According to research published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, when a shopper is feeling nostalgic, that sentimental longing can do more than make a person feel warm inside. It regularly leads to purchases too.
It’s common for many of us in times of uncertainty, loneliness, as well as happy and joyful moments, to turn to the familiar. We seek comfort, emotional safety and connection in products that evoke positive memories from the past.
Today’s consumers are no different.
While some consumers would return directly to the original product, there is an ever-growing market of health-conscious shoppers looking for a healthy twist on their old favourites.
A report from FONA International reveals playing on consumers’ memories and emotional connections to nostalgic flavours and products can spell success for food manufacturers.
The report states that “although food and beverage nostalgia differs from person to person, there’s science behind our strong emotional ties to food and it’s a common theme that food and beverage developers can leverage to innovate and expand their brand.”
Indulgent nostalgia evokes those warm and fuzzy feelings most often through high-calorie, high-sugar comfort foods. Meanwhile, next-gen indulgence takes a healthier, more “adult” spin on those comforting, retro flavours and products. “Whether relaunching a retro product, revamping an old one or simply drawing inspiration from the past, we can see that nostalgia sells,” FONA wrote.
“While most nostalgic products lean toward indulgence, next-gen nostalgia might lie in offering products that remind consumers of their childhood with a more health-focused mindset. The key is understanding the consumer, their experiences and the feelings that evoked that drive for them to purchase.”
No matter which way product manufacturers go, anything that makes consumers feel happy and comforted is sure to please. Think healthy versions of comfort foods, nostalgic food pairings and gourmet ready meals with a natural spin.
Cup soups and hearty porridge, decadent chocolate cake and a familiar breakfast spread are just some of the nostalgic favourites that can take memories and convert them into sales.
Nostalgic flavours and innovative creations, Unique Health Products is home to many of the world’s biggest health and wellness brands. With more than 3,900 products in our warehouse, you can rest assured, if it’s trending, a top seller, or a product simply worth stocking on your shelves – we’ll have it!
Ready to place an order? You can shop online with us 24/7 here, or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you don’t have a wholesale account with us yet, you can register for one here.
Proudly Australian run and family-owned, Unique Health Products continues to stand the test of time and maintain its position as the most trusted nationwide natural health product distributor in Australia.
For most of us, we’re always striving for a goal post far into the future without acknowledging the milestones and journey that we’ve conquered to get us to where we are today.
So to celebrate the incredible achievement of reaching 25 years in business, our Founder, Dale Parkes, has taken a moment to reflect and offer you an insider view of the previous 25 years, revealing humble beginnings, the guarana-powered kickstart and a glimpse at just some of the wonderful people that have helped shape the enviable culture that makes Unique the thriving business it is today…
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It was January 1996…
Spice Girls were number 1 on the charts with ‘Wannabe’, Independence Day was the top movie, Oprah started her famous book club, and a ‘twitter’ was the little chirping sound a bird would make. A search tool called Googlestarted indexing the web and we all still hired new release movies from Blockbuster.
My eldest daughter Harmony was 11, while Bhima and Sage were both 9. As yet, there was no Catherine in my life and, as such, no Melanie. Although the previous ten years had been spent opening and then managing Organic Oasis (now Kunara), January 1996 saw me as an out of work 36-year-old, struggling to support a family of 5 on government benefits.
“Sensational Food Distributors”
Randomly, I called a buddy from Sydney who worked in a health food store, asking if he knew of any new products he could see emerging into the market down there. He said there was this liquid guarana product that was selling like crazy on the counter. All-night rage dance parties were the go in the mid-90’s and word had got around that guarana was a natural stimulant which basically kept you awake.
Knowing it was not yet for sale in Queensland, I called the producer of Rage 2000, Benjamin Duncan, and he agreed to sell me the first order. Awesome!!! Small problem though. We lived from week to week and I didn’t have any money to pay for it.
Enter my friend Michael, a truly generous soul, who lent me $2000 to get started. I somehow also convinced ANZ to lend me money to buy an old Mitsubishi van. I bought an invoice book (the one with a piece of carbon between the pages) and “Sensational Food Distributors” was born.
