The Economics of Going Natural: Why Organic Products Matter

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Oct. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Oct. 18, 2017 – Global Market Development Center (GMDC), an association that connects its members to advance innovation in the marketplace, examines the drivers of the growing natural and organic products industry and how retailers and manufacturers can help consumers on their quest for living healthier lives in its latest industry research.

 Today’s consumer is making smarter purchasing decisions as it relates to potential dangers to their health and wellness. They read labels consistently and want brands to be fully transparent with ingredients, where the product was made, and how it was manufactured or grown. And while they continue to pursue medical support inside brick and mortar, they are also self-advocates. In support of this advocacy, many doctors encourage patients to educate themselves and invest in products that can improve their overall health and wellness. This places the role of suppliers at the forefront of retail opportunity.

 “Today’s consumer is educated and motivated. They see themselves as a partner with their family physician, with their pharmacist, and with their grocer,” said Karen Page, national sales manager, Penn Herb Company. “They see that all of those roles play a part in keeping their ship not only afloat, but on course and ahead of the storm.” As a partner in the journey to better health, natural and organic manufacturers are reformulating their products, removing the questionable ingredients and replacing them with safer alternatives. They are also taking a deeper look into the trends for mental and physical health and wellness.

 Many of the health problems attributed to food products are finding their narratives encroaching on the health, beauty, and wellness industry. As consumers aspire to eat healthier and exercise more, they are also cognizant of the personal care products they use daily including lotion, toothpastes and detergents. No longer can the name-brand industry count on loyalty while ignoring demands that their ingredients and manufacturing practices be aligned with consumer values.

 “The proactive, 21st century grocery store plays a key role in the decision-making of healthy shoppers, and even more so as they continue to seek natural and organic health, beauty, and wellness nonfoods. The store that offers healthful food offerings and expertise to better living for the community it serves, is at the heart of the consumer welfare – the source of everyday sustenance, self care, and home-keeping.” said GMDC’s Director of Research, Industry Insights & Communications, Mark Mechelse.

Economics of Natural

General grocery retailers should expect to see a 2.3 percent share point loss by 2019 if they allow specialty retailers to continue to drive a firmer grip on natural and organic products. That loss is not insignificant in a $3.4 trillion global wellness market. It is clear that natural/organic products are in demand, and not just in the food industry.

Curated Options – One Shelf

By offering consumers choices that are right for the demographics that surround the local store, retailers have a tremendous opportunity to be “authentic” and “trusted” for the surrounding community. New approaches and mix strategies in the aisles must not be a “one size fits all”. To improve health and safety, retailers must partner with their healthcare providers in order to create a customized selection for their neighborhood grocery store. “The more aware that shoppers become of the impacts their personal products have on their health, the more strategic their consumer habits become.” Kristen Crockett, category manager of supplements, Kroger.

Next Practices

GMDC offers next practices for manufacturers and retailers as they strive to help shoppers live healthier lives.

  • Provide full scope of natural and organic options – wellness-minded stores like Kroger are strategically placing natural and proactive products next to their conventional ones, enabling customers to evaluate all options
  • Become a partner – educate and inform patrons of their options
  • Try before buying – offer product in-store sampling. Let the shoppers “feel” the difference, not just tell them about it.
  • Think like a consumer, but act like a provider – know what consumers know, understand global and act local

For additional details and next practices, download the executive summary at: Partners and insights whose contributions have made the report possible include Olbas Herbal Remedies, Acosta, Nielsen, Advantage Solutions, Rodale and Edgewood Consulting Group.

About GMDC

Global Market Development Center (GMDC) energizes members and the marketplace by advancing a culture of Connect-Collaborate-Create-Commerce. As the leading GM and HBW trade association, GMDC is dedicated to serving its ecosystem of more than 600 General Merchandise and Health Beauty Wellness retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and service/solution member companies by enabling consumer-facing innovation and retail reimagined. GMDC’s combined member volume represents more than 125,000 retail outlets and more than $500 billion in sales. To learn more, visit


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

CONTACT: Todd Smith
Deane | Smith

Mark Mechelse
Global Market Development Center

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