Garden of Life, a legacy organic and real food supplement brand, is nothing if not passionate. Take its website’s about us page, for example: It’s littered with words like “fanatical” and “obsessed.” And it’s this honest-to-goodness passion that’s resonated with consumers ever since the brand hit shelves.
Today, its 250-SKU-strong product line continues to inspire and empower consumers to choose health, with plans in the works to expand outside of the U.S. to markets in Canada and the U.K.
In you ask Jeffrey Brams, general counsel and vice president of product development, quality, regulatory, and international, three main lessons learned have helped propel Garden of Life to the top of its game.
Tell a story. “What keeps us energized, what gets us out of bed every morning, is knowing that in every product we are telling a very human, very connected story,” Brams said. It’s important to Garden of Life that consumers take a journey back to the seed to meet the farmers and communities that grow the brand’s organic materials, through the factories that innovate new ways to deliver nutrition, all the way through third-party certifications they’ll see on the label. “It’s this high level of traceability and purity that really keeps us relevant and ahead of the pack,” he said.
Stick to your mission. “Know who you are, know what you believe, know what you stand for,” Brams said, “and stick to it without compromise.” The beauty of the natural products industry is that there are different options for different consumers, all with different goals and standards. Finding the target consumer is key, and remaining true to what attracted them will keep them coming back. “Consumers know that no matter what circumstances may change, we are going to stay true to our core,” Brams added. “That’s what attracts people and keeps people engaged with us, trusting us and growing with us.”
Don’t waver on standards. Brams says the brand’s biggest challenge is accessing a steady supply of organic ingredients. But it’s a benchmark that Garden of Life won’t change. “To grow by creating new meaningful products or expanding the sales of existing and popular products, we literally have to start, years beforehand, by growing the world's organic supply,” he said. “When it comes to organic supply, we don’t have gears to shift. It’s either real authentically grown and certified organic, or we won’t use it. We have to test everything, visit our farms, and obsess over our supply. It’s really tough to do organic right. But it’s essential to our mission and it’s worth every bit of energy it takes.”