“The Guarana Man”
Over the next month, I drove from Cairns to the Gold Coast, selling a box of 12 guarana shots to almost every health food store I visited. I put all the takings back into the business and we continued to live as frugally as we had. Because the stores all paid me cash up front (or cheque), funds accumulated quickly enough to afford the next PO. And just like that, we were away.
The table tennis shed was converted to a storage room for the guarana shots and I paid for a PO box at Woombye Post Office for the postal orders (yes, postal orders). The “business” phone number was our home landline and the kids would often answer calls from health store customers. It went a bit like this…. “Hello. Oh ok, I’ll go get Dad. D-A-A-A-A-D, PHONE”.
Our customer service has clearly come a long way since those fun times. After a few months, I changed the business name to “The Guarana Man” since it was all I sold. By the time Michael was paid back (within 12 months), I had added 4 or 5 more products to the range that Benjamin produced (Smilax Sarsaparilla and Gay Nun cordials) plus a guarana capsule called Guarana 2000.
Specialising in “Unique Health Products”
Over the course of the next 3 years, I approached several more suppliers who agreed to use this enthusiastic new Queensland company to distribute their products. These included industry leaders like Kosmea Rosehip Oil, Swisse Vitamins plus some fledgling start-ups like Byron Chai and Alchemy Sodas.
By that time, I was so flat out and needed some help to answer phones and pack orders while I was out delivering, so I employed an old friend called Annie. We bought a fax machine which was linked to the home phone (so you’d hear the “fax sound” when you picked up to answer the phone and have to push OK for it to come through). Annie’s daughter Susie and hubby Russell eventually joined the team and I was actually able to take a holiday after 3 years of working 90+ hours, 7 days a week.
Truth be known, guarana now formed only a small part of what we sold so there was a need for a name change. But to what? With such a diverse range, I use to tell retailers we actually “specialise in unique health products”. There it was. And so, in late 1999, Unique Health Products was born.
The iconic Unique catalogue
In subsequent years to follow, I continued to drive to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Byron every week, using the big heavy album displaying photos of all our products to take orders from the stores. I’d often ask the retailer if it was ok to fax the order through to the office while I was in store to speed up delivery.
As Unique got bigger, I was sometimes getting home from the Byron run at midnight and had a few scary moments closing my eyes at the wheel that made me realise I was pushing it to the limit. We started using Fastway and I employed a sales rep to do the Byron run and another to help with Brisbane.
Same formula – show the products in their photo album, taste and try samples, write down product codes, fax the order through.
One day a retailer, as they were flicking through the photo album placing an order with me, said “Can you leave this behind one day? I always forget what I buy from you”. So circa 2007, the idea to produce a catalogue with product photos was born!
Building the Unique culture
Fast forward to 2021 and we are still seen in that same way.
We are regarded by retailers in the industry as the company with:
the best customer service,
the easiest webshop to place orders,
the highest in-stock level (currently a phenomenal 96% across 3,800 products)
and deliveries with virtually no mistakes or damage.
These days, leading brand suppliers actually approach us to partner with them and represent their brands to our national retailer base. Such is the strength of our reputation and standing within the industry.
Unique is the biggest importer of natural products from the USA and widely considered Australia’s best (and probably biggest) independent wholesale distributor in the health food channel.
Over the past 25 years, many wonderful souls have worked beside me along this amazing journey. One that I never would have possibly envisioned back in 1996. And when it comes to celebrating our people, we make sure we go all out!
One of our most iconic examples of Unique culture is when we farewelled one of our Uniquers, Pavel. He loved break dancing! So the entire team secretly practiced a flash mob routine to surprise him on his last day. This is what happened…
I am forever grateful to each and every one of those special people, all of whom have imparted their unique gifts and thrown absolute everything into building this very special business into what it is today.
Friends of Unique
Over the years the Unique team has had the pleasure of meeting a wide range of incredibly talented and aspirational people. From athletes and academics to musicians and pioneers in health. Here is just a handful of the wonderful friends of Unique…
From the bottom of my extremely grateful heart, thank you for the vital part you played.
Even before the heightened uncertainty of the past year, Australians weren’t getting enough sleep. More than a third of them to be precise.
