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Articles from 2012 In March

Beyond ‘natural': what's next in personal care

Trust: Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

Trust is powerful. It guides our decisions, builds brand loyalty and—in my opinion—will determine the fate of the natural products industry. When trust is broken, people resort to old habits, like crossover consumers using their old conventional products again. That’s why it’s not enough for a natural brand to just establish trust based on being “natural” (after all, can’t anyone do that with the right marketing budget?) but to fulfill promises for long-term customer loyalty and brand success.

Trust is relevant with food (like the current conversation around organic) and supplements (take P & J’s recent acquisition of New Chapter) but I’m focused on the personal care category, which I believe is at its—cue bold statement—most important point ever. Science, legislation and education are peaking, not to mention natural and organic personal care is profitable (seeing $$$ yet?). It’s about to reach a tipping point, but what does this really mean for natural brands?

The natural-beauty tipping point

For the first time in more than 30 years, Congress met on cosmetics safety this week after various recent incidences shed light on the dire state of cosmetics regulations, including formaldehyde in hair products, lead in lipstick and mercury in skin creams.  

These recent issues sparked government action, but over the past ten years, awareness about the flaws of conventional and boons of natural has gradually increased and shifted the industry. The result: Mass companies began to reformulate or offer “natural” lines (the start of a lot of legit greenwashing vs. the nit picking we saw with the recent Silent Spring study). Johnson & Johnson (will I ever let this go?), which earned parents’ trust based on its “No more tears” tagline, finally made critical changes to a potentially toxic formulation last year, but trust was already broken. At the root of it all, the cosmetics regulatory system, was broken too (or, um, never really built?) and for many years, no one realized. Now, well, we do.

You might say all of this equals one big victory for the natural personal care industry. But I say, not so fast. To me, this all shows that natural is the new mass.  Being natural, therefore, simply isn’t enough; companies really have to prove themselves to be better than the “natural inspired.”

Being truly natural over natural inspired

These terms came up in a conversation with Derma e founder Linda Miles during one of many interviews I’m doing with CEOs, safe cosmetics advocates, retailers and formulators about what this category will look like in the future. I’m not sure we can ever truly differentiate, as there will always be some amount of controversy surrounding natural's definition. But you can raise the bar to meet the demand—and earn the trust—of an increasingly educated consumer.

Boost performance

“The consumer is not going to settle for less,” said Stacey Egide, CEO of Andalou Naturals. You'll never reach a new customer if your product doesn’t work as well as conventional. Maybe it will feel or look slightly different (shorter shelf life, less sudsy lather … it’s inevitable) but it should still accomplish the same results. Soap, body wash, fine. High-performance skin, nail, and hair care? They’re still challenging, but new resources are making these products better then ever.  

“I saw developments in bioactive and functional ingredients at Sephora and department stores for years, but I wasn’t finding them in the natural category. As a consumer, I didn’t want to compromise my natural standards in order to try out these exciting new ingredients,” Egide said. In developing the line, she kept the foundation of natural and organic ingredients but also incorporated the latest innovation that fit with these standards.

Beyond formulations, brands must work with retailers on educating customers about these products. “We’re up against mass market brands that are demonstrating via million dollar ad campaigns that a good shampoo is one that lathers a lot.”

Live up to claims

Claims can be about everything from safety and performance to certifications. In my recent piece covering the cosmetics Congressional hearing, I focused on the importance of both ingredient and finished-product safety testing. Safety testing should go without saying in our industry. But finished-product clinical testing for performance is new to naturals and will really help skin care products compete with mass.

“The industry is maturing and the consumers are far more educated about ingredients and formulations,” Miles said. “That has prompted the companies offering products to clean up their act and not be so vague with their claims. They have to be more credible and there has to be more clinical research on the ingredients for the consumer to actually consider the products.”

