Buy Now

Rexall Drugs: The History of Rexall Drugs' Bios Life to Unicity Balance: Pioneers in Scientific Nutritional Advancements

feel great system unicity balance unicity unimate Apr 28, 2023
A woman's hand holding a glass of Balance (formally Bios Life) with the text overlay that says 'Feel Great System: The Evolution from Rexall to Unicity

Explore the remarkable transformation of Rexall, once a cherished American drugstore chain, into Unicity International, a leader in scientific nutrition. Unicity now proudly offers the Feel Great System within its advanced health sciences program.

In this article, we'll dive into the journey of Rexall, a brand that licensed its name to thousands of U.S. drugstores from 1920 to 1977. We'll examine the decline in Rexall's business value, its sale to private investors, and its acquisition by Sundown in 1985, continuing the legacy under the name Rexall-Sundown. Additionally, we'll explore the launch and initial challenges of Bios Life products in Rexall stores, their evolution, and the strategic shift to independent distribution with Bios Life and Bios Life 2.

The history includes Numico's later acquisition of Rexall Sundown, the formation of Unicity Network from Rexall Showcase and Enrich International, and the eventual establishment of Unicity International through internal management buyout. Highlighting Unicity's innovative strides, we'll discuss the launch of Unimate yerba mate in 2017 and the Feel Great System in 2021, culminating in a 2023 study demonstrating significant metabolic health improvements among participants.

Todays Unicity's extensive product listing with listing in the Prescribers Desk Reference (PDR) and its expansive reach across 60+ markets worldwide. Join me as we unfold the story of a brand's resilience and innovation in the health and wellness sector.

Rexall Drug Store Chain

 Rexall was a chain of American drugstores, and the name of their store-branded products. The stores, having roots in the federation of United Drug Stores starting in 1903, licensed the Rexall brand name to as many as 12,000 drug stores across the United States from 1920 to 1977. The "Rex" in the name was derived from the name of Ellen M. Regis, who developed "Rexall remedies" and from whom the company purchased the mark. 

Vintage image of a Rexall Storefront from the past displaying the retail franchise business during that era. The storefront features the Rexall logo and signage, with vintage cars parked outside. The image shows the architecture, design, and atmosphere of a traditional Rexall drug store from that time period.

The Sale of Rexall and the Rise of Bios Life Fiber

By 1977, the value of the Rexall business had deteriorated to the point that it was sold to private investors for $16 million. The investors divested the company-owned stores, though existing franchise retailers were able to keep the Rexall name. These tended to be weaker stores, and few kept the name as time progressed. The company continued to distribute vitamins, health foods, and plastic items. Across the US, some franchise retailers continue to use the Rexall name. 

In 1985, Sundown, a maker of sunscreens, acquired the Rexall trademark and continued to manufacture supplements as Rexall-Sundown, with no relationship to the remaining chain of Rexall drugstores.

In 1987, scientists at the University of Santa Barbara developed a revolutionary product while researching for a nutritional solution for a growing trend to manage cholesterol levels. The fiber formula they discovered became known as Bios Life (later named “Balance”), and they partnered with the Rexall Sundown division to commercialize Bios Life. Bios Life was first launched in the Rexall retail stores and failed to sell.

In 1990, after attempting to sell Bios Life on a normal store shelf, Rexall Sundown realized a new approach is needed. Rexall Showcase then launched Bios Life and other cutting-edge nutritional products through a network of independent distributors. Rexall Showcase was made as a direct marketing organization. 

The Acquisition of Rexall Sundown and Enrich International

In 2000, Numico acquired Rexall Sundown, which included Rexall Showcase, and another direct sales supplement company called Enrich International, formally called Nature’s Labs. Enrich International was known as the first company to successfully encapsulate and market herbal supplements. 

Enrich International was founded by Ken Brailsford, who co-founded Nature's Sunshine in 1972 and served as President of the company from 1972-1979. After leaving Nature's Sunshine, he went to work as a stockbroker for a short time, but then reemerged in the herbal industry once his non-compete agreement with Nature's Sunshine had expired. Brailsford then went on to help launch Nature's Labs Inc., later renamed Enrich International. He worked there from 1985-1997 and retired in 1997. 

The Formation of Unicity Network and the focus on Clinical Studies

Numico merged Rexall Showcase with Enrich to form Unicity Network in 2001. After Royal Numico created Unicity Network, the company appointed Richard Bizzaro, formerly of Weider Nutrition, to be CEO of Unicity Network until 2002. A short time later, Aaron Webber, a longtime employee and senior executive of Enrich International, became the CEO of Unicity Network. 

In 2002, Bios Life was accepted into the Prescribers Desk Reference (PDR) based on its many clinical studies, proven results, and acceptance throughout the medical communities worldwide as a natural way to support healthy cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood sugar throughout the day. By this time, Bios Life had been clinically studied at many prestigious research institutes, including the Cleveland Clinic, UCLA, Stanford School of Medicine, and the University of Utah. 

In 2003, Numico then began splitting up their Rexall divisions and divested them in 2003, selling the name Rexall-Sundown to NBTY, a US vitamin company, and the Unicity Network division was to be sold to Activated Holdings, a privately held company which also owned Shaklee. The deal fell through, however. In 2003, Gateway Distributors Ltd also bid Royal Numico to purchase Unicity Network. Unicity Network was eventually sold to two members of its management team, and its name changed to Unicity International in 2003. 

In July 2003, Royal Numico divested Unicity Network. The division was purchased by internal management and renamed itself to Unicity International, Inc. Aaron Webber served as CEO until 2006. In April 2021, I had the opportunity to interview Aaron Webber where he discussed this time period when Numico divested the company and he lead the management buy-out. 