At the same time, we’re also a nation feeling the increased pressure of stress and anxiety.
It’s an unbreakable cycle of lack of sleep and stress, stress and lack of sleep.
But Australians also have an insatiable appetite for natural calming products and remedies… and it’s driving demand for products to reduce stress, anxiety and improve sleep.
The pursuit of calm
At Unique Health Products we are ahead of the curve, with a large range of products that are designed to relax and calm the mind, naturally.
Botanika Blends Dreamy Jelly – available in two flavours, Grape Bubblegum and Berry Good – is the perfect pre-bed treat for sweet dreams.
The jelly is vegan and cane sugar free. It has ingredients like tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the brain as well as magnesium, which may encourage sleep and relaxation.
The Goodnight Co.
The name probably gives it away, but The Goodnight Co. is all about products that induce and enhance sleep.
There are three key Essentials Oils in the range – the uplifting Ritual Blend, the refreshing Goodnight Blend and the rejuvenating Calm Blend. The Essential Oils can be paired with a stylish Ceramic Diffuser or alternatively they come in a Roll On Bottle.
In addition to a Sleep Mist that contains geranium for reducing stress, sweet orange for calming and lavender for relaxation, The Goodnight Co. also has a selection of homeopathic drops.
The Deep Sleep Drops are formulated to support optimal sleep with calming coffee cruda and passiflora incarnata which may help with insomnia and anxiety. The Calm Drops include ingredients like hypericum, anacardium and zinc, which together may reduce anxiety, relax the body and calm the nerves.
Magnesium is a mineral that has had more time in the spotlight recently. It is an important mineral that may assist with mood, sleep quality and relaxation.
In the Epzen range of Magnesium Bath Crystals, Magnesium Body Lotion and Magnesium Body Spray, the magnesium is infused with essential oils across two lines – Relax and Sleep.
Relax uses rosewood, ylang ylang, geranium, frankincense and may chang essential oils to re-energise the body and mind. Sleep uses lavender, mandarin, cedarwood, bergamot and Roman chamomile to help unwind and find restful sleep.
Amazing Oils is another brand that harnesses the power of magnesium for promoting restful sleep.
The Magnesium Pro Sleep Lotion combines magnesium with lavender and chamomile for a powerful formulation that may assist with relaxation and induce sleep while also relieving sleeplessness.
Amazing Oils also has a solution for tired parents seeking a solution to baby sleep challenges. There are two products – Magnesium Baby Sleepy Toes Towelettes and Baby Calm Gel Roll-On. Both use a gentle formulation of magnesium chloride for infants from three months old.
For those who want to give the gift of sleep, Wheatbags Love has a range of Sleep Gift Packs.
Each pack includes a handmade Eye Pillow, Earplugs and Sleep Balm. The Eye Pillow can be chilled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave and is helpful for tired eyes and headaches. The Sleep Balm contains lavender, rosewood and vanilla essential oils for adding to them temples and pulse points.
The gift packs are available in a range of designs – Banksia Sky, Grevillea, Heart Gum and Wattle.
Rescue Remedy is based on a formulation of five flower essences which were first identified by Dr Edward Bach in the 1930s.
The Rescue Remedy Pastilles – available in Original. Blackcurrant and Cranberry flavours – come in a handy tin for stress relief on the run. The Rescue Remedy Drops and Spray can be used on the tongue as often as required.
The Rescue Sleep Drops and Sleep Spray are an extension of the Rescue Remedy range that combines the original flower essences with white chestnut to help relieve sleeplessness.
Mt Retour offers two essential oil blends – one for sleep, and one for stress – in a convenient roll-on format.
The Cosy Sleep Blend includes a relaxing blend of camellia, almond, lavender, marjoram, patchouli and orange essential oils. The Stress Soother blend includes a similar formulation with the additional of ylang ylang and bergamot for their calming benefits.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen that may improve energy levels and mood… particularly during times of high stress.
The Evolution Botanicals Rhodiola Rosea Extract is a powder that can be added to water or smoothies as part of a daily routine.