Now, finished-product research is becoming more important as mass companies that do have that research try to present themselves as natural. “One of the challenges the industry is facing is that many of the mass companies are trying to use natural ingredients in their formulations and capitalize on the market.”

As for natural or organic, there’s still a lot of confusion here, but you can help clear it up my getting a legitimate certification if you’re making either claim.  Otherwise, avoid these claims entirely in marketing and branding (that’s OK! Some of my favorite brands do this).

Be a person not just a brand

Across categories, medical practitioners or experts are used to improve a brand’s legitimacy. In the kids’ personal care category—which is now the best way to snag crossover consumers--it’s all about Mom. Simply put, moms trust other moms. Ayo Hart from Dolphin Organics, Jessica Iclisoy from California Baby, Lynda Fassa from Green Babies.

“Kids and baby personal care in particular is based on trust. You can’t just jump into the category,” Iclisoy said. These entrepreneurs have developed their lines not only based on science and safety but on maternal instinct and because of that are able to work with other parents and effectively communicate the benefits of naturals to this demographic.

“We wanted to involve other parents from a very early stage and make sure what was suitable for us would also be suitable for others as well,” Hart said.

Raise awareness & build community  

When you're so focused on formulations, it’s easy to lose sight of what else has defined the natural products community, from conscious sourcing—fair trade and organic ingredients—to philanthropic efforts. But don’t just do it; do it.

It’s pretty easy to tell who’s truly connected to the cause. I always come back to Aura Cacia, a company that is out in the field, not just purchasing fair-trade ingredients but directly sourcing them and improving education and communities internationally. Through its work, it has even introduced new fair trade ingredients to the category. Dr. Bronners and Alaffia are two more standouts. 

3 ways natural retailers can address the New Chapter acquisition

3 ways natural retailers can address the New Chapter acquisition

Over the past week and a half, the acquisition of New Chapter has come up in nearly every conversation that I've had with retailers. Quite a few from the distribution/broker/manufacturer side of the business also have brought it up. And many retailers across the country have already expressed plans of action.

Overall, there are three major reactions that retailers can make to this change. Here, I explore each of them along with some of the potential risks and rewards.

  1. Change nothing. Carry, promote and endorse the line as you have been.
  2. Drop the line of supplements and refuse to carry it.
  3. Carry the supplements, but do it differently.

1. Change nothing

 In your store, New Chapter looks the same to your customers as it always has. After all, it is the same quality product that you've recommended for years. We don't know what changes, if any, P&G will be making, so making a change now is premature. If we make a change now, not knowing what the future will bring, we may be making the wrong change.

If the brand ends up elsewhere, your store will seem less unique and specialized. After all, one of your featured brands is now widely available, thus reducing the need for people to shop with you.

You'll have continued sales in the short term and the potential of increased sales in the long term.  If P&G flexes its marketing muscle, more people will know about it and your sales will increase.

2. Drop the line

Discontinue selling New Chapter supplements and put another brand on the shelf.  After all, it is probably going to mass market so why wait until it gets there?

This line is very unique with cutting edge formulas. What can you recommend in its place? Also, what happens to your credibility if you were recommending it last week and then not carrying it this week?  Does that rapid shift cause you to lose some credibility with your customers? And, speaking of losing, are you losing sales? Will people that love this line just buy it from someone other than you?

If you are going to have to tear the Band-Aid off, do it all at once and now.  It is going to be hard to lose the sales from this line, but the sooner you do it, the sooner you can get your customers aware of other brands that you carry.

3. Carry it "differently"

Shoppers can find and purchase the supplements, but New Chapter is no longer a brand that you recommend. Instead, other brands become your “go to” ones.  Rather than a prime location, you move the brand to a sub-par space.

Will consumers looking for New Chapter not find it in its new location and shop for it in a different store? Will the brands that you have decided to focus on instead not create as much consumer loyalty and repeat business?

You continue to service your current New Chapter customers while making fewer of them.  You can slowly change consumer preferences to other brands whose market strategies are more in sync with yours.

