Racing Towards Zero: The Climate Imperative for Business

Climate change. Originally the realm of science, has long been part of the global political conversation. But more recently there has been a shift. Businesses are stepping in and stepping up to help carry the weight of climate change.

There are many major Australian and global brands making serious climate change commitments. It’s a race to zero. And in this race, everyone’s a winner.

WHY NOW?

With bushfires, floods, sea levels rising and global temperatures on the up, consumers are more aware than ever of the need for climate change action. So much so that they’re prepared to change the brands they buy from if it will have a positive impact on the environment. 

Consumer research from Deloitte has shown that consumers are concerned… and they’re talking with their wallet. 42% of consumers have changed their spending habits in response to the environmental stance of brands they buy from. Interestingly, 21% of people have also encouraged other people to also make the switch. Younger consumers aged 18-24 are three times more likely to make these purchasing switches than the 65+ age group. 

It’s no longer simply a buying decision. Consumers have an expectation on brands to be active on environmental issues such as climate change and carbon emissions. 65% of consumers in the Deloitte research expect CEOs to do more in regards to sustainability and societal issues.

J.P.Morgan research also reveals that brands need to concern themselves with not only emissions from their own facilities and production but also across their entire supply chain. For consumer staples brands, these Scope 3 emissions, i.e. indirect emissions from sourcing and product disposal, can amount to as much as 95% of a company’s total emissions. 

The time to take action is now. 

MAJOR BRANDS, MAJOR COMMITMENTS

Across the globe, major brands are sitting up and taking notice. They are taking a stand to reduce their emissions. And they aren’t messing about. They are racing towards zero in a serious way.

What are some of the climate change commitments these brands are making?

Mars has committed to zero net carbon emissions, including Scope 3 emissions, by 2050. Part of their plan includes working with farmers on regenerative agriculture to overhaul their supply chains. 

In Australia, Coles Group has also announced a commitment to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. They also have a goal to reduce combined Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect energy emissions) carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 with a move to 100% renewable electricity by 2025. 

Zero net carbon emissions by 2050 is also a commitment McDonald’s has made along with efforts in using renewable energy, moving towards regenerative farming, and switching to sustainable packaging.

The Climate Pledge has more than 200 signatories, including Coca Cola and PepsiCo who have all ambitiously committed to zero net emissions by 2040. 

TAKING ACTION THAT MATTERS

At Unique, we are proud to partner with brands and retailers who are committed to making positive change.

Ethique’s focus on regenerative business practices and CLIF’s commitment to people and climate action are two examples of this. As well as People4Ocean, Little Urchin and SurfMud producing reef-safe suncare, Ever Eco’s dedication to reducing single-waste plastic, and Earthwise’s move to recycled packaging. 

What each of these brands, and the hundreds of other brands we stock, have in common is their vocal commitment to causes that matter to their brand and customers. They are transparent about the journey they are on and show genuine dedication to bringing about positive change.

The tide is turning and it’s turning fast. Brands, both small and large, that don’t prioritise sustainability across their business and supply chain risk losing credibility and customers. This applies equally across manufacturers and retailers.

WITH YOU ON THE SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY

No matter where you are on the journey of taking positive action on climate change commitments, we’re with you. We stock hundreds of natural, organic, fair trade and eco-friendly brands to stock your shelves with sustainable alternatives. Shop online, anytime, or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you don’t yet have an account with us, you can register for one here

The Future of Experiential Retail

There is a burgeoning consumer-led imperative – experiential retail. Consumers want more and they are looking to you to provide it.

According to the CBRE predictions for the future of retail into 2030, in-store experiences will continue to be a key tenet of customer retention. 

Customer experience, the way your customers interact with your brand at every touchpoint, from in-store retail to your online store, social media presence, advertising and more, is at the heart of this trend. Given the expansion of online retail and the associated convenience, experiential retail is now more important than ever before.

Now is the time to shift towards the future of retail by taking your customer experiences to the next level. Here are a range of ideas to help you reimagine your physical presence and create an experience your customers won’t forget.

SURPRISE AND DELIGHT

The little things matter. That’s nothing new. But in the new age of experiential retail, there are more opportunities to surprise and delight your customers through innovative experiences.

Customer service, loyalty rewards and in-store treasure hunts are all simple ways you can leave an impression with your customers. They are relatively easy to implement and help to ensure a positive retail experience. 

However, to take it a step further, consider personalisation. According to McKinsey, customers expect personalisation in their retail experiences. While this personalisation is highly sophisticated for larger omnichannel and online retailers, the opportunity for personalisation in niche, speciality and smaller retail outlets is still possible.

Consider targeted offers based on purchase history, birthday discounts or even real time personalisation of products, particularly in the gifting category, in-store. 

Experiential retail displays

CREATE EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL DISPLAYS

What in-store shopping offers over online retail is the ability to create immersive displays. 

Whether it’s instagrammable spaces with interactive elements or tasting booths to sample new products, the opportunities for engaging customers in new and different ways is unrivalled in store.

