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Owner expertise, exacting standards, and equally precise manufacturing: Components that make Sunrider International a global company

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Sunrider researches, develops, and manufactures over 400 herbal products including herbal foods and beverages, nutritional supplements, weight-management products, skincare and cosmetics, and household products.

Sunrider International was founded in 1982 by Drs. Tei-Fu and Oi-Lin Chen. Their passion for people led them to create powerful herbal products that help others achieve optimal health and wellness, and a business opportunity that offers them the freedom to live happier, more balanced lives. Guided by owner expertise, Sunrider is a growing global enterprise that currently spans nearly 50 countries and territories. 

The Silicon Review reached out to Sunrider’s Europe (London) headquarters and spoke with one of its top executives. Here’s what he shared with us.  

The Sunrider Story

The Sunrider story is really the story of the Chen family. It encompasses generations, ancient Eastern traditions, and modern Western innovation. And it begins with the company’s founders, Drs. Tei-Fu and Oi-Lin Chen.

While Sunrider’s founders started Sunrider in Utah in 1982, their journey began decades earlier in Tei-Fu’s homeland, Taiwan. Growing up, Tei-Fu was a sickly child. His grandfather cared for him with timeless Chinese herbal remedies. The medicinal properties of these plants were so powerful that they ignited in Tei-Fu a lifelong passion for Chinese herbal philosophy.

While studying herbal medicine and pharmacology in college, Tei-Fu met and married Oi-Lin, a gifted medical student from Hong Kong. The couple paired their natural curiosity, scientific expertise, and shared entrepreneurial spirit to start a business that would change lives through natural products like those that changed Tei-Fu’s life all those years ago.

After their marriage, the Chens immigrated to the United States and settled in Utah. Dr. Oi-Lin Chen worked as a research assistant and Dr. Chen had various jobs including 7–11 assistant manager and judo instructor. They also began raising a family that would grow to five children. In 1982, Dr. Chen founded Sunrider International, a herbal health food and skincare company.

Dr. Oi-Lin Chen practiced medicine to help support the family while Dr. Chen worked to realize his dream. They started small with the formulation, manufacturing, and selling of herbal products from their home. Dr. Oi-Lin Chen officially joined Sunrider International as president a few years later, bringing her medical and managerial expertise.

World Headquarters and Manufacturing Plants

In 1987, the Chens moved their steadily growing business to Torrance, California, where they built their world headquarters, beautifully situated on nine acres of land. They continued their commitment to producing the finest herbal products available by personally overseeing the formulation, development, and manufacturing of their products. Sunrider now owns approximately two million square feet of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, China, India, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Giving Back

Education, disaster relief, healthcare, and the environment are but a few areas in which Drs. Chen and Sunrider strive to make a lasting difference in people’s lives. In March 2009, Forbes Asia recognized Dr. Tei-Fu Chen as one of the ‘World’s Heroes of Philanthropy’ for his charitable contributions to organizations such as UNICEF, the Gang Alternatives Program, AIDS Walk LA, the American Cancer Society, the Pediatric Therapy Network, Mentors International, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In 2014, Drs. Chen donated $2.5 million to support the construction of Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s new Main Tower. The facilities house the ‘Drs. Oi-Lin and Tei-Fu Chen Family Surgical Center,’ which is one of the most advanced surgical facilities in the region.

In 2021, Sunrider used its annual Grand Convention as an opportunity to give back through a donation campaign in which more than half the price of every convention ticket was shared equally among three charitable organizations: Engage Now Africa, Mentors International, and United Nations World Food Program.

This campaign proved to be instrumental in the building of a new maternity clinic, the Wonber Maternal Health Center, in Ethiopia, which opened in 2022 and provides vital healthcare services to over 30,000 women and children in Africa.