How do you see this acquisition affecting your store? What do you expect to be different a month after the transaction closes? A year after? Tell me in the comments.

How to say 'sustainability' sustainably

How to say 'sustainability' sustainably

I had a call from a reader the other day wanting to talk about sustainability.  He didn’t fit the usual demographic of the visitors to newhope360 in that he's an engineer who works for a chemical company in the concrete business.

When he uses the term “sustainability,” he means how well the materials used in his business will hold up to the elements—mechanical stresses, water, salt, freezing. It’s a narrow, precise definition. He didn’t understand what we meant when we use the term.

When we say “sustainability” in this business, we mean a lot of things. Maybe too many things.  Its most basic meaning means harvesting materials from nature in such a way that the resource will not be depleted over time, whether it’s cascara bark or baobab or anchovies or krill. It can mean being sensitive to indigenous cultures in the gathering of wildcrafted botanicals in developing nations. It can mean dealing fairly with farmers, so they will want to work with you next year. Some people even extend the meaning to being sensitive to the needs of the workers in your own plant. Painted with the broadest brush, “sustainability” has come vaguely to mean, “doing things the right way.”

It can come to mean so many things that it doesn’t mean much of anything. It’s a similar situation to the use of the word “natural” or “green.” Who can say what these terms mean precisely?

What 'sustainable' should mean

This leaves open the door for greenwashing, in which a manufacturer can make a few small changes in their processes or supply chain and suddenly their product is “green.” How do you gainsay these companies if you can’t define what you mean when you say “green?”

“Organic” at least has an agreed-upon meaning. You either do things in accordance with the standards set out by the USDA or you don’t. And if you choose not to, you don’t get to use the word on your label.

There is a certain amount of standards and certifications fatigue in the natural products business, which I can well understand. And there are already certifications that apply to various aspects of the sustainability question, for example, the Marine Stewardship Council for the ingredients in the natural products business that come from maritime sources. I’m not arguing for another. 

But let us—those of us in the messaging end of this business, whether we be writers, PR reps or communications execs—try to be more precise in how we use the word. Let’s use “sustainable” to mean the continued supply of the materials in question, and use other words to apply to the sociological aspects of how a company does business. As with “green” and “natural,” if we overuse it, we’re going to lose it.

Engredea 2012: New uses for probiotics

Engredea's Todd Runestad speaks with Mike Bush of Ganeden Biotech about its Bonicel ingredient, a fermentation metabolite of a probiotic that has applications in the beauty sector for hydrating the skin and reducing wrinkle appearance.

Related videos:
Engredea 2012: Formulators find function
Highlights from Engredea 2012
More Natural Products Expo West/Engredea video coverage

Engredea 2012: Formulators find function

Judi Quilici Timmcke, President of Q-Tech Services, says the combination of Engredea and Expo West events helps connect raw materials and finished goods manufacturers. For product developers, this allows for innovative notions about ingredients that can help create the next functional product.

Related videos:
Engredea 2012: New uses for probiotics
Highlights from Engredea 2012
More Natural Products Expo West/Engredea video coverage

Critics say P&G has doomed New Chapter's future

Critics say P&G has doomed New Chapter's future

In the week following Procter & Gamble's announcement about acquiring New Chapter, there are still many questions left unanswered about New Chapter's future. But one thing is clear: The natural products industry is inflamed by the news.

In social media and on newhope360, comments ranged from "I see the end of a great company & its products," to "I can no longer recommend New Chapter to my patients." Many are likening the purchase to Clorox and Burt's Bees.

Take our poll and tell us what you think

While this type of acquisition is very unusual for P&G, Elizabeth Bankowski, chair of the New Chapter board, told newhope360 that the New Chapter team is convinced that P&G has good intentions for the future of the company. But does the good will end between the acquirer and the acquired?

