4 HEALTH RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES TO BOOST YOUR SALES

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 and Alchemy Elixirs 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.

4 HEALTH PRODUCT TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2021

Attempting to predict trends for the year ahead seems somewhat of a foolish task these days but the reality is that many health product trends are slow burners, building steam gradually before becoming fully-fledged mainstream inclusions.

So despite the air of uncertainty around retail and the ever-changing global environment that we live in, experts can still predict, with fair accuracy, what we will be eating more of in the near future. We’ve tracked down the data-driven expert insights to bring you four health product trends to watch this year.

Plant proteins

meat-free-protein-plant-based-mince-trend-australia

Plant-based meat alternatives and protein sources are big business and they have been for a while now. But we’re going to see this ramp up in 2021 big time!

The plant-based protein market is predicted to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3%, with demand for vegan meat alternatives soaring back in 2020—sales were up by a staggering 264% by May!*

This demand isn’t just coming from those who are vegan either. It’s driven by a mix of factors—the plant-based movement, flexitarian-style diets, increased awareness around health and excessive meat consumption, climate change activism, in addition to a host of innovative ‘can’t-believe-it’s-not-meat’ replica products piquing the interest of mainstream consumers.

nootropics-products-australia-brain-health-mental-performance

Nootropics

You may have seen the word ‘nootropics’ before but what exactly are they? Nootropics can be classified as ingredients, supplements, or other substances that may improve cognitive function including memory, focus, motivation or creativity. Some provide temporary enhanced performance while others work long-term to improve cognitive health and mental performance if taken consistently.

According to DataM Intelligence, the global nootropics market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 12.6% during the forecasting period (2020-2027). We’re expecting to see nootropics pop up in all kinds of products thanks to powerful marketing promoting their ability to support academic success, professional advantage, athletic performance, personal improvement and sustaining brain activities during old age.

Finding calm

stress-calm-natural-health-products

The demand for functional food and beverages that help reduce anxiety, support adrenal health, reduce insomnia, help to manage stress and improve mood are sharply on the rise. In fact, according to Goldstein Research, sleep aids and stress management supplements including products with herbal extracts, ashwagandha, tryptophan, zinc and/or magnesium are the fastest-growing category within health!

Even prior to the stresses of 2020, mood/relaxing supplements were a booming category that grew at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2014 to 2019. According to Euromonitor’s ‘Health and Nutrition Survey, January and February 2020’, more than 50% of consumers around the world claimed they were suffering from ‘moderate’ to ‘extreme’ stress.

Functional flours

functional-flours-gluten-free-healthy-baking-australia

Originally driven by the need for alternatives to wheat and other gluten-containing flours, functional flours are gaining popularity as consumers and culinary experts seek to improve the texture, taste and nutrient profile of their gluten-free cooking.

Functional flours such as apple, chia, banana, quinoa and coconut flour are popular thanks to their additional health benefits, flavour profiles and baking capabilities, as well as their sustainable nature. Many of these are often a byproduct of other food manufacturing and help to reduce waste which makes them more sustainable options to regular flour.

There is also a continued increase in gluten-free, grain-free and low-carb diets that are driving the demand even further. According to Global Market Insights, the global gluten-free food market alone is expected to reach more than AUD$20 billion in the next six years!

Kickstart 2021 with your shelves stocked with the best trending products from Unique Health Products. You can shop online 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.

*Research and Markets, 2020, CB Insights, 2020.

THE CHANGING CONSUMER BEHAVIOURS DRIVING RETAIL

There has been a whole lot of moving and shaking in the retail space, with brands and businesses having to pivot left, right and centre to stay relevant and accessible to the changing consumer behaviours of Australian shoppers. So as we enter a new year, how can we best reach our target markets and stay front of mind when it comes time to push the ‘pay now’ button?

Meet the needs of your customers by considering these three purchasing trends underlying how Australians are choosing to shop today.

The mobile shopper

We are exercising, socialising, working, shopping and more—online. It’s not just Gen Z and Millennials anymore; it is all of us. Australia Post reported more than 8.1 million households shopped online between March and August last year, an increase of 16% from the same period the year prior. Two thirds of these households have continued to shop online due to convenience and most of us are finding out about brands, comparing prices and shopping directly on our mobiles.

Consumers want their online shopping experience to be quick and easy. This means everything from your website, customer service, checkout process and payment apps need to be mobile-friendly in order to stay in the game.

If you don’t have capacity to ship orders, there are certain digital experiences that consumers are getting used to, like BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup in Store). So you can still use your digital presence to drive sales in store!

