There is no doubt that the face of retail in Australia is evolving. There are hurdles to overcome… but there are also many opportunities, particularly for those in the booming health retail space.
Our Unique Health Products Sales Reps are on the road meeting with retailers every day. This gives them incredible insights into the current state of retail across a broad range of categories.
One of those Sales Reps is Laura Collins. A qualified Nutritionist, Laura has been on the Unique team for more than seven years. She knows health retail inside and out and has her finger on the pulse for what’s trending in the industry.
So we sat down with Laura to get her take on the key opportunities for natural, organic, fair-trade and eco-friendly retail today.
1. CAPITALISE ON MARKET GROWTH
In recent years, the way consumers look at health has changed. Not only is the definition of health much broader, covering everything from immunity to wellness, mindfulness and lifestyle elements of health, but it is also more mainstream.
“There is an understanding and acceptance now that health food doesn’t just belong in a health food store ,” explains Laura. “Health food often has higher margins and offers consumers a point of difference. More and more grocery, pharmacy and other specialty retailers are taking on health food products in a big way.”
There are also a number of consumer trends that are driving this mainstream shift. Plant-based eating is on the rise, as are low-carb, low-sugar and keto diets. Consumers are also far more savvy about the sustainability of products and they are actively seeking out eco-friendly options.
“Consumers are looking to brands like Ethique to reduce their reliance on plastic, or RXBAR for their super clean and transparent ingredients lists. There is so much opportunity for retailers to capitalise on.”
2. INTEGRATE YOUR SHELVES
The traditional approach to health food in Australia has been segregation. But Laura argues that integration is the future. It’s an approach that has seen much success in the USA and UK. It’s what customers want… and it’s also good for business.
“A lot of grocery stores have a health or gourmet section, but this can be quite limiting,” explains Laura. “In this case, only consumers who believe they can afford it head to that section. However, if your shelves are integrated and the health products sit alongside the rest of your range, you give customers more choice.
“I worked with some grocery stores in Sydney to integrate. The result was higher sales for those health products compared to similar stores in the same area that took a segregation approach. Where it makes sense to do so, weaving the products through the shelves can train the customer to purchase differently. Otherwise, you could be missing out on potential sales.”
Integration is better for sales and it’s also a better customer experience. By integrating all the options, from private label through to premium health brands, customers can make a simple decision without having to snake around different aisles.
3. EMBRACE NOOTROPICS AND ADAPTOGENS
Laura also asserts that the products with a hugely promising future are those with functional ingredients such as nootropics and adaptogens.
“We are an increasingly stressed society and consumers are looking for products to help their health and immunity. Natural alternatives to help with these concerns are increasingly popular. Adaptogens – such as rhodiola or siberian ginseng – can be really helpful. People can have vitamin deficiencies but also mineral deficiencies so mineral rich supplements such as Evolution Botanicals Himalayan Shilajit or Supercharged Food Fulvic Humic Concentrate are popular.
We haven’t even scratched the surface on nootropics in Australia but these ingredients may help with focus, productivity and reducing brain fog.”
4. OFFER HEALTHY SNACKING
Keto and healthy snacks are two categories that Laura can see have a big future in the Australian market. With the popularity of keto diets and consumers reaching for convenience, brands and products that combine the two, such as Keto Naturals, HeroCup or VitaWerx, are ones you want to have on your shelves.
“Anything keto and any healthy, clean snacks are huge in health retail right now,” says Laura. “Consumers are looking for the convenience of being able to reach for snacks and products that they know are good for them. Other wellness products such as The Ginger People Ginger Shots are also popular.
“Consumers are looking for products that offer a boost to their health and that’s what our range of brands and products can offer.”
YOUR TRUSTED ADVISOR IN HEALTH RETAIL
At Unique Health Products we distribute hundreds of health and wellness brands across Australia. Whether you are trying to reach new customer segments or have existing customers crying out for more natural, organic, fair-trade and eco-friendly products, we stock the best. 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.