Experiential retail displays can draw on the power of the senses to capture consumer attention and get shoppers excited.

These types of immersive displays could be anything from a visually-appealing endcap of RXBAR protein snack bars or a fresh batch of aromatic Upton’s Naturals Jackfruit cooking for live tasting, the opportunity to mix an Ethique Concentrate or sample the latest Keto Naturals snacks. 

EMBRACE OMNICHANNEL

Australia Post reports that July 2021 saw online retail hit its highest peak to date with 5.6 million households buying something online during that month. Online shopping has certainly become a fixture of the way businesses operate.

The KPMG Future of Retail Report reveals that 81% of shoppers engage in research online before they make a purchase. Having a brand presence online, hand-in-hand with a retail shopfront can broaden your customer base.

For those who do go down the omnichannel path, a seamless experience and consistent branding is critical to ensure your online and in-store experiences are positive. The various elements of an omnichannel strategy can create interaction points for customers such as buy online, pick up in store ‘click and collect’ shipping options or exclusive offers to entice online shoppers in-store and vice-versa. 

Sustainability as an experience

SUSTAINABILITY AS AN EXPERIENCE

There is no questioning the importance of sustainability in driving consumer behaviour. 57% of consumers are willing to change their shopping behaviour to minimise the impact they have on the environment. This echoes other research on the rise of sustainable brands

However, it’s not just sustainable brands that consumers are looking for. Sustainability can also play a significant role in experiential retail. That is, your behaviour and choices as a retailer can form part of the customer experience.

Consider shelf wobblers and displays to showcase your sustainable range and also your sustainability initiatives as a business. Also consider your choice of packaging and bags, and provide the option to email receipts instead of printing them, for both in-store and online, to back your sustainability stance.

A TRUSTED ADVISOR FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS

For more than 25 years, we have played an important role as trusted advisors for retailers, both big and small, all over Australia. We have our finger on the pulse to bring you the latest products and retail trends so you can position yourself for the future. We stock hundreds of natural, organic, fairtrade and eco-friendly products in the Unique Health Products online store. You can shop online 24/7, or call our friendly sales team on 1800 787 904. If you don’t yet have an account with us, you can register for one here.

The Rising Demand for Natural Pet Products

We’re a nation of pet owners. That’s what the 2020 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey found. 62% of Australians own a pet, with the majority of these, 72%, owning a dog. Other research from Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) has shown that the number of pet owners could now be as high as 69%. They estimate that more than one million additional dogs have taken up residence in Australian households since 2019. 

Along with these high and increasing numbers of pet ownership, research from IbisWorld revealed that expenditure on pets has increased over the last five years, specifically calling out human-grade pet food as a growth area. The AMA research referenced above found that dog owners have spent $20.5 billion on their pets in the last year. 

Another trend identified by the IbisWorld research is related to health and wellness with more and more pet owners adopting a holistic approach to their pet care. This is a sentiment echoed by Dr Edward Bassingthwaighte, a veterinarian of more than 20 years with a specialisation in holistic practices.

“The interest in holistic pet care is growing just as rapidly as it is in the human sector,” says Dr Bassingthwaighte. “People who take an interest in holistic care for themselves then naturally want to do that for their animals too.”

At Unique Health Products, we proudly stock a range of natural pet products and brands. We’ve included a selection of these products below to help you cater to the growing trend towards holistic pet care.

Plant-based pet food

PLANT-BASED PET FOOD

Food for dogs, not dog food. That’s the guiding principle behind the Rascals Treats brand. The plant-based range includes a Meal Topper and a selection of Dog Treats, each with a fun name and a nourishing list of ingredients.

The human-grade, wholefood products are also free from common allergens – wheat, nuts and grains.

The premium black packaging is also home compostable, adding to the appeal for customers looking to buy sustainable brands

Hemp Seed Oil Capsules With Turmeric by Essential Hemp may also fit the bill as a product that your customers can use for themselves and their pets. 

Dr Bassingthwaighte says that “turmeric is an awesome herbal medicine for dogs, particularly for older animals. Hemp seed oil also has some benefits such as omega fatty acids.”

Dog shampoo bars

DOG SHAMPOO BARS

With an established reputation as a leader in producing plastic-free Solid Bars, Ethique also has a range designed specifically for dogs. With two shampoos – Bow Wow Bar and Shampooch (for sensitive pups) – and the Pawfector Conditioner, the products are available in both mini and full sizes. 

With high-quality, natural ingredients such as tea tree, neem, oatmeal, coconut oil, flaxseed, cocoa butter and lemongrass, the Solid Bars are highly effective, plastic free, gentle and suitable for dogs and horses. The benefit of a Solid Bar when washing pets is that it removes the fuss of messing about with bottles, lids and pumps to make bath time that much easier.

The Australian Natural Soap Co also produces a Dog Shampoo Bar. Made with saponified rice bran oil, saponified coconut oil, saponified castor oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil, it leaves pooches with a soft and shiny coat. 

