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Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Executives for XanGo, which sells juice and skin care products, take the stage at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Friday. About 10,000 people are in town for the conference.

Andrew Hummel, a distributor for XanGo LLC, isn't experiencing a decrease in sales during the recession.

"I find the recession has actually accelerated the growth of our business because more people than ever are looking for Plan B," said Hummel, from Carlsbad, Calif.

Hummel is a top-level distributor of Lehi-based XanGo and is among about 10,000 XanGo distributors in Salt Lake City this week for the company's annual conference.

XanGo produces juice and skin care and other products made from the mangosteen fruit of Asia. XanGo is a multilevel marketing company, meaning the products aren't on shelves in stores but sold through networks of distributors. The distributors usually sell products to other distributors, although there are some "preferred customers" who purchase products for personal use and don't have distributors working for them.

Hummel has distributors who work for him, and distributors who work for the distributors.

In these times of job uncertainty, many workers haven't received pay increases, even if they've been lucky enough to hold onto their jobs. Most people looking to become XanGo distributors have jobs, but are looking for secondary incomes, Hummel said.

Getting started costs $35, and Hummel recommends his distributors spend a little more to purchase some products. "The average person can achieve extraordinary success with a very modest capital outlay," Hummel said.

XanGo chief executive officer Robert Conlee addressed the distributors Friday morning at a "state of the company" address in an atmosphere that was part rock concert and part evangelism, with a darkened audience area, purple stage lighting to conjure the color of mangosteen and PowerPoint slides. Distributors cheered and applauded several parts of Conlee's talk.

There have been about $2 billion in total sales since XanGo first launched in the fall of 2002, according to the company.

Conlee, a former executive at Nu Skin Enterprises, a multilevel marketing company in Provo, hopes the company, in the next few years, will double sales and distributors.

He reminded distributors of the company's core principles, including being charitable, having the courage to be different, treating distributors as partners, and having fun.

"The positive energy we exude is our secret weapon and we don't want to let it wane," Conlee said, adding that the company will continue to grow if it sticks to its core principles.

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XanGo has more than 1 million distributors in 34 countries, having recently expanded to France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

"Even in this economic time, we've chosen to be aggressive," Conlee said.

The main XanGo products are XanGo Juice, Glimpse Intuitive Skin Care and eleviv, which is a sort of energy drink.

Friday afternoon, XanGo announced a new product called Juni Family Care. Juni provides skin care — body bar, body wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner — that is lower priced than Glimpse.

e-mail: lhancock@desnews.com