Each of these dreamy products are available for wholesale order in the Unique Health Products online store. If you are ready to purchase you can order 24/7 or contact our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you aren’t yet registered for a wholesale account with us, you can register your account here.
The face of the Australian Christmas table is changing with the times as more and more Australians make the switch to vegan and vegetarian diets.
Upton’s Naturals provides a healthy, tasty, vegan alternative for festive dishes with the convenient Jackfruit range.
Known for its fibrous texture, Jackfruit is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with a texture akin to pulled pork or shredded poultry when cooked.
There are six flavours in the Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit range: Original, Bar-b-que, Chilli Lime Carnitas, Sriracha, Sweet and Smokey, and Thai Curry. The range is low GI, gluten free and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and with an RRP of just $8.95 it’s an affordable option for families.
The versatile Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit range is full of possibilities for creating delicious, plant-based meals the whole family can enjoy. Here are six ideas for serving up a festive feast:
Traditional Christmas Dinner Original Jackfruit is like a blank canvas to create custom jackfruit dishes. It can be seasoned with classic Christmas flavours and served with roast pumpkin, carrot and minted peas for a traditional festive meal.
Slider Canapes Shredded Bar-b-que Jackfruit topped with a tangy slaw in a mini bun is a delicious festive canape option. Or make a full-sized option for a modern Christmas feast.
Jackfruit and Mango Salad For a fresh and light summer salad, pair shredded Chilli Lime Carnitas Jackfruit with slices of mango and avocado on crisp iceberg lettuce.
Sriracha Fried Rice To bring a taste of Asia to the Christmas table, toss Sriracha Jackfruit through rice for a simple fried rice dish.
Curry Spring Rolls Thai Curry Jackfruit is the perfect filling for mouth-watering spring rolls. Break up the jackfruit and mix it with julienne carrots before rolling in spring roll wrappers. Serve with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
Mexican Tacos Mix up the Christmas menu with a Mexican twist and everyone’s favourite dish – tacos. Sweet and Smokey Jackfruit makes the ideal base for a Mexican meal. Add it to tacos with corn and tomato salsa and top with coriander.
You can find even more delicious recipe ideas via @uptonsnaturals Instagram page including the ones featured in the blog image!
Make sure to stock your shelves with this multi-purpose, vegan-friendly meal starter in a variety of flavours and be sure to share these meal ideas with your customers! You can order Upton’s Naturals via our online store 24/7 or give our friendly sales team a call on 1800 787 904. If you haven’t registered for an account yet, you can do so here.
We get it. When purchasing for your store, you want stock that is going to sell. You want the brands that people know about and are actively looking for in your store.
Nobody wants the headache of trying to move short-dated stock or having to heavily discount excess product that simply isn’t selling.
One key factor in determining what’s going to sell instore is how active and visible each brand is in the media. Brand awareness is incredibly important. If a product isn’t actively showing up in the lives of their target customers, whether that’s on social media, TV, print or otherwise, it’s going to be harder to sell.
According to The Business of Apps, the “Instagram audience is ready to act – 54% of respondents to the same survey said they bought something after seeing it on Instagram. 87% said they took some kind of action after seeing product details on Instagram.
The most commonly taken action was to search for more information, elected by 79% of survey respondents. Two-thirds of users, on the other hand, took the more direct path of visiting the brand’s app or website – at which point things are very much in the brand’s hands. 37% also said that they visited a retail store.”
Consumers are actively looking for solutions to their problems and many of our brands are putting their hands up to help by investing in media and marketing efforts.
Many of these brands are award-winning, with sales driven by active Instagram accounts and consistent PR efforts. Here’s a highlight reel of what some of them have been up to lately:
Australian Non-Toxic Award WINNERS!
The Australian Non-Toxic Award winners have been announced and the line up includes:
GOLD – Woohoo Deodorant and Anti-Chafe Stick in Wild – Extra Strength
They also featured in Food and Beverage for their innovation in turning food waste into functional products. Food and beverage businesses that are creating value-added products from food waste, such as Natural Evolution could be contributing $18 billion in economic value by 2030.
