GHQ SELLING WELLNESS
among others, are now in the homes of a diverse base of consumers –
from Millennials to seniors.
The reasoning behind this is simple: Consumers are paying close
attention to how products can affect their lives and the lives around
them. More importantly, as Melissa Abbott, VP at Bellevue, Wash.-based The Hartman Group notes, consumers want to know that the
products they put on their bodies and use in their homes are safe.
“When making a purchase, consumers are looking at how that item
impacts every aspect of their lives,” says Abbott. “The safer it is to use
on their bodies, for the environment, community and the world at large,
the more likely they are to buy it.” Social media, she adds, has expanded
consumer knowledge and awareness in this space. “These factors are
contributing to the mindset that interest in natural and organic is not
just about food anymore.”
Abbott believes sensitivities to perfumes and dyes found
in many traditional products has been a key driver behind
why more consumers are exploring alternative HBC and
GM offerings. “At the end of the day, people want to feel
good about what they buy,” says Abbott. That said, when
it comes to products perceived as premium, Abbott points
out that consumers are willing to participate if the value
and price matches up.
At the same time, she and others note consumers seem to
be more open to purchasing these products from authentic brands versus from mainstream companies making
a green-version of a traditional product. Experts say the
“why” and “how” behind the products – the backstory –
has become just as important as the product itself, oftentimes becoming
the primary decision-making criteria that drives a purchase. In other
words, consumers will spend the money on something they perceive as
offering additional benefits, but the product needs to be just as effective
as its traditional counterpart.
Both large traditional companies and smaller natural ones are looking meet consumer demand for products containing a short list of
ingredients and greater transparency. As larger CPG companies purchase mid-tier natural brands, it has boosted visibility of natural products and, in many cases, enabled them to be sold at price points more
consumers can afford.
As one of the featured speakers at the Cleaning Products U.S. 2017
Conference in Alexandria, Va., in early October, Brad Barron, senior
brand manager at The Honest Co., based in Los Angeles, told
the audience that many of today’s trends are being driven by
what he called the “modern consumer” – educated shoppers
who understand the connection between the product they
consume and its impact on their health. “It started in food,
moved into personal care, and is now trickling into categories
like cleaning where the products aren’t ingested or on your
body, but simply around you. I think this is just the beginning
and the entire industry is shifting to serve these more educated and
conscious consumers,” Barron told the audience.
SEEKING OUT SAFER CHOICES
Innovative, high-performance products are driving demand of better-for-you nonfood products. According to research conducted by Nielsen
last year, 40 percent of consumers say environmentally-friendly benefits
are important attributes they seek out in cleaners and nearly as many
( 36 percent) say they don’t want harsh chemicals.
Sarah Peters Kavich, VP, global client business partner with Nielsen,
points out that consumers are looking for healthier, safer choices in
the foods they eat and the products they use in their homes, and some
are turning to basic ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and rubbing alcohol. “Manufacturers looking to tap into a more holistic, home-grown remedy trend may want to consider harnessing the power of
basic ingredients in their products,” she says.
While environmental considerations may be a secondary purchasing
driver for many consumers, Peters Kavich notes that as more shoppers
lean green, manufacturers that balance environmental benefits with
strong performance results and cost effectiveness will be well-positioned for success.