The ‘buy now, pay later’ enthusiast

Australians are moving away from traditional credit methods and embracing the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options such as ZipPay and AfterPay. Cash-strapped consumers get their purchases instantly, with the full amount paid off in regular, interest-free instalments within a couple of months.

Nielsen research shows 91% of Australians are familiar with these payment methods and the Global Payments Report from WorldPay predicts regular users will pass 4 million by 2023.

For retailers, buy now, pay later platforms provide the opportunity to benefit from more immediate sales — both online and instore. Specifically, it increases the chances of growing a customer base, and it incentivises customers to spend more than they initially intended.

The value-driven buyer 

According to research by Deloitte, “today’s consumer has a new set of value drivers, one that is more intrinsically linked to their core values and beliefs. Traditional drivers such as price, taste and convenience remain important in their buying decisions, but new evolving drivers such as social impact, health and wellness, safety and experience have emerged to the forefront. More than half of consumers weigh these evolving value drivers more heavily than traditional ones and 63% are willing to pay more for products where social impact values are demonstrated.”

In addition, a recent Consumer Index Report by Suzy Consumer Insights shared that 65% of consumers are more likely to support a brand that cares about the same social issues they do. Making it clear that for the majority of Australians, transparency regarding sustainability, ethics and supported social causes is now an essential part of building consumer trust and loyalty. 

Stay ahead of changing consumer behaviours with top-selling natural health and beauty products from Unique Health Products. You can shop from our online store 24/7 or by calling 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.

Snackification. The Changing Face of Australian Mealtimes

Consumers’ eating patterns have undergone fundamental changes. Instead of a traditional format of three meals at predetermined times each day, many consumers are moving towards a much more flexible pattern of snacking and grazing, eating at any time that is convenient.

Say hello to the health-conscious snackification movement!

While eating styles remain very strongly influenced by tradition and culture, millennials, in particular, are impacting the selection and production of healthier snacks in a colossal way!

According to Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, each week 92% of millennials eat a snack instead of breakfast, lunch or dinner at least once, and 50% of them replace approximately four of their meals with a snack.

Originally, it was all about convenience food in general. Consumers demanded quick and easy food and drink to support their chaotically-busy lives. Fast-forward some years, and the interest in health and nutrition has spun the convenience industry on its head. Convenient food options no longer need to simply taste good, they need to serve a nutritional purpose as well.

Snacks are no longer filling gaps between more wholesome meals. They are becoming the replacement to those meals.

But there are no hard and fast rules for snackification. The same food may be an in-between meal snack one day, a lunch the next and an afternoon treat another day.

In essence, the definition of what a snack is has changed. Previously conjuring up images of junk food and treats, the snack landscape is rapidly changing and includes wholesome meal replacements, single serve mini meals, healthy snack bars, and heat & eat options, both savoury and sweet.

Knowing what drives a consumer to pick up one snack over another is vital to staying competitive in the $374 billion worldwide snacking industry.

Taste, nutrition and convenience are the three most important factors in choosing a snack. With this in mind, we’re seeing an industry-wide conscious effort to reduce sugar content; an increase in functional ingredients such as turmeric, hemp and ginger; lower carbohydrate options; plant-based mini meals, protein-packed snacks and items designed to support a healthy gut.

Make sure you’re making the most of the snackification trend by stocking up on these top-selling snacks:

  • CLIF Bar – The CLIF Bar range is plant-based, on-trend and made with organic ingredients, making it the perfect grab n’ go energy bar.
  • Upton‘s Real Meal Kits – Ready in one minute, Upton’s Real Meal Kits are vegan friendly, and made with real, recognisable ingredients and available in a range of classic meals.
  • East Bali Cashews – This sustainable, fairtrade company produces a range of mouthwatering, plant-based delights in attractive packing with a great price point!
  • GoMacro Macrobars – These wholesome bars provide nutritional benefit without any additives or preservatives, are 100% plant-based, and come in a range of delicious flavours!
  • Botanika Blends – From their range of deliciously flavoured Plant Proteins to new high-protein, probiotic porridge range, Botanika Blends has meal-time convenience covered.
  • Noble Jerky Vegan Jerky – These grab n’ go snacks are made from premium marinated and seasoned tempeh for an all natural, non-GMO, high plant protein snack!
  • Forbidden Brekky Rice – Nutritious and delicious, Brekky Rice is a quick and easy on the go breakfast option.

Simply order online anytime! You can view our entire range of snack items by selecting ‘Snacks’ in the categories menu.

Not yet registered with us? Sign up here!

References: Euromonitor International, 2016, Welch’s Global Ingredients Group research, 2017.

