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Provo firm draws 4,000 vitamin distributors

Vitamin distributors from more than 40 countries, including many Jewish and Muslim sellers from the Middle East, will converge on downtown Salt Lake this weekend.

Provo-based Agel Enterprises, which started in 2005, is bringing in as many as 4,000 representatives for this year's convention at the Salt Palace. The company, while one of many multi-level marketers that specialize in dietary and nutritional supplements, sets itself apart because of its strict production guidelines and suspension gel system.

Supplements made by Agel are kosher and halal certified, making them safe for Jews and Muslims to ingest. Because of that, the company has become especially popular in Israel and many Muslim countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia.

"We wanted Agel to be a global company that bridges all races, religions and cultures," Agel CEO and founder Glen Johnson said in a news release.

The company is being recognized by the United Jewish Federation of Utah for its involvement in the Israeli business environment and its humanitarian work in the country. Agel has recently donated $5,000 to increase educational opportunities for Israeli children.

"The Jewish community here in Utah appreciates that a Utah company is investing in Israel and supports the people of Israel," said Erik Ludwig, executive director of the United Jewish Federation of Utah.

Company spokesman Andrew Pete said that along with their kosher and halal standards, the Agel supplements are also popular because of their ease of use. The vitamins are delivered as a suspended gel.

"The unique thing about our product is that they are convenient," he said. "You can take them with you, take them without water, and they aren't bulky."

The convention will also feature a speech by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and motivational speaker Dick Hoyt. It was to be in the Salt Palace Friday and today.