Personalization. The craze has swept over everything from tennis shoes to online shopping to the specialty food market (think personalized cupcakes and m&m's). Now, enterprising brands in the natural products industry are taking the trend in a new direction, marrying wholesome ingredients and "design your own" in a relationship that looks promising.
Last week, Food Dive, a news website for the food industry, published a list of five of its favorite "build your own" businesses. Among the group, four of the brands prioritize high-quality natural, organic, non-GMO and grass fed ingredients.
Here they are:
- YouBar: Creates customizable energy bars with nut-soy butters, granola, nuts, fruit, protein and vitamin infusions.
- SlantShack Jerkey: Mixes and matches marinades, spice rubs and glazes to make the perfect jerky using sustainably raised grass-fed beef.
- Mix My Own: Make your own breakfast cereal using natural, organic and gluten-free grains, fruits, nuts and other goodies.
- Chocri: Uses organic, fair trade chocolate from Belgium to create customizable chocolate bars.
Is the next level of personalization, combining the trend's creative flair with clean, healthy building blocks?
The trend certainly connects to many of the largest themes within the natural products industry. By giving consumers ultimate control over what goes into their product, the build-your-own trend feeds into the industry's wholehearted embrace of clean, simple and transparent ingredient lists. It's also a model that builds off the back-to-the roots sentiment of the growing "do it yourself" movement within the industry, says Steve Shriver, founder of natural lip gloss company Eco Lips, which creates personalized balms for consumers.
"There's a transition happening to CIY, which is create-it-yourself." Shriver said. "You get all the same great feelings of creating something but you don’t have to do the work."