Compostable dog waste bags

COMPOSTABLE WASTE BAGS

The Biotuff Dog Waste Bags are an eco-friendly alternative to regular dog waste bags as they are both biodegradable and home compostable. The bags are made from GMO-free, renewable, plant-based material and are an environmentally-friendly alternative to divert organic waste from landfill. 

The bags are leakproof with superior puncture and heat resistance. They have a soft touch and come in packs of 60 bags (4 rolls with 15 bags each). There is a pack available with a dispenser for first time purchasers as well as refill packs for repeat buyers. 

Fun dog products

A NOD TO DOGS

For consumers who want to wear their love of dogs with pride, there are two animal-inspired Bamboo Sock styles from Funky Sock Co such as Mischievous Pugs and Sausage Dogs in Buns. Using designs from local artists, the socks make a statement while still being comfortable and breathable, as they are made with high-quality bamboo fibres. 

There are also two dog-inspired prints available in the Retrokitchen 100% Biodegradable Dishcloth range – Dogs as well as Dogs & Cats. The collection includes a nod to many other animals such as cats, fish, penguins and rabbits for animal-loving, eco-conscious consumers. 

STOCK UP ON NATURAL PET PRODUCTS

At Unique Health Products, we’re proud to stock all of these natural pet products and hundreds more natural health, organic, fairtrade and eco-friendly brands in our online store. You can order online 24/7 or give our friendly sales team a call on 1800 787 904. If you don’t yet have an account with us, register for a wholesale account today! 

Ethique Curly Hair

You might be surprised to learn that more than 50% of the population has curly or wavy hair. While straight tresses have dominated hair styles for many years, more and more people are embracing their natural curls.

Google Trends data shows that searches for “curly hair” have steadily increased over the last five years. In one dedicated Australian curly hair Facebook group alone, there are more than 87k members. 

That’s where products like Ethique Curly Hair come in. Tailored specifically to the needs of curly, wavy and coily hair, the products deliver everything textured hair types need in a zero-waste, sustainable, solid bar so consumers can #giveupthebottle, not their curls. That’s a big tick for curls… and an even bigger tick for the planet.

Just like the rest of the Ethique range, the Curly Hair products are sustainably produced, biodegradable, cruelty free, plant based and 100% plastic free. But there’s so much more to these solid bars of curly goodness to get your customers excited about. 

Here’s a rundown of the products along with some helpful FAQs.

Ethique Curly Hair - Professor Curl

Professor Curl Solid Shampoo Bar

Made with a super nourishing blend of shea butter, betaine (from beets) and cocoa butter, Professor Curl is a 100% soap-free, pH balanced formulation that gently cleanses.

Curly hair types are naturally drier. Importantly, Professor Curl nourishes the hair so as not to dry it out. It doesn’t contain any sulphates, silicones, waxes or drying alcohols. These are all common ingredients in shampoo… and the culprits when it comes to stripping essential moisture from the hair. 

Formulated to work with the Curliosity Conditioner & Co-Wash Bar, it is suitable for all drying methods. The result of using Professor Curl is soft hair with defined curls. 

Each Professor Curl Solid Shampoo Bar is the equivalent of three plastic bottles of liquid shampoo.  

Ethique Curly Hair - Curliosity

Curliosity Solid Conditioner & Co-wash Bar

The hero product of the Curly Hair range, Curliosity serves as both a conditioner, co-wash and leave-in treatment to revive, restore and reinvigorate curls.

The luxurious blend of hydrating ingredients includes shea butter, jojoba, castor oil and cocoa butter. Like the Professor Curl Solid Bar, it contains none of those curl-drying ingredients like sulphates, silicones, waxes or drying alcohols.

One Curliosity Solid Conditioner & Co-wash Bar replaces nine plastic bottles of liquid conditioner. 

FAQs

Do the products work with the Curly Girl Method?

If your customers have curly hair, there is a good chance they know about the Curly Girl Method. It was developed by an American hairdresser, Lorraine Massey, and has since taken on a life of its own. 

The Curly Girl Method covers everything from how to wash and dry different types of curly, wavy and coily hair to styling tips and products to use. It recognises that curly hair is much drier than straight hair and instructs followers how to keep their hair moisturised so as to enhance the hair’s natural curl pattern. 

An important aspect of the Curly Girl Method is the ingredients to avoid in hair care products, i.e. sulphates, waxes, silicones and drying alcohols already mentioned above. 

The Ethique Curly Hair range has been developed in line with the principles of the Curly Girl Method. 

What is co-washing?

Co-washing (or conditioner-washing) is one of the pillars of the Curly Girl Method. It is also sometimes referred to as ‘no poo’. 

Rather than using shampoo, the Curly Girl Method advocates for washing curly hair types with a cleansing conditioner. Ethique Curliosity has been formulated for this purpose. It can also be used as a regular conditioner. 