In an article titled, "New Chapter sells out to Procter & Gamble, part of the global corporate elite," takes a strong stance against potential good coming from the acquisition, calling P&G the "Monsanto of the personal care products industry." Editor Mike Adams writes, "these stories always have the same ending: The products get watered down, consumers shift their demand to a smaller, trusted company, and the financials of the once-great small company collapse."

On the flip side of the argument, an anonymous supporter on newhope360 points to P&G as a "phenomenal company that will learn the business slowly and determine the leverage points to have the brand New Chapter really succeed in the marketplace. I wouldn't be afraid or dismiss the future with New Chapter."

Regardless of which side is taken, one central theme dominates the conversation: Do acquisitions kill a brand's authenticity?

Do acquisitions kill authenticity?

In a NEXT Forecast email yesterday, we posed this very question about authenticity, writing: "The struggle between fueling growth and maintaining a company's authenticity is perhaps the most significant source of consternation for the natural, organic and healthy products market. At no time is this friction greater than during an acquisition." (You can join the conversation on Twitter using #next4cast.)

Consider the lemonade stand metaphor. A child running a little lemonade operation is encouraged by a neighbor to work hard and succeed. The child turns into an adult and expands his business until he owns his own high-rise office building. The now middle-aged man sells his lemonade business and the former neighbor victimizes him for his success and calls him a "sell out."

This scenario is more acceptable in businesses outside the natural industry, where consumers don't feel that they've been integral to the success of the brand. The New Chapter acquisition is so heartbreaking for independent natural retailers because much of "the brand equity in our industry is with the retailer and not the merchandise," said Bill Crawford, director of retail programs at New Hope Natural Media.

For example, if someone buys Tide or Bounty, they often don't recall where they purchase it. But New Chapter stuck by the natural retailer and primarily built its business in the natural channel. It's not uncommon to find well-known natural brands such as Silk or Amy's in conventional grocers. But well-known supplement brands?

"While the food part of our business has ended up everywhere, the supplement part of our business has stayed pretty close to home," said Crawford. "In recent years so many grocery brands have been bought by Coke, Pepsi, General Mills, Kellogg's, Kraft, and ConAgra that a purchase of a food brand doesn't create much of a stir anymore."

Past acquisitions point to the future?

As in the food business, mergers have and will continue within the supplement space. So should retailers start minimizing the New Chapter line now, because they fear P&G will diminish the company's importance on their shelves? Or, should they wait until the SKUs start disappearing?

That's what happened when Nature's Way, a subsidiary of Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals, acquired Enzymatic Therapy in 2009. Enzymatic Therapy went from several SKUs in natural stores to about six, recalls Crawford.

The power of the natural retailer

What natural retailers do, and how they think about acquisitions, has the potential to shape the future of what natural consumers think about New Chapter. New Hope Natural Media's Future of Wellness research shows that consumers still trust their local natural retailers and look to them more than conventional retailers for guidance on health and wellness.

If natural retailers lose faith and trust in New Chapter, and consequently remove the brand from their shelves, they may lose customers who will likely go to a conventional store to purchase it. But they also may be setting a precedent for core consumers about which brands are really best to buy. If P&G changes nothing but distribution of New Chapter supplements, this judgment could be disastrous to the brand that owes its success to these very same retailers.

See 3 strategies retailers can take with New Chapter

Ultimately, time will tell what happens with formulation, distribution and marketing of New Chapter by P&G. In the meantime, New Chapter Co-founder Paul Schulick has expressed his excitement at "delivering the wisdom of nature to people and the planet in ways we never even imagined." This sentiment is not uncommon in the natural industry, and is an admirable anchor which should give dissenters hope in the future of the company.

After all, many brands and stores are in existence not to fatten their owners' wallets, but to bring health and wellness to those who use their products.

What do you think? Do acquisitions kill authenticity? Leave a comment or tweet with #next4cast.

