One of the biggest trends expected to emerge this year is the crossover personal-care shopper. This consumer is best described as one who desires natural-based products, but has been reticent in the past, fearing a lack of performance quality and high prices.
Among the lines slated to roll out this year created to nudge that shopper over to natural is Live Clean. Popular in Canada, Live Clean was acquired by Hain Celestial Group in 2015 with its purchase of Belvedere International.
Hain Celestial is one of the largest natural and personal-care companies in the world and already distributes Avalon Organics, Alba Botanics and Jason personal-care products in the U.S. In most stores, those lines are merchandised in natural planograms.
“What differs Live Clean from Alba, Avalon and Jason is that retailers are putting these into conventional aisles,” explained Roseann Fernandez, head of marketing for Live Clean. That opens up discovery for customers who hadn’t been frequently natural departments.
“We feel this appeals to the crossover consumer. A lot of work went into this line to find that middle ground where we can offer products that don’t have the ingredients causing consumer concern, yet offer obtainable price points,” Fernandez explained.
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Simultaneously, retailers are looking for more lines with less toxic ingredients to integrate into the conventional department. Kline Group verifies there is mounting interest in “mainstreamed” natural brands. “Natural personal-care [lines] are not the niche products that once were found mainly in natural and specialty stores,” according to Kline research. The company said a key driver in natural brands is the move to the mass market. Kline estimates mass merchandisers constitute approximately 25 percent of total distribution of naturally positioned personal-care brands and continue to grow, with solid growth of 10 percent in distribution in the past year.
That sets the stage for Live Clean, the number-one natural brand in Canada, which has been posting double-digit sales growth over the past few years, according to Julie Marchant, senior vice president and general manager for personal care at Hain Celestial Personal Care. Hain has culled the top sellers from a broader collection in Canada that includes facial skin care, sun care and pet care to bring the best of the best to the U.S.
There are three collections, Fresh Water, Argan and Coconut Milk, in the 19 stockkeeping units set to launch starting this month encompassing hair care, body washes, hand soaps and baby. All items are priced at $5.99, with the exception of the hand soap at $4.99. The formulas are at least 97 percent plant derived and free of sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, parabens, silicone, DEA and phosphates. The packaging is recyclable and the formulas are biodegradable.
“We are appealing to consumers with a lifestyle interested in doing the best for themselves and the world,” added Marchant, among those being Millennials, who are making their mark in purchasing personal care.
The baby collection in particular is viewed as a good entry point for those considering natural choices. “We find when women are pregnant they become more concerned with ingredients,” said Fernandez. After using the items on their offspring, Hain expects shoppers to transition to other categories.
Industry sources estimate Hain is pumping more than $25 million into marketing including advertising, social media and a robust sampling program, including more than two million pieces. Based on acceptance in the U.S., Hain could double the number of items imported from the Canadian range including delving into other categories such as sun care.