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5 natural brands that represent 'employee care' trend

NEXT Trends 2020 Expo West series—a look at "employee care," one of the New Hope Network NEXT Data and Insights team's social impact trends.

NEXT Trends 2020 series: In an effort to help support retailers and brands, we will be publishing regular brand features for the next few weeks. Brands are selected from those that registered to exhibit at Natural Products Expo West 2020 and were curated as great examples of one of 50 trends New Hope Network is monitoring in the marketplace.

These trends are part of New Hope Network's NEXT Expo Guidebook and trend hierarchy.

Today, we look at five companies that are innovating in the "Employee Care" trend within the Social Impact Commitments macro force. Without engaged employees who care about the company, a brand’s mission can suffer. Thus, many brands are investing in employees through higher incomes, scholarships and additional benefits.

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1. New Chapter

What is it? New Chapter takes a sustainable, whole-food approach to supplements.

Innovation: A certified B Corp, some of the perks this company gives employees include: weekly meditation sessions, fitness reimbursement, healthy snack program with organic fresh fruit and paid time off for volunteering.

2. The Republic of Tea

What is it? The Republic of Tea sells a variety of teas and herbal teas.

Innovation: The Republic of Tea offers employees unusual perks like: access to on-site nutritionist, complementary athletic shoes, healthy snacks and reimbursement for wellness programs like yoga classes. Once a year, the company takes a group of employees to countries where the company sources ingredients, such as Sri Lanka, India and Japan. The Republic of Tea also financially contributes to childcare and subsidizes volunteer time for employees.

3. Dr. Bronner’s

What is it? Founded in the 1940s, Dr. Bronner’s makes pure-castile soap, hair and body care products.

Innovation: Dr. Bronner’s caps the total compensation of the highest-paid employees and executives at five times that of the lowest-paid position, and there is no difference between the benefits offered to company leaders and those offered to every single full-time employee. All employees receive 15% of their salary paid annually into a retirement/profit-sharing plan, up to 25% of their salary as a bonus and a no-deductible PPO health insurance plan and subsidized childcare.

Kodiak Cakes, Alter Eco

4. Kodiak Cakes

What is it? Kodiak Cakes is a family-owned business that uses whole grains and added protein to make mixes for breakfast foods like pancakes, muffins and oatmeal.

Innovation: Added employee benefits include equity positions for employees, early-out Fridays and stipends for outdoor adventures.

5. Alter Eco

What is it? Alter Eco is a chocolate-centric, sustainability-directed food company.

Innovation: Perks of being an Alter Eco employee include getting three paid days per year to support a cause. Going further, Alter Eco pays a fair trade premium to the 21,000 farmers it works with; 94% of Alter Eco’s ingredients are fair trade certified.

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