Naturally Good highlights 2019 – A discovery of innovation

The Unique team showcased innovative hot new products and best sellers to hundreds of retailers, category managers and buyers at this year’s Naturally Good expo earlier this week.

Naturally Good is Australia’s only trade show for natural, organic and healthy products and continues to grow year-on-year! Held at the world class ICC Sydney in beautiful Darling Harbour across two days, the must-attend event gives retailers a chance to meet the makers, touch the products and get a feel for a diverse range of brands. Visitors from around Australia (and 18 other countries!) had the opportunity to ask questions about the best of our range in food and drinks, beauty and personal care, natural health and home and living.

Naturally Good is the leading event where retailers can physically discover and source the best Australian and global brands entering the market and meet with dozens of suppliers – something that could take weeks to do otherwise and can be challenging when absorbed in the day-to-day running of a store. In hot demand this year – the latest in plant-based and vegan products, healthy snacks, supplements for gut health, emerging ingredients, and the latest natural beauty, just to name a few.

If you missed the event – here is a quick recap of the highlights:

OUR HOTTEST PRODUCT SHOWCASE

Retailers visit Naturally Good to help differentiate their offering and grow sales by sourcing new, unique, innovative and on-trend products their customers want.

Turban Chopsticks
Mei Sann Yong from Turban Chopsticks

Dale Parkes with the My Magic Mud team.

As always, the Unique stand ensured that our diverse and fast-selling range of brands stood out in the crowded expo hall. Visitors to the Unique stand were treated to a pre-launch of some of our best new products, beauty demos and food sampling from our top-selling ranges, including Mei Sann Yong’s Turban Chopsticks, who served up tastings of their top-selling speed scratch meal bases to 2000+ visitors!

Retailers enjoyed meeting Steve Grossman and Ritu Mathur from CLIF Bar, USA; Bernie Walker and Sabine Muir from Little Zebra; Aaron Fishman from East Bali Cashew Company; Mat Stillone from Protein Supplies Australia and Botanika Blends; Mike Watts-Searle from Blue Dinosaur; Paul Stokes from Grin; Kresho Sprem from Kresho Bar, the newest vegan almond nougat chocolate; and Jessica Arman from My Magic Mud who showcased how to use the new clay and charcoal masks.

Favourites across the two days included the new savoury banana chips from Banana Joe; our new vegan white chocolate Vego; Upton’s Naturals Real Meal Kits delicious Massaman Curry; The Ginger People Ginger Rescue Shots; The Whole Foodies Native Cashews; and a special sneak peek at one of July’s hottest new products – Nelsons Naturals Crush & Brush!

This year’s Unique showbag (valued at more than $150) was a hit and included CLIF Bar’s favourite flavour of 2019 – Peanut Butter Banana and an assortment of our top-selling products. Unique giveaways also included hundreds of Cheeki stainless steel bottles and ACURE Travel Packs!

NEW CONNECTIONS

Naturally Good is the heartbeat of the industry across Australia and South East Asia and is a great opportunity to catch up with existing suppliers and to meet new ones.

We caught up with hundreds of retailers across the two days! Visitors to the Unique stand may have also met renowned US natural products consultants, Bob Burke from Natural Products Consulting and Tim Sperry, former Whole Foods Purchasing Manager.

INSIDER INTEL AND FREE BUSINESS EDUCATION

The free education program was in high demand this year with standing room only at all theatres! Several free trends sessions helped visitors understand what to look out for when walking the expo floor – with much of this information exclusive to the sessions and not available anywhere else.

Unique's Water Refill Station
Unique’s sponsored water refill station.

Visitors learnt about factors influencing healthy FMCG in Australia; what consumers want in food and drink, and natural, organic and clean beauty; what’s next in hemp and CBD oil; and the future for Australia from North America’s $200 billion+ natural products market. There were also more than 20 sessions across two days to help retailers get the edge in business by some of Australia’s foremost experts in social media, e-commerce, digital marketing and business strategy.

Expo visitors were welcomed to the usual friendly and fabulous customer service from Unique. The Unique team partnered with Cheeki and flew the pink and green flag at Naturally Good this year, helping create a more sustainable planet with our sponsored free water refill stations in three convenient locations throughout the show. In doing so we helped expo visitors to stay hydrated and saved 1,357 plastic bottles.

Despite the whirlwind nature of the actual event, we put our time and effort into these events to support our suppliers, build and strengthen our retailer relationships and meet new faces along the way. We couldn’t do what we do without their support and for that, we’re always grateful!

If you missed out this time, don’t worry, we can’t wait to do it all again, so we’ll see you next year!