With the rising costs of healthcare, more people than ever are searching for alternative ways to support wellness, especially essential oils. And for the last few years Young Living Essential Oils and dōTERRA International have battled for dominance in the essential oil realm, all while being separated by only a 10 minute drive. As these two giants in the industry duke it out in both the markets and the courts, other players are emerging along the Wasatch Front of Utah — namely Améo and Genesis Pure.
Young Living Essential Oils was introduced by Gary Young in 1993 and officially founded in 1994 with his wife Mary. Mr. Young recently resigned as CEO, making his wife Mary the CEO and owner of the largest female owned and operated company in Utah. Young Living is one of the few essential oil resellers to own and operate its own farms — though a relatively small percentage of the company’s essential oils are actually obtained from their own farms.
Young Living sells Young Living Therapeutic Grade® essential oils vetted by their proprietary Seed to Seal process. They currently offer the widest selection of essential oils singles and blends of any of the Utah companies. Young Living helped mainstream essential oils in America and currently has the goal of bringing “Young Living Essential Oils to every home in the world.”
dōTERRA International was established in 2008 by a group of former Young Living executives that desired to introduce “a better way of sharing essential oil healing.” They are credited with popularizing essential oils among a younger demographic and mommy bloggers. Based on their success with these demographics they experienced phenomenal growth, and now offer a large selection of CPTG® essential oils to a global market.
dōTERRA also has a certification standard called Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® that employs a number of tests to validate their essential oils for purity and quality. Unlike Young Living, dōTERRA does not own any farms and partners with scrutinized vendors to obtain their essential oils. Not owning expensive to operate farms in fact reduces operating costs for dōTERRA, allowing them to pass this savings on to their customers. dōTERRA is “committed to sharing the life-enhancing benefits of therapeutic-grade essential oils and essential oil enhanced products with the world.”
Another company about seven minutes north of Young Living in Utah, Genesis Pure, introduced a USDA certified organic line of 14 essential oils in early 2014. Unlike, Young Living and dōTERRA, Genesis Pure does not recommend the oral use of their essential oils — suggesting only topical or aromatic use. They do not use a therapeutic grade designation, instead relying upon the certified organic label to entice new customers.
The latest player in the essential oil industry along the Wasatch Front is Améo Essential Oils, a division of parent company Zija International. Zija was established in 2005 by billionaire entrepreneur and father of modern herbal encapsulation Ken Brailsford. Améo has differentiated itself from the others by taking a more scientific approach to essential oils with the help of Harvard graduate and National Institutes of Health fellow Dr. Joshua Plant.
Dr. Plant has introduced new testing methods never before used in the essential oil industry — laser scanning confocal microscopy and CaCo2 analysis — that prove the bioavailability, cellular penetration, cellular localization, and the synergistic action of Améo essential oils. He has also partnered with prestigious universities to study the effects of Améo essential oils on the human genome — how they affect genetic expression and therefore overall health.
Améo also takes a unique approach to the quality of essential oils. Instead of using a database established by a single company or organization, their clinical grade essential oils are vetted according to standards obtained from peer-reviewed, scientific journals. This standard has become the only independent standard currently being used to assess essential oil quality and purity. They source their essential oils from scrutinized vendors that meet strict standards, and every vendor batch is tested to make sure the therapeutic value is equivalent to or better than essential oils used in peer-reviewed studies. In addition, Améo is the only of the four companies that allows the end user to view the testing employed for the exact batch of essential oil that is purchased by inputting the batch code online.
As more people are introduced to the benefits of essential oils, these four companies are destined to see growth and the battle will continue to heat up. The only question remains, will Young Living remain the largest of the companies or will one of the upstarts unseat the giant?