To use Ethique Curliosity as a co-wash, it should be gently massaged into the scalp to ensure dirt and oils are removed before rinsing well. I.e. it can be used in the same way a regular shampoo would be.

While Curliosity can replace shampoo in a regular curly hair routine, Ethique recommends using a foaming shampoo (such as Professor Curl) once every 3-4 weeks. This is to prevent the risk of fungal infections and also to remove any product build up that may accumulate. 

12 curly hair types

Can the Ethique Curly Hair range be used with all types of curly hair?

Yes, both Professor Curl and Curliosity can be used with all wavy, curly and coily hair types (2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b and 4c).

The Curly Hair range was tested with a consumer panel prior to launch. Consumers with all curly types were included in the trial. 

The results of the trial showed:

  • 87% loved the look of their curls after using the new Curly Hair duo
  • 88% found their hair to be softer and more manageable
  • 87% found the duo didn’t weigh down their hair
  • 90% would recommend to family and friends with curly hair

How do you store the Ethique Curly Hair Solid Bars?

All Ethique Solid Bars, including the new Curly Hair range should be kept dry between uses. They shouldn’t be left to stand in pooled water or get too wet. 

The bars love fresh air so should be stored somewhere they can drain and get air circulation, i.e. in an Ethique Bamboo & Cornstarch Shower Container or a wire soap holder.

Why are the Curly Hair Solid Bars a different size to the rest of the Ethique Shampoo and Conditioner Bars?

The size of the Professor Curl Solid Shampoo Bar is 108g (compared to 110g for other Ethique Shampoo Bars). This slight weight difference is due to the density of the shampoo. It is still the same size and dimensions of other Ethique Shampoo Bars so it fits perfectly into the Ethique Bamboo & Cornstarch Shower Container.

Curliosity contains over 80% more conditioner than other Ethique Conditioner Bars (110g instead of 60g). When Curliosity is used as a co-wash, it uses more of the product than when used as a regular conditioner. The larger size of the bar accommodates this.

Stock up on Ethique at Unique Health Products

We are proudly the exclusive wholesale distributor of Ethique products in Australia. You can stock up on the innovative Ethique range, including Curly Hair, in the Unique Health Products online store. You can shop online with us 24/7, 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. You’ll find Ethique alongside hundreds of other exciting natural, organic, fairtrade and eco-friendly brands. 

3 Natural Product Packaging Trends

Packaging matters. It’s often the first impression a customer will have of a product. And it can mean the difference between a product flying off the shelves… or a hidden gem sitting stagnant.

Understanding the trends in natural product packaging can help you to merchandise your store to maximise the sales opportunity. We share our insights into what’s hot in natural product packaging and why it matters to you. 

Colourful natural product packaging

Green… and red and pink and blue…

Traditionally when people think of natural product packaging, they think green and brown. How else will people know a product is natural if the packaging isn’t green or brown?

The industry and its consumers have come a long way. Consumers are more sophisticated and educated about the benefits of natural health products. The evolution of natural product packaging reflects this shift.

Amazing Oils is one of the latest natural health brands to modernise their packaging with a bright and bold new look. Featuring colour blocks of red, blue and purple, the packaging is easy to read and presents a streamlined look on the shelf.

As you browse the shelves of our online shop, you’ll see other brands such as Ethique, Happy Way and Eden Healthfoods that are all embracing the rainbow as leaders in the industry.

With more and more retail stores moving towards the integration of natural health products alongside non-health products, including major grocery chains such as Coles, this packaging trend only serves to help natural products stand out more on shelves, boosting your sales in the process.

Health claims on natural product packaging

Calling out health and natural claims

If an objection to integration is “how will people be able to identify natural health products if they are scattered through the aisles?” The answer is in the packaging.

Despite their ability to now blend somewhat seamlessly into the shelves alongside regular grocery or beauty products, natural products have a powerful tool in their arsenal. And they’re not afraid to use it.

That is, they can use their packaging to be clear about their ingredients, sustainability or natural health claims.

The packaging of ACURE skin and hair care products is simple and clean. The colour block design draws the eye of the consumer… and then they see the words “100% vegan”. Right on the front of the packaging. 

It’s a similar case for Keto Naturals. While the name of the brand does give away the keto-friendly nature of the products, the front of the packaging showcases the benefits of the products – keto and paleo friendly, vegan and gluten free among them. 

Macro Mike is another example of a brand that doesn’t hesitate to use prime real estate on packaging to highlight the gut-friendly, 100% natural, plant-based benefits (just to name a few) of their products.

The rising number of vegans and consumers who care about what’s inside the products they buy are looking for these claims. 

Sustainable natural product packaging

The sustainability of the packaging

According to the Trivium Packaging 2021 Global Buying Green Report, the sustainability of product packaging is a huge concern for consumers.

