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Sustaining Natural Growth

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: October 3, 2008, from the April 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Sales data showing continuing growth in the category are borne out by what marketers are seeing in the stores. Consumer interest in natural and organic foods appears to extend to personal care products, as well, according to Jason Naturals’ Setzfand. “Most consumers are introduced to natural personal care through their interest in food,” she said. “Enhanced packaging and marketing are also encouraging nonusers to try natural for the first time and formula improvements are changing the perception that natural products are less effective.”

Weleda sees consumer response to its products growing throughout the world. “We are very well-established in Western Europe, however, in the United States and Canada, we are also expanding,” said Barckley. She said the growth and brand exposure can be attributed to two factors: The organic market is growing overall in both the food and personal care categories; and, Weleda is increasing its marketing through ads in targeted trade publications and communication support at the retail level.

Consumer response to Korres natural products seems to be fast-growing, according to Vasilyadis. “Both our product quality that promotes purchase repetition and our strong image have contributed to that progress. In Greece, we are now very well-established as we have become the leading Greek skin care brand in Greek pharmacies. Our export activity is also growing. The choice of the right distributors has been definitely a parameter of great importance.

“Moreover, especially in the U.K. and the United States, we have experienced a great progress. This positive feedback is definitely the result of our strategic move to operate in these two countries through our own subsidiaries. We are now, therefore, closer to both our retailers and consumers,” Vasilyadis continued. In addition, U.S. consumer demand has grown significantly due to the press the company receives in consumer fashion and beauty publications. “Our retailers reinforce our brand image and offer credibility and product awareness to our brand as well,” she said.

As personal care product marketers, natural products companies face the same challenges as any company doing business in the fast-moving and highly competitive personal care market. A commitment to producing natural and organic products, as can be imagined, brings its own set of challenges, chiefly product stability and preservation.