Navigating Natural and Organic: Lisa Crawford-Jones, Naturally Good Program Manager
The natural, organic and healthy industry is continuously growing and shifting, with new trends, regulations, products and practices being introduced into market everyday. How does one keep on top of it all? Naturally Good has you covered, as we speak to industry professionals and experts on the hottest topics and trends, business practices and solutions, and what’s happening in the natural and organic industry.
A health content specialist with more than two decades spanning public and private sectors in both consumer and trade markets, Lisa Crawford-Jones has been both professionally and personally well immersed in the world of the natural, organic and healthy industries.
Lisa works as the consulting content manager to Naturally Good expo and Business Summit, and as the editor of What’s New in Healthy Products. We pick her brain about what she is noticing as the emerging trends and products in the ‘healthy’ industry and what businesses can do to get their product range up to date with consumer demand.
What type of ‘healthy’ products are in demand?
Demand for food, drink, beauty, personal care and even pet products with functional benefits will continue to grow. Those that position themselves to address boarder lifestyle concerns like stress, lack of sleep and energy will win with consumers struggling with the demands of a 24/7 always-on modern lifestyle. Self care is now a multi-billion dollar global industry with rapid-growth at the intersection of both tech and healthy consumer packaged goods.
How has consumer demand for natural/organic products changed over the years?
We know Australians are more educated and focussed on health than ever before – a nation of label readers researching products that solve health problems before purchase or within the store via mobile phone. Younger generations are taking this a step further and background checking companies on value fit before voting with their dollar.
However, one of the greatest changes during the last couple of years is how we’re seeing the macro trend of personalisation play out in purchase decisions, fuelled by both increased education and the convergence of tech through various health testing apps.
Now we can take our understanding of our ailment, research on product ingredients and combine that with personal health data to make highly informed purchase decisions. We’re seeing a rejection of dogmatic or prescribed ‘diets’, with the most educated devising their own tailored approaches, such as flexitarian diets and movement towards functional foods, drinks, beauty and personal care products. Retail education, particularly at pharmacy and health food stores will become increasingly important as consumers’ questions become more complex.
Another big evolution is that consumers are becoming more aware of their interconnected body systems, are owning their self care, and prioritising healing and restorative practices as essential components of a healthy lifestyle. They’re starting to understand the complex relationship between between physical, mental, environmental, emotional and even spiritual wellbeing, and so were seeing heath brands “pivot to wellness” to take an active role in helping address some of these more broader concerns.
How can suppliers of ‘healthy’ products stand out from its competition?
As more players enter the health market, those that will stand out at both retail and with consumers will be those with a clearly defined position, that solve a problem based on a deep understanding of their target market.
At retail a supplier needs to share a story that’s bigger than themselves, demonstrating the consumer need, product fit and how their range will help grow the category, and how they bring their story to life with consumers. Their ability to stand out though is only the first step – suppliers, especially the smaller ones, will be increasingly called to improve their backend operations, raise their level of execution and demonstrate they have what it takes to consistently deliver on a retail partnership in the long term.
With consumers, the brand story needs to be brought to life consistently across all mediums with messaging and tone of voice that resonates with the consumer. Education will also be increasingly important as consumers spend more time researching ingredients, company backstory and values fit.
What advice can you give retailers looking at improving its ‘healthy’ range?
Understanding your consumer and how they view your store is key to delivering both a range that anticipates their needs and an experience that helps grow an engaged and connected community.
According to McKinsey & Company 72% of millennials would rather spend on experiences than on material items. In this “experience economy” retailers who build memorable wellness experiences with their brands in store will excel. In the US one of the greatest examples is Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop experiential store. Australian retailers can look to exclusive instore community events, and instore activations that could be as simple as cooking demonstrations or spa treatments.
Looking to build your natural and organic ranging or get your products up onto shelves (physical and online) and into the hands of consumers? Head to the Naturally Good Product Directory and list your business today.