The report found that:

  • 54% of consumers factor the sustainability of product packaging into their buying decisions
  • 52% of consumers actively seek information on the sustainability of product packaging 
  • 73% of consumers are willing to dig deeper into their pockets to pay more for eco-friendly packaging

This is where natural product packaging has the upper hand. Like the recycled plastic packaging of Koala Eco. Or the compostable packaging of Ethique. Or the recycled cardboard tubes that house the PATCH bandages. 

Brands in the natural health industry have been considering and innovating the sustainability of their packaging for many years. This is a trend that has been driven by conscious brands answering to consumer demand. 

Stock your shelves with on-trend natural health products

At Unique Health Products we stock some of the biggest natural health brands in Australia. We are proud of the innovation and leading market position of our brands and the way they drive natural product packaging trends. 

You can purchase from hundreds of brands online with us 24/7, 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.

5 Signs Natural Health has Turned Mainstream

25 years ago, natural health was considered niche or boutique. Natural health products were found in health food speciality stores. The health food section of other stores, if there was even one at all, likely consisted of just a handful of products. 

Today, it’s a completely different story. The natural health industry has undergone quite the transformation. Don’t just take our word for it. Here are five signs that the tide has turned to take natural health to the mainstream.

Aisles are integrating

The health food aisle has long been a staple of grocery stores. Not anymore. As we’ve been talking about for some time now, retailers of all sizes, such as Coles, are integrating natural health products throughout their stores. 

You can now find the likes of brands such as Bragg, Upton’s Naturals and Banana Joe integrated into the regular grocery aisles.

Consumers can more easily find the products they’re looking for and discover new, healthier alternatives. And retailers can benefit from increased visibility and sales of the natural health products on their shelves. 

Packaging is evolving

Alongside the move towards integration, natural product packaging has also made a mainstream shift.

As the products themselves have become more mainstream, the packaging has stepped up with bold colours, sophisticated designs and a fresh take on what natural health can look like.

Brands like Ethique, Amazing Oils, Acure and Keto Naturals are all shelf stand outs and leading the way in the future of mainstream natural health. 

Consumer demand is growing

You need only look at some of the wellness trends data to see what is happening. Consumer demand for natural health products is growing… and it’s growing fast. 

Personalised nutrition is driving consumers to seek out more products that help them to achieve their health and wellbeing goals. 

Innovation is thriving

The natural health industry is innovative by its very nature. But as brands and products have made the shift into the mainstream spotlight, the level of innovation has hit new heights. 

Adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients, such as ashwagandha, reishi, rhodiola and ginseng are appearing in more and more products on the grocery shelves. Leaders in this space include Evolution Botanicals and The Ginger People. Brands such as Macro Mike and Botanika Blends are also continually innovating with flavour and product formulations. 

The way these products have been embraced in the mainstream has facilitated even greater growth in innovation.

Eco-friendly is an expectation

Consider these statistics:

Natural health brands have a head start on sustainability. They are generally more conscious of the ingredients they use and the impact of their packaging on the environment. This is now a broader expectation across the board. 

Brands like CLIF, East Bali Cashews and Koala Eco focus on sustainably sourced ingredients and reducing the environmental footprint of their packaging and operations. 

Top-selling natural health brands

At Unique Health Products we are proud to stock hundreds of leading and top-selling natural health brands. Over the last 25 years we have played an important role in bringing these products to the mainstream and we are focussed on continuing to do so into the future. Shop our range online 24/7, or alternatively you can 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.

Sustainable Brands Answer the Consumer Call

Regardless of generation or gender, the environment matters to consumers. 

In one study of 2000 Australians, the researchers found that the top three overall social and economic concerns for the respondents were plastic waste, toxic chemicals and our oceans. The same study also found that 56% of people are actively searching for sustainable brands and products that support causes or have environmentally friendly attributes. As many as 6 in 10 will pay more for said products. 

56% of people are actively searching for sustainable brands and products that support causes or have environmentally friendly attributes.

Equally, in another recent study on sustainability in Australia, 46% of people reported that they had stopped buying particular products due to their environmental and societal impact. 48% of people wear their choices with pride, believing that sustainable purchases are a statement of who they are and what they believe in. 

At Unique Health Products, we are proud to distribute products from a large range of sustainable brands that are leaders in providing choices to address the environmental concerns of consumers.

Sustainable brands using recycled packaging

Recycled packaging

The statistics on plastic packaging are frightening. In Australia, one million tonnes of our annual plastic consumption is single-use plastic. And it’s not going unnoticed. 83% of people are concerned by plastic waste. 

Ethique is on a mission to #giveupthebottle and revolutionise the beauty industry. To date, Ethique’s solid bars have saved more than 10 million bottles from entering landfill. The commitment from this brand to being plastic free extends right across the business. Not only are the bars plastic free, but they also use compostable packaging.

Acure is another sustainable brand, already firmly committed to sustainable and natural products, now taking further steps by removing unnecessary outer box packaging. 

Similarly, household cleaning brand, Earthwise, has pledged that by 2025, 100% of their packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable. They are transparent on their progress and dedicated to making positive environmental change.

