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Cost and Cruelty-Free Manufacturing Practices Matter Most to Beauty Shoppers, Vitacost Survey Finds

BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 8, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whether her lipstick is labeled "fire-engine red" or "passion flower pink," one label that matters deeply to today's beauty consumer is "cruelty-free," according to a new, nationwide survey of close to 1,300 American women conducted by Vitacost.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:VITC), a leading online retailer of health and wellness products, including organic beauty and personal care items. More than three-quarters of respondents said it was either "extremely important" or "somewhat important" that the cosmetics products they buy are labeled "cruelty-free." These results closely mirror an internal survey Vitacost conducted simultaneously of 903 of its female customers.

The other label that's particularly important to today's beauty shopper is the price tag, the survey found, with affordability listed as the most important factor influencing the decision to purchase a beauty product.

Other key survey findings

Nationwide survey of 1,266 women, aged 18-60+:

  • 31.5% purchase cosmetics every 1-2 months
  • Overwhelming majority, 74.6%, would purchase a product labeled "cruelty-free" over one without that label if other factors, such as price and quality, were equal
  • 45.0% said animal rights are "extremely important" to them; 41.0% said "somewhat important"
  • Over 75.0% of respondents owned at least one pet
  • 36.7% of respondents said most or all of the beauty products they currently own are cruelty-free

Making cruelty-free beauty more affordable

Vitacost, which sells nearly 40,000 health and wellness products at up to 50% off retail, recently launched a new cruelty-free specialty store, www.vitacost.com/cruelty-free, which showcases beauty and personal care products that are not tested on animals and are independently certified by the Leaping Bunny Program, which is operated by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. Brands listed in Vitacost's cruelty-free storefront include: Beauty Without Cruelty, Avalon Organics, Jason, Desert Essence, Devita, Tom's of Maine, Reviva Labs, Kiss My Face and Alba Botanica.

"We are thrilled to team up with Vitacost to provide customers a simple, affordable way to find products from companies that have made a commitment to eliminate animal testing from their product lines," said Leaping Bunny Administrator Vicki Katrinak. "We hope our relationship makes it even easier for compassionate consumers to shop cruelty-free."

Vitacost.com's Chief Marketing Officer, David Zucker, Ph.D., said the company is proud to offer today's beauty consumer the ethically manufactured, organic products they are seeking, at great prices. "Marrying together the cruelty-free label and the discount price tag gives today's savvy cosmetics customer the opportunity to look great for less, while upholding personal morals and values."

About Vitacost.com, Inc.

Vitacost.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:VITC) is a leading online retailer of health and wellness products, including dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs and other botanicals, amino acids and metabolites, as well as cosmetics, organic body and personal care products, pet products, sports nutrition and health foods. Vitacost.com, Inc. sells these products directly to consumers through its website, www.vitacost.com. Vitacost.com, Inc. strives to offer its customers the broadest selection of healthy living products, while providing superior customer service and timely and accurate delivery.

About Leaping Bunny

Since 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) has been connecting compassionate consumers with cruelty-free companies. The CCIC is made up of the following organizations: American Anti-Vivisection Society; Animal Alliance of Canada; Beauty Without Cruelty, USA; Doris Day Animal League; Humane Society of Canada; The Humane Society of the United States; and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. CCIC's international partner is the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. For more information, contact the CCIC at (888) 546-2242 or admin@leapingbunny.org.

CONTACT: Media/Press Contact: ICR Kellie Baldyga Account Director 203.682.8325 Kellie.baldyga@icrinc.com Investor Contact: Vitacost.com Kathleen Reed Director of Investor Relations 561.982.4180 Kathleen.reed@vitacost.comSource:Vitacost.com