High Country Kombucha entrepreneurs bounce back after kombucha bust

From left High Country Kombucha Cofounder Steve Dickman President Ed Rothbauer and Vice President Shane Dickman
<p> (From left) High Country Kombucha Co-founder Steve Dickman, President Ed Rothbauer and Vice President Shane Dickman.</p>

Ed Rothbauer began brewing his own kombucha tea in the early '90s after learning of its healing properties, and in an effort to help his recovery from paralysis due to an accidental fall from a roof. In 2003, he partnered with Steve Dickman to form High Country Kombucha, while they were roommates in Vail, Colo. Here's how the company got its big break and how it rebounded from the kombucha alcohol crisis.

newhope360: Tell us more about your company slogan, "Pure and Authentic."

Ed Rothbauer: That’s something we are very proud of, as we have an original strain of kombucha. Colorado University did a microbial study and DNA cloning of the microorganisms that are in our kombucha, and traced it back to the earliest recordings of kombucha by any biological study. We’ve been using that same strain for about 18 years. This culture is the one that traces back to the Manchuria area at around 223 B.C.

newhope360: A recent Time Online article featured High Country Kombucha, which talked about your big break with Vitamin Cottage. What was that like?

ER: In 2004 we were in a 400-square foot kitchen that was certified for public use, and we would bottle about 240 bottles a week there, which we thought was a fantastic number. We were doing it all by hand back then. When we got Vitamin Cottage, we realized we were not producing enough to handle all this, because with about 30 stores in the Colorado area, the stuff started really moving, which gave us the potential to do about 50,000 bottles a month.

So in early 2006, we started building a new facility. Right about then was when we landed the Rocky Mountain Whole Foods account and started delivering ourselves. It would take two weeks to go out to the Western coast, from Washington to San Diego, and we managed to pick up about 240 stores during the campaign. So by the time we got the new facility built, 50,000 cases wasn’t enough. So we ran at max capacity for about eight months there while we worked on (our current) facility, which we got into in 2007. And this one is equipped to handle about 720,000 bottles a month.

newhope360: Did you have any financial or other issues with all that growth?

ER: Oh yeah. When we first started, we did some friends and family stock offering with the local community here, and that got us through our first two facilities, but they were pretty conservative fundraisers. We’ve never had a very big marketing budget, so we’ve organically built by using a lot of word of mouth and a lot of face-to-face product demonstrations to get the message out. And we find that in a lot of stores like Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods, consumers are very interested in hearing the details on a product sold there, because they are very aware consumers.

newhope360: How many employees do you have?

ER: We had 36 employees at our peak, just before the alcohol crisis.

newhope360: Has your company, as well as the rest of the industry, rebounded after the alcohol crisis?  What changes have been made to your product?

ER: The industry apparently is right back to where it was, according to a SPINS report. Our sales are exactly where they were when we peaked out [in 2010]. First of all, when we were notified that there were products out there that were exceeding the alcohol level, we all agreed to pull our products off the shelf for a while and evaluate them.

We found that a couple of products were breaking that 0.5 percent level and decided to do some reformulation by cutting back on some of the sugars that were naturally in some of the herbs. Also, we came up with a protocol to monitor the alcohol right through the shelf life of the product, so we send samples to TTB certified lab (formerly the ATF) that tests them every month just to see if they’ve elevated while they’ve been aging.

newhope360: And this year High Country Kombucha is going to have its first profitable year earning $5 million in revenue?

ER: We’re expecting that this year.

newhope360: Do you have any plans to mass market your kombucha?

ER: Yes we do, and right now we are in King Soopers here in Colorado and we’re in City Market. In Colorado, Kroger has a lot of organic sections in them because the demand is so high, so it’s actually a very good market for us. A lot of the conventional grocery stores are becoming aware of organics right now because it’s a big boom and taking off pretty big nationally right now.

newhope360: We also hear you're working on some new flavors that would perhaps appeal to a wider audience.