Sustainable brands that consider the full product life cycle

The full product life cycle

The Australian Packaging Covenant has set a target for 100% of product packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. There are many brands that are going further than that to create products that not only use sustainable packaging, but the product itself is compostable. 

This approach of considering the full product life cycle caters to the growing consumer market that is concerned with their waste footprint.

PATCH is one such sustainable brand with their innovative, compostable Bandages. Not only are the PATCH Bandages made from 100% natural bamboo fibre with the added goodness of activated charcoal, aloe vera and coconut oil, but the Bandages, and their packaging, are also 100% compostable. The result is a product that is good for people and the planet. 

Using bio-plastics, the Biotuff range of Bin Liners, Kitchen Tidy Bags, Nappy Waste Bags, Disposable Gloves, Cling Wrap, Sandwich Bags and Dog Waste Bags are biodegradable and compostable. Plastic bags can take between 20 and 1000 years to decompose, not to mention the other environmental impacts they can have for our oceans and animals. 

Sustainable brands that make reusables

Reusables

According to Euromonitor, the Australian ‘throw-away’ culture is being replaced with an increased movement towards reusable and refillable containers and products. 

Ever Eco was an Australian pioneer as the first brand in the country to introduce Stainless Steel Drinking Straws. They have continued to lead the reusables industry and have since expanded their range to include a large number of reusables including Water Bottles, Clothes Pegs, Produce Bags, Kitchen Storage and more.

Also in the reusables market, Honeybee Wrap creates 100% organic cotton, eco alternatives to plastic wrap that can be reused time and time again. 

But it’s not just food and drink related products that are driving the reusables boom. The Hello Cup replaces pads and tampons as a reusable period product alternative. Made from medical grade thermoplastic elastomer, it can be used for years, helping to reduce the 45 billion single-use period products that end up in landfill each year. 

Sustainable brands that use sustainably sourced ingredients

Sustainably sourced ingredients

In one study conducted by IBM it was found that 73% of the research participants want more than simple sustainability claims from the brands they buy. They want details about sourcing and the traceability of products and ingredients. Of those people, 71% are willing to pay a premium for products that provide that information.

This is the kind of transparency that RXBAR was founded on. Not only does every RXBAR contain clean and responsibly-sourced ingredients, those ingredients are proudly visible, front and centre on the product packaging. 

The Ginger People are also steadfastly committed to sustainably sourced ingredients and have developed strong partnerships with their farmers to ensure this. By working with family farms around the world in locations such as Peru, China, Indonesia and Fiji, they create opportunities for the local people and follow bio-diverse farming practices. 

Ethical sourcing is also a principle that guides the production of Dr Organic Skincare and Hair Care. The natural and plant extracts are sourced from around the world to produce luxury products that don’t cost the earth.  

Sustainable brands with carbon neutral operations

Carbon neutral operations

77% of consumers are concerned about climate change. They are looking for the brands they purchase to take positive action towards reducing their carbon footprint. 

CLIF is a leader in this space, having achieved their goal of carbon neutral business operations, operating on 100% green power for electricity at all CLIF facilities. Not only this, they also sustainably source their ingredients and they are committed to reaching a goal of 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

Sustainable brands showing environmental innovation

Environmental innovation

There are also many sustainable brands that are identifying innovative ways to target environmental issues.

Take People4Ocean as an example. Their range of suncare products were designed by marine biologists to be not only reef safe but also target common skin concerns related to sun exposure. 

Another brand innovating for good is Natural Evolution. What started as an accidental discovery when Natural Evolution founder and second-generation banana farmer, Robert Watkins, drove over a hand of lady finger bananas has turned into a booming brand. Not only do Natural Evolution Banana Flour products have an array of health benefits, using the bananas to produce flour also helps with the issue of farmers discarding excess bananas that were unwanted by the supermarkets. 

Cater to your eco customers with our sustainable brands

Whatever the environmental concerns of your customers, at Unique Health Products we have brands to cater to their needs. As a retailer you can make a statement about your sustainability goals and commitments by stocking your shelves with these innovative, eco-friendly brands. 

These sustainable brands and many more are available 24/7 in our online store, or alternatively you can 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.

TRENDS AND INSIGHTS FROM NATURALLY GOOD 2021

Over the last 25 years as a natural health products distributor, we’ve not only witnessed the industry evolve, we’re proud of the role we’ve played in that evolution. Natural health products have merged into the mainstream as more and more consumers embrace their benefits.

One thing we recognise as a business is that it’s when we come together to share, connect and learn that we see the biggest shifts. Naturally Good is one such place to do that and we were thrilled to be back at Naturally Good 2021, flying the Unique flag alongside our suppliers, retailers and industry peers.

If you weren’t able to make it to Naturally Good 2021, we wanted to share some of the learnings and insights we took away from the event so you can ride the wave of the coming industry trends.