Unicity New Ownership: Stewart Hughes 

In 2006, Stewart Hughes was named the President of Unicity International. Stewart Hughes began as a successful distributor in Rexall-Showcase and initially joined because of the positive effects Bios Life had on his health. He committed himself to helping others achieve better health because of its benefits. Hughes sold his distributor position and purchased ownership of Unicity with a focus to continue with the direct selling focus and expanding the company with a vision to make life better. 

Unicity not only believes in creating innovative products but also in developing products based on science. This belief has led to various clinical studies, reputable certifications, US patents, listings in the Prescribers Desk Reference (PDR), and promotions by scientific journals and studies. 

Unicity Launched Unimate Yerba Mate (often called Rexall Unimate)

In 2017, Unicity launched Unimate yerba mate after three years of research and development. Unimate is the first ultra-concentrated ready-to-drink sugar-free yerba mate drink of its kind. Unicity designs and develops innovative nutritional products that make healthy living achievable in an on-the-go world. 

To support Unicity’s commitment to ensuring in-house quality control, ongoing research, and sustainability, Unicity harvests yerba mate at the source. Each yerba mate leaf is hand-picked to ensure the highest quality material is used. Unicity has established the Unimate Research Institute in South America, where yerba mate leaf is grown and harvested using their patented 5-step process. This unique process increases yerba mate's effectiveness and benefits by selectively removing impurities and contaminants, producing a more concentrated and powerful yerba mate that is 375 times more effective than traditional yerba mate. 

Unicity Launches the Feel Great System

In 2021, Unicity launched the Feel Great System brand, which combines the long-time proven benefits of Unicity Balance fiber (formerly, Bios Life) and the tradition of yerba mate with the ultra-concentrated Unimate, combined with intermittent fasting. Despite those on social media who claim to take credit as the creators and founders of Feel Great, the fact remains that Unicity is the founder of this program and continues to support the movement worldwide. 

The Feel Great System: 60 Day Study

In 2023, Unicity published a 60-day study using the Feel Great program. This study was conducted to measure changes in cardiometabolic health among participants following Unicity’s Feel Great daily supplementation and intermittent fasting protocol for 60 days. During the trial, participants experienced significant improvements in important markers of metabolic health, including blood lipids, triglycerides, and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, as well as decreases in body weight and waist circumference. 

Unicity's Heritage: Ongoing Commitment to Innovation and Quality

 Since 1986, when Bios Life Diet was first sold in Rexall Drug Stores, the product has undergone several rebranding and reformulations. In 1994, it was rebranded as Bios Life 2 with a new formulation. In 2006, it was once again reformulated and rebranded as Bios Life Complete. In 2008, it became known as Bios Life Slim. Over the years, the formula has continued to improve as new studies were conducted. In recent years, Unicity has brought together two powerful product formulations under the brand name Feel Great. In 2022, the packaging was rebranded to give it a fresh, consistent look.

Visual timeline showcasing the evolution of Unicity's products from Bios Life Diet in 1986 to the latest in the Feel Great System series in 2023, marking significant milestones in the company's history.

Today, Unicity has more products listed in the Prescribers Desk Reference (PDR) and is in 60+ markets worldwide, with a growing selection of more than 400 products. With in-house farming, research and development, and manufacturing, they directly oversee production and ensure that all ingredients meet the highest quality and purity standards, and that the nutrient content and chemical composition match the intended product benefits.

With in-house manufacturing capabilities in 4 strategically placed plants worldwide, Unicity can guarantee that the products meet their high-quality standards. They handle warehouse and shipping themselves and have complete control over how Unicity products are produced and distributed, so consumers know they can trust that what they order is safe and effective.

The company's mission is to help people everywhere enjoy a beautiful, healthy, fulfilling life through their exceptional products, a fun and rewarding business opportunity, and a culture of family, health, and gratitude. 

Ready to join the movement and experience the transformative power of Unicity's Feel Great System? Click the link below to learn more and start your journey to better health today!

©2023 Doug Collins: This article is an original written work by Doug Collins, based on his more than 14 years of experience as a Unicity distributor and extensive research and personal interviews documenting the history of Rexall, Enrich, Bios Life, Balance, Unimate, and the evolution to the Feel Great program today. This article is protected by worldwide copyright, and may not be duplicated in whole or in part, without written permission. 

Related Articles:

Feel Better Than You Have In Years!

Image of the box of Unimate yerba mate lemon flavor and Balance fiber matrix orange flavor with a glass of Balance fiber beside it and slices of oranges and lemon to show the natural flavoring in the drinks

The Feel Great System

More Energy! Healthy Blood Sugar Levels! Weight Loss!
Even If Everything Else You Tried Before Has Failed!

Order today! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!

Call Doug:
Text: 1-902-201-0245
Int'l Call/Text

Click the Message/Chat Button
Buy Now

Copyright© 2019-2024, Doug Collins. All rights reserved. The content on this site is intellectual property. Unauthorized reproduction or replication, in any form, is strictly prohibited and constitutes plagiarism. If you appreciate the quality of this content, please respect these rights. For more information, visit our page on Plagiarism in the Feel Great System: A Stand for Integrity and Respecting Original Content. 

Disclaimer: This website, hosted by Doug Collins, is independently operated and not sponsored or administered by Unicity International, the founder and manufacturer of the Feel Great System products. Doug is an authorized distributor with Unicity. The content here is not intended as medical advice but as a sharing of knowledge from Doug's extensive research and experience, and his community. Always consult with a qualified health care professional before making health care decisions. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of our Terms of Use and Copyright Notice. All content, including layout, design elements, images, and articles, is copyrighted. Reproduction, republishing, or duplication without prior written approval from Doug Collins is strictly prohibited.