BRAGG APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar was featured in a Bon Appetit basically article round up where the author shared all the common types of vinegars, their flavour profile and their uses. It’s an interesting article with an engaged readership!
Now to Love spoke to Dan Staackmann, the founder of health food brand Upton’s Naturals, which sells ready-to-eat jackfruit meat in Australia, and uncovered everything you need to know about jackfruit, the delicious (and super popular) meat alternative.
Order these brands and more via our online store 24/7 or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you haven’t yet created a wholesale account with us, you can do so here.
What makes CLIF Builders Bars different from the original CLIF Bar?
Builders Bars are high in protein and crafted with an optimal blend of ingredients specifically chosen to provide the body with the nutrition it needs to sustain a workout and help build and repair muscle.
Developed with athletes in mind, CLIF Builders adds to the existing CLIF Bar product range loved by athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world and has quickly become one of the top-selling protein bars in America.
Each CLIF Builders Bar is plant-based, low GI, free from high fructose corn syrup and contains:
✔ 20g of complete protein
✔ Essential amino acids to repair and rebuild muscles
✔ Natural, organic, non-GMO ingredients
✔ No artificial flavours
✔ Rainforest Alliance Certified Cocoa
Whether it’s to power up a work out or to power through a day of hard work, CLIF Builders is a tasty and convenient protein solution.
Available in three delicious flavours – Chocolate, Chocolate Mint and Chocolate Peanut Butter – they taste like a chocolate bar and are loved by athletes, body builders, fitness fanatics and even those hard at work all day.
Convenience has long been king in Australian kitchens. But consumers are increasingly making the switch from traditional baking mixes to plant-based options. With the range of healthy baking mixes and vegan desserts in the market, it is no longer about sacrificing either health or flavour. Consumers are spoilt for choice and they have high expectations of retail shelves to deliver.
The plant-based switch
In 2019, Roy Morgan research revealed that nearly 2.5 million Australians now follow a vegetarian – or mostly vegetarian – diet. This sits on the back of a steady trend towards plant-based eating over the last decade.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to heighten the focus on health and quality ingredients. People are spending more time at home and in the kitchen and they want home baking options that allow them to whip up healthy treats with minimal effort.
As more and more people choose conscious diets with a focus on plant-based options, the demand for vegan desserts is going to continue to rise. Consumers are looking for flavour, convenience and quality… and healthy baking mixes tick all the boxes.
In-demand vegan desserts
At Unique Health Products we are ahead of the vegan desserts trend with many of our brands offering all natural baking mixes and quick to make desserts that are vegan-friendly but also high in on-trend, plant-based protein! Here is just a taste:
Macro Mike healthy baking mixes and ‘nice’ cream take the complexity out of baking high-protein, macro, allergy-friendly treats. Using the best quality, natural ingredients these vegan desserts have all of the good stuff… and none of the bad.
Packed with protein
Crafted by nature and powered by plants, the Botanika Blends range of healthy baking mixes, custard, jelly and mug cakes use premium ingredients blended with integrity and care. This is a wholesome and considered range of show-stopping vegan desserts!
The Natural Evolution range is nutrient-dense and packed with flavour. From the Caribbean Cake, Banana Bread, Chocolate Cake and Pancake/Waffle Mix, each baking mix features the Natural Evolution signature green banana flour.
100% Natural Nutrition
It doesn’t get much (naturally) sweeter than that! We have these incredible vegan dessert brands and more available for wholesale order now. Order online 24/7 or contact our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you aren’t yet registered for a wholesale account with us, you can register your account here.
But all is not lost. Powerhouse brand Ethique is on a mission to save more than 50 million plastic bottles from landfill by 2025. So far, with their range of bars they have saved 8 million plastic bottles, and with their newly launched range of Ethique Concentrates, they are well on their way to reaching their goal… transforming household and cosmetic products in the process.
The new plastic-free revolution
Ethique has been shaping the plastic-free movement since 2012. But not everyone likes bars or is prepared to try them.
Enter Concentrates. A new alternative for consumers who favour traditional liquid products yet want to reduce their plastic consumption.