Naturally Good 2021 insights

HOLISTIC HEALTH 

Something we’ve been talking about for awhile at Unique Health Products is the more holistic nature of the modern health consumer. Today’s definition of health includes both physical and emotional aspects. 

This trend towards total mind and body wellness was echoed by the IRI Analysis, 2021, which lists physical activity, diet and nutrition alongside other holistic health priorities such as sleep, rest, financial wellbeing, ethics and sustainability. 

At the same time, the health foods market is growing. According to the IRI MarketEdge Grocery Scan, MAT to 03/01/21, health foods in grocery saw dollar growth of 10.7% from 2019 to 2020 to AUD$662 million. Vitamins and minerals in grocery saw 13.1% dollar growth in the same period to AUD$47.4 billion incremental dollars. 

PLANT-BASED DIETS

Plant-based eating is on the rise with 65% of global consumers eating more plant-based food and beverages1. But it’s not just vegans who are driving the plant-based trend. There are new markets of consumers turning to plants for a variety of reasons.

In Australia, 1-3% of people identify as vegan, 4-12% as vegetarian, 7-20% as flexitarian and 20-25% as meat reducers2

Interestingly, the uptake of plant-based meat alternatives is mostly driven by curiosity. While 17% of people buy plant-based meat alternatives because they are vegan or vegetarian, 19% of people do so for environmental reasons, 28% due to animal welfare concerns and 58% out of curiosity about the taste3

But this isn’t the end of the plant-based growth phenomenon. Expect to see more in the way of adaptogenic plants, such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, maca, holy basil and eleuthero root, that can help people to cope with stress.

PROTEIN POWER

Protein has been shining in the spotlight for some time… but what next?

What is apparent from in-store promotion is that consumers see protein as permission to indulge. However, given the saturation of protein-centric SKUs in the market, the key when it comes to protein is differentiation. 

That differentiation comes in a variety of different ways. The first is products that crank up the protein, such as CLIF Builders Bars. The second is in personalisation to target specific market segments4. It’s important to focus on the importance of protein quality with a number of plant-based protein sources, such as protein-rich pulses and carbon transformation playing a bigger role in the industry. 

GUT HEALTH AND IMMUNITY

With increasing awareness and interest in products that support immunity, digestion and gut health, there also comes an opportunity for in-store education and promotion. 

75% of consumers admit to learning about new products by discovering them in store5. It’s important to maximise shelf-ready packaging to ensure the brand and key selling points are clear to not only increase customer awareness of the product but also the ingredients used. Better-for-you bagged snacks are also playing a leading role in the future of shelf real estate.10 

In this same trend, it’s worth noting that probiotic and prebiotic grocery SKUs are growing by more than 50% year on year6. The opportunity here is to highlight probiotic quality and strain efficacy and look for probiotics entering new categories.

Further, by integrating health products alongside non-health products on shelves you can reach new customers and demonstrate your awareness of and responsiveness to trends that are important to consumers. 

AUSTRALIAN DIET TRENDS

While Australians generally have a poor diet (i.e. not enough of the recommended five food groups, with too much of the discretionary category) there is some awareness of this. 44% of consumers agree that they “follow a balanced, healthy diet” while only 12% strongly agree with this statement.7

At the same time, 44% of Australians are concerned about how much sugar they are consuming.8 Related to this, SKUs that target the no/less sugar market are seeing 17% dollar growth and 13% unit growth, both higher than the industry growth rates.9 

The opportunity in this trend is the reinvention of low sugar indulgence with a move to clean and simple ingredients. 

STAY AHEAD OF THE TRENDS

At Unique Health Products, we have our finger on the pulse to help you stay ahead of the trends. We distribute hundreds of brands that are leading the charge in natural health. 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.

Sources: 1DuPont Nutrition & Health, 2021., 2IRI Shopper Panel Survey; Essential Vision; Roy Morgan; Sydney Morning Herald., 3IRI Shopper Panel Survey, 2020; n = 1,874., 4IRI MarketEdge Grocery Scan, MAT to 03/01/21., 5IRI Shopper Panel Survey, January/February 2021 (n = 5,044); IRI Store Visits., 6IRI MarketEdge Grocery Scan, MAT to 03/01/21., 7IRI Nutrilink Shopper Panel Survey, 2020; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare., 8Roy Morgan, July 2020., 9IRI MarketEdge Grocery Scan, MAT to 03/01/21.,10IRI MarketEdge Grocery Scan, MAT To 03/01/21.

6 HEALTH AND WELLNESS TRENDS AND WHAT THEY MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS

The beauty of the digital age is that we have so much data at our fingertips to guide decision-making in business. You don’t need to guess the wellness trends… because you can see the trends unfolding in the data right before your eyes.

Using data from Google Trends and keyword research tool, Ubersuggest, we’ve done some digging to analyse six health and wellness trends that have significantly impacted the industry over the last five years, and how you can make the most of those trends in your business.