ER: Yes. We have four new flavors coming out, and these are very, very consumer-friendly flavors. These are products that we can take to someone who has never tasted kombucha, and have it not be something they have to get used to. We’ve got Tangerine Dream, Rainforest Nectar, Tropical Mist and Groovy Grape. They’re all organic flavoring, and they really taste great.

New 'bacon-wrapped' coffin takes pork to the grave

New &#039;bacon-wrapped&#039; coffin takes pork to the grave

I am a proud and long-time lover of pork in all its glorious forms, but none sings to my salivary glands quite like bacon. I like it fried and crispy, baked and caramelized, stuffed into a potato, fattening up my green chili, and crumbled in my quiche.

Living in Boulder where it sometimes seems like everyone is vegan, I feel vindicated by the bacon revival that has happened in the last few years. Every time I see a T-shirt reading “Carpe bacon” or “Bacon is meat candy” I feel an instant sense of camaraderie and deep spiritual understanding with the wearer. Yes, I think to myself, you get it.

But nothing prepared me for the press release I discovered in my email today. J&D’s Foods—the creators of such bacon blasphemy as Baconnaise, Bacon Soda, and baconlube (Google it)—has manufactured a masterful tribute, not only to a great sense of humor, but also to a particular porcine product I hold dear.

J&D Foods unveils "The Bacon Coffin"The Bacon Coffin—contrary to what I initially believed—is not, in fact, wrapped in bacon. Apparently our indomitable inventors recognized the impracticality and potential challenges posed by such an eccentricity. But these “top of the line” caskets do “come equipped standard with all the features the discerning bacon enthusiast would want…in the afterlife.” Thank heavens. Or rather, thank bacon.

But I have to ask the blogosphere, is this really the image we want to cultivate for our beloved bacon? A recent study reinforced the theory that eating too much red meat—particularly processed meats like lunchmeat and bacon—speeds the eater straight to, well, a coffin.

Are bacon coffins sustainable?

Beyond that salty tidbit of irony, burial constitutes one of the least environmentally sound method of body disposal available these days. And I like to think that my fellow bacon lovers care as much about the earth as they do about their breakfasts.

So, Justin and Dave, I applaud your spirit and your inventive sense of humor, but have to say that your considerable talents might be better spent promoting the humane treatment of our porcine pals and encouraging sustainable “burials.” Personally I’m a big fan of Sweden’s body-composting eco-funerals.

Commercial pig farms are guilty of some of the worst abuses against animals, not to mention potential pandemic health concerns. Earlier this year MSNBC wrote about atrocities uncovered by the Humane Society at a couple of large-scale pig farms in Oklahoma.

Justin, Dave, where do you source your pork? 

97 percent of dietitians recommend supplements, CRN study shows

97 percent of dietitians recommend supplements, CRN study shows

Registered dietitians are one of several groups of health care professionals who report using dietary supplements as part of their health regimen, according to a newly published study in Nutrition Journal, a peer-reviewed, online journal that focuses on the field of human nutrition.

According to data from the 2009 “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study, 74 percent of dietitians use dietary supplements regularly while 22 percent reported using them occasionally or seasonally. The data also indicated that an overwhelming percentage of dietitians, 97 percent, recommend dietary supplements to their clients.

“Dietitians are uniquely qualified to evaluate the adequacy of nutrient intake and to make rational choices about dietary supplement use for themselves and for their clients or patients, when appropriate,” stated the study’s authors.

Usage of a multivitamin was high amongst dietitians, with 84 percent of those surveyed indicating they had used a multivitamin within the past year. Looking at specialty supplement usage, omega-3 or fish oil supplements (47 percent), probiotics (24 percent), fiber (22 percent) and green tea supplements (18 percent) were cited by considerable proportions of surveyed dietitians. Several individual vitamins and minerals, including calcium (63 percent), vitamins D (43 percent), C (29 percent) and B (23 percent), were also reported to be used.