The Concentrates range includes hair care, bodywash, body lotion, handwash and household concentrates. Similar to the Ethique bars, the ingredients are naturally derived and sustainably sourced. They are certified vegan, cruelty free, palm oil-free and 100% plastic free.
Using the Concentrates couldn’t be simpler.
Open the compostable cardboard box. Snap the concentrate into small pieces in a heatproof bowl and pour over hot water.
Whisk until the solution is melted. Set aside to cool for five minutes.
Pour into an existing bottle and use as you normally would.
Concentrate on the benefits
Concentrates are refillables done differently. The fact is that most of the products these Concentrates replace – handwashes, body lotions, cleaning sprays etc. – are made from up to 98% water.
Not only are the plastic bottles they come in ending up in landfill, they are unnecessarily using precious water.
Each Concentrate saves 700ml of water. Consider the amount a single person would use over a year across the range and those water savings add up! That’s in addition to one less plastic bottle being manufactured and entering landfill per Concentrate.
These products are effective and environmentally friendly.
What are Concentrates?
Concentrates are a new range from leading natural and plastic-free brand, Ethique. Once the Concentrates are diluted in water, the liquid can be used like any other liquid cleaning and cosmetic products.
Which products are in the Concentrates range?
The range includes hair care, bodywash, body lotion, handwash and household products.
What is the difference between Ethique bars and Concentrates?
The bars and Concentrates use different product formulations. If you try to use the Concentrates in the same way you would a bar, it will not work. Likewise, if you try to dilute the bars into liquid they will go mouldy very quickly. Both products are natural and sustainable but the Concentrates offer an alternative for people who don’t like using bars or who want a natural, plastic-free alternative to household cleaners.
Are the ingredients natural?
As with the rest of the Ethique range, the ingredients are 100% naturally derived, ethically sourced and sustainable. You also won’t find any petrochemical derivatives, parabens and synthetic fragrances in any of the Concentrates.
How long will the product last once made up?
Once the Concentrate has been diluted for use, it has a six month shelf life when stored in a suitable container with a lid.
What can the diluted Concentrate be stored in?
The beauty of Concentrates is they allow the reuse of an existing container, saving more plastic waste. Any clean vessel will do – an old drink bottle, a glass jar or anything with a lid.
Do the Concentrates contain preservatives?
The diluted Concentrates can safely last for six months because they contain preservatives – namely a combination of benzyl alcohol and dehydroacetic acid. Due to the volume of water in the diluted products, the preservatives prevent harmful microorganisms from forming.
Ready to help your customers give plastic the flick? Order the entire Ethique range online now via our shop or contact our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. Haven’t yet registered for a wholesale account with us? You can do so here.
Between them, the girls behind Keep It Cleaner, Stephanie Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw, have almost 2 million Instagram followers. They share their passion for clean living with a focus on fitness, nutrition and wellness.
These girls know their stuff when it comes to healthy products. And that’s why we were thrilled to see Natural Evolution’s Green Banana Flour featured on the first episode of their new TV show, The Healthy Cooks.
Meet Natural Evolution
Natural Evolution is a business built on innovation. They are responsible for the world’s first – and only – banana peeling machine and the “banana blankey”, a fully recyclable packaging for protecting bananas during transport.
But it’s their green banana products – including the Green Banana Baking Flour – that really takes innovation to the next level.
Green Banana Flour is gluten free, high fibre and nutrient-packed. Made from the green cavendish bananas that the supermarkets deem too bendy, too straight, too big or too small, green banana flour is high in resistant starch which is great for gut health!
“Try swapping wheat flour for a gluten free alternative like banana flour which is packed with prebiotic fibre,” explained Laura Henshaw on The Healthy Cooks. “It’s so good for our gut health. It’s one small change you can make for your health and wellbeing.”
Green banana flour is versatile to cook with – the flour rises beautifully when baking and results in light and fluffy baked goods with a delicious flavour. As with any gluten-free baking, only ½ – ¾ of green banana flour is required for every cup of regular flour indicated in a recipe.
Due to its resistant starch, ease to cook with and gut health benefits, Green Banana Flour is a trending product on the rise. To place a wholesale order you can shop online 24/7, or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you’re new to Unique Health Products, you can register for a wholesale account here.