KETOGENIC DIET

The keto diet has steadily grown in popularity over the last five years. In recent Roy Morgan research, 24% of people surveyed indicated that eating a low-fat diet is important to them. This was down from 39% in 2000. The researchers suggested that this change in the way people look at food could be due to the rising popularity of the high-fat keto diet. 

Each month, more than 90,000 people in Australia search ‘ketogenic diet’, 74,000 search for ‘keto diet’ and 1,000 search for ‘keto diet vegan’ or ‘keto diet vegetarian’. Interestingly, in the last 12 months, there has also been a 50% increase in search volume for ‘keto friendly snacks’. 

The opportunity: Educate your customers on the benefits of keto, tied to your keto offering. If you want to increase your keto range, brands like Keto Naturals, The Monday Food Co, PBCo. and Vitawerx have a strong keto market presence. 

Image Source: Google Trends

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

Research consistently shows that today’s consumers are concerned about the environment. This is supported by the Google Trends data, which shows movement in an upwards direction for searches related to the environmentally friendly topic. 

So, what exactly are they searching for? The list is long, but there is strong growth in search volume where it matters most to you:

  • 450% increase in ‘earth friendly cleaning’ and 60% increase in ‘eco cleaning products’
  • 200% increase in ‘eco friendly products’
  • 160% increase in ‘eco friendly gifts’ and 90% increase in ‘eco gifts’

The opportunity: In a climate where 2 in 5 consumers want brands to offer more sustainable/durable products, it’s time to not only increase your offering but also share your own sustainability initiatives with your customers, such as what you are doing to minimise your plastic waste and packaging.

In the eco-friendly gifts market, Summer Salt Body and Sow ‘n Sow are well established brands. Similarly, for eco-cleaning products with brands such as Earthwise, Bon Ami, Koala Eco and Planet Luxe

Image source: Google Trends

SINGLE-USE PLASTIC

The facts on single-use plastic and plastic waste are frightening. It’s no wonder that this is a trending topic of concern. 

With government moves in some states to ban certain single-use plastics and commitment at a federal level to phase out products such as single-use plastic straws and utensils, awareness of the topic is sure to grow. 

On the topic of drinking straws alone, there were huge increases in search volume over the five year period:

  • 1,900% increase for ‘reusable straws’
  • 1,110% increase for ‘metal straws’ and for ‘silicone straws’
  • 800% increase for ‘steel straws’

The opportunity: Embrace the rise of reusables and zero-waste products by minimising your use of single-use plastic bags and packaging and increasing your eco-offering with brands such as market-leader, Ethique as well as Ever Eco, Joco and Huskee.

Image Source: Google Trends

VEGANISM

Plant-based diets are on the rise. Whether it’s vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, search for veganism and related terms is increasing. In the last five years there has been a 160% increase in search volume for ‘plant-based diet’. 

Every month more than 27,000 people search for ‘veganism’, 5,400 for ‘plant-based diet’, 1,600 for ‘plant-based meat’ and also for ‘veganism vs vegetarianism’ and 590 for ‘plant-based diets benefits’. That is a significant volume of search with an educational intent. People are curious about plant-based eating.

The opportunity: Cater to this growing market with a range of plant-based products and provide education on plant-based eating. Innovation and flavour are the key here with brands such as Upton’s Naturals, Flexible Foods and Plantasy Foods for plant-based meat alternatives or even J. Luehders vegan candy. 

Image source: Google Trends

ORGANIC NEAR ME

There are two elements to this trend. The first is the rise of interest in organic food. The second is the shift in local search.

In the last twelve months alone, Google search frequency for ‘organic food’ increased by 190% and each month 590 people search for ‘organic skincare Australia’. Awareness of the benefits of organic is rising which is driving the shift.

The opportunity: For local businesses and shopfronts, ensure your Google My Business profile is up to date. For eCommerce stores, organic is a trending topic so highlight your organic products. This is also a good opportunity to increase your organic range with brands like Planet Organic and Eclipse Organics

Image Source: Google Trends

IMMUNITY

Within the health and wellness industry, immunity is one of those topics that is always prominent. In the last 12 months, immunity related keywords have seen high search volumes:

  • 6,600 searches for immune system
  • 4,400 searches for immunity
  • 3,600 searches for immunity booster
  • 2,900 searches for immunity boosting food

Anecdotally, we are also hearing that consumers are increasingly on the lookout for immunity-related products. While you can expect peaks for this during cold and flu season, this might start to even out throughout the year, depending on global events.

The opportunity: Capitalise on the immunity trend with innovative and high-quality supplements that provide natural immune system support. Brands like IMUNI, Eden Healthfoods, Martin & Pleasance and Comvita cater to this market. 

Image Source: Google Trends

STAY ON TOP OF THE LATEST WELLNESS TRENDS WITH UNIQUE HEALTH PRODUCTS

We’ve been distributors in this industry for more than 25 years. We are always ahead of the wellness trends so you can bring the latest innovations and new products to your customers. 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.