The Art of Herbal Science

Sunrider scientists elevate herbal science to an art form by selecting raw herbs and then expertly extracting and concentrating only their most beneficial nutrients, so your body can receive exceptional health benefits without having to eat an abundance of certain foods. Sunrider® products provide a superior level of nutrition with their super-concentrated, highly bioavailable products.

The Philosophy of Regeneration®

Sunrider® products are based on a simple yet powerful idea that synergizes thousands of years of Chinese herbal study with leading-edge Western science. It’s the blueprint that guides the development of every Sunrider® product, from concept to creation. It’s called the Philosophy of Regeneration®. When you nourish and cleanse your body with only the finest natural ingredients and eliminate harmful chemicals and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, you bring your body into balance. A balanced body is a healthy body. (Nourish + Cleanse = Balance)

Innovation at Every Step

Owner expertise, exacting standards, and equally precise manufacturing also set Sunrider above and apart. Sunrider’s owners are medical doctors, organic chemists, and expert herbalists who oversee the research, formulation, and production of every product, without exception.

 Sunrider uses only the most advanced pharmaceutical-grade machinery and controls every aspect of manufacturing—not a single production step is outsourced. It’s how Sunrider ensures the potency, purity, integrity, and safety of every Sunrider® product.

In 2022, Sunrider relocated its manufacturing plant from Los Angeles, California to Midlothian, Texas and is currently completing the construction of its new facility, the Sunrider Manufacturing Texas Plant (TXP), which includes a research and development center and spans 71 acres.

The relocation of its manufacturing plant strongly positions Sunrider to achieve sustainable, long-term growth, and enables the company to better serve its global network of business associates and customers. Sunrider will continue to have a strong presence in California, as the company’s world headquarters will remain in Torrance, California.

Business Models

Sunrider operates three types of businesses.

Manufacturing: Sunrider researches, develops, and manufactures over 400 herbal products including herbal foods and beverages, nutritional supplements, weight-management products, skincare and cosmetics, and household products.

Franchise and Retail Stores: Sunrider operates a franchise business in China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam with about 2,000 Sunrider® Authorized stores in those areas. In addition to these stores, Sunrider owns company stores in Australia, China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Direct Selling: Sunrider first started as a direct-sales business in the United States and now operates a direct-sales business system in nearly every region of the world.

Family Values at Work

All five of Drs. Chen’s adult children hold senior positions within the multi-generational family-owned company, either directly at the corporate headquarters or on the board of directors.

Wendy Teng brings her expertise in global marketing, brand building, and strategic planning to her role on the board of directors. Wendy earned a BA in English and Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law.

Dr. Reuben Chen is also on the board of directors. He is a board-certified physician specializing in sports medicine and pain management and has extensive training in traditional Chinese medicine. He plays an active role in the research and development of Sunrider’s groundbreaking products.

Dr. Reuben completed specialty training at the University of Minnesota in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Brigham Young University and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.

Sunny Beutler was appointed as Sunrider’s Chief Executive Officer in 2021. She brings more than 16 years of executive-level experience with Sunrider. Sunny has overseen the operations of Sunrider offices throughout Asia and Europe and held executive positions for the company’s Sunworld Dynasty™ Hotel group and more. Sunny earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Juris Doctor from Brigham Young University.

Eric Chen is an organic chemist and Chief Global Manufacturing Officer at Sunrider. He oversees the management of the U.S. manufacturing plant, including U.S. Food & Drug Administration compliance, product launches, and research and development. Eric earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Brigham Young University.

Jonathan Chen is also on the Board of Directors. He received his Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Masters of Information Systems Management from Brigham Young University.

“Sunrider operates a franchise business in China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam with about 2,000 Sunrider® Authorized stores in those areas. In addition to these stores, Sunrider owns company stores in Australia, China, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.”

“Sunrider scientists elevate herbal science to an art form by selecting raw herbs and then expertly extracting and concentrating only their most beneficial nutrients, so your body can receive exceptional health benefits without having to eat an abundance of certain foods.”