employees, in 12 offices, helping over 200.000 partners in 28 countries.
What combines us all is the strong drive for our mission statement. Inspiring Healthy Living Around The World is what makes us go the extra mile. With this in mind, it´s not that different around the countries we operate in. It starts with one simple change and will lead into a journey. Adopt new, healthy habits through the core areas of Nutrition, Hydration, Physical Activity, Sleep and Stress as they will meaningfully impact your life.
You lived in Poland for many years. We know that their cuisine is delicious. But do the Poles eat healthy?
The 5 years we lived in Poland where an experience and I look back with joy on those years. I just love the people, the country and the food. I would say that food in Poland is as healthy or unhealthy as you want to have it. It is all a matter of choice. Healthy food is available in restaurants around the country and fresh and healthy ingredients for your home cooking too. Surowki, zupy, salaty, you name it. You just have to stay away from too much ciasta, placki, pierogi etc.
Ernesto, the last two questions will be about your private life if you don’t mind. What do you like to do in your free time?
As my free time is limited due to my busy business schedule and a lot of traveling, I enjoy spending time with my wife (she is polish) and my two kids (13 and 18). I commute with my bicycle to work but like to do tours on the weekend too. I try to run at least 2 x a week and play my blues harmonica whenever there is nobody around. It is so important to balance a busy life and do things to destress. It plays a big role in a healthy and good lifestyle.
And last but not least: Ernesto, your definition of happiness?
Interesting question. For me it is a feeling that you have when life is good. It’s a very personal and individual feeling that you have and comes over you at the strangest and most wonderful times in your life. The feeling of happiness is also like an energy source when times are less happy. My definition of happiness is combined in a quote I recently read and stuck with me. Laughter opens the lungs, and opening the lungs ventilates the spirit. More smiling, less worrying.
Thank you for the interview. Our editorial staff wishes you all the success!
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