When asked why they choose to use dietary supplements, the top three reasons cited by dietitians who take them were bone health (58 percent), overall health and wellness benefits (53 percent), and to fill nutrient gaps in the diet (42 percent). Interestingly, the top three reasons that dietitians were most likely to recommend dietary supplements to clients were also bone health (72 percent), filling nutrient gaps (69 percent), and overall health and wellness (50 percent). Other top reasons for recommending supplements included lowering cholesterol (48 percent), heart health (47 percent), dietary pattern/vegetarian/vegan (45 percent) and digestive and gastrointestinal health (41 percent).

Also noteworthy, the study found that dietitians were very likely to report engaging in other healthy habits including trying to eat a balanced diet (96 percent), managing stress (92 percent), visiting their own healthcare professional regularly (86 percent), exercising regularly (83 percent), maintaining a healthy weight (80 percent) and regularly getting a good night’s sleep (72 percent). Moreover, only 24 percent said they often consumed large amounts of caffeine and only three percent smoked or consumed large quantities of alcohol.

This study is the latest to explore the use of dietary supplements by healthcare professionals. Like previous studies, it adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests healthcare professionals commonly use dietary supplements. Last year, Nutrition Journal published findings from a separate 2008 study from “Life…supplemented” that found that for physician specialists―specifically dermatologists, cardiologists and orthopedists―personal usage of and patient recommendations for dietary supplements is quite common. In 2009, Nutrition Journal published findings from a separate 2007 “Life…supplemented” study that found that physicians and nurses are as likely as members of the general public to use dietary supplements and that most physicians and nurses recommend supplements to their patients.

The published article reporting on the study findings was co-authored by Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., consultant to and past president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition; Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., CSSD, LDN, director of sports nutrition, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and consultant to the “Life…supplemented” consumer wellness education program; Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president, Ipsos Public Affairs, and Julio Franco, senior research manager, Ipsos Public Affairs. Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the “Life…supplemented” HCP Impact Study on behalf of CRN.


Vermont Soap expands certified organic hand soap line

Vermont Soap expands certified organic hand soap line

Vermont Soap has expanded its collection of the nation’s first certified-organic foaming hand soaps with the launch of Tea Tree Mint Foaming Hand Soap. The new, certified-organic soap combines the power of tea tree oil with the fresh scent of American-grown peppermint oil to deliver a healthier alternative to the petrochemical-based germ fighting products prevalent in the marketplace. It is safe and nontoxic for all living things, except germs.

“With contagious bugs in the news, doctors are recommending that we wash our hands more often and thoroughly,” says Larry Plesent, the founder of Vermont Soap. “Our new Tea Tree Foaming Hand Soap features organic oils that help people fight germs without wrecking their hands and skin,” adds Plesent.

The foamer unit is designed to be reusable and Vermont Soap offers Eco-nomical 16-ounce and 1-gallon refills that can be added to the pump unit once it is empty. Offered in both the new Tea Tree Mint and Lavender Ecstasy, Lemongrass Zen and Unscented varieties, the SRP for the 7-ounce bottle is $7.78, the 16-ounce refill is $9.89, and the SRP for the 1-gallon refill is $39.98.

New Tea Tree Foaming Hand Soap is made from renewable vegetable and botanical sources: saponified organic coconut, olive and jojoba oils, glycerin, natural mint tea tree essential oil blend with lavender oil, organic aloe vera and organic rosemary extract.

It is also completely natural and free of artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives, and animal by-products. Vermont Soap does not test its products on animals. “Tea Tree Foaming Hand Soap contains only pure essential oils that provide aromatherapy benefits for the mind and kill germs on the skin,” says Plesent. “As an organic castile liquid soap based product, Tea Tree Foaming Hand Soap is guaranteed to be free of the synthetic ingredients found in mass-marketed foamers,” adds Plesent.