Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Positive Changes for the Industry, for Everyone

By Chris Jensen, April 25, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Chris Jensen
In part 3 of this three-part series on our Premium Body Care® standard at Whole Foods Market®, we’re looking at how these standards raise the bar for the natural body care industry as a whole. Prairie Rose Hyde is co-founder and formulator of Alaffia, a sustainable skin care company based on handcrafted, fair trade shea butter. Alaffia is a shining example of both Premium Body Care® standards and the commitment to Whole Trade™ at Whole Foods Market.

Alaffia uses local resources and supports local communities as it provides some of the highest quality body care products in the world.  Alaffia was one of the earliest companies to meet Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® standards.
  • The primary impact of Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® standards on Alaffia has been to validate their own internal standards. Alaffia was fortunate in that their ingredient choices met the standards with very few formulation changes.
  • However, the standards, because they come from Whole Foods Market, do strengthen and broaden the credibility of the ingredient choices made with customers and the community.
The Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care® standards create two main challenges for Alaffia:
  • First, Alaffia is not a large company so it doesn’t have the leverage to “encourage” ingredient manufacturers to offer cleaner ingredients at a sustainable price.
  • Second, it is a challenge, although a satisfying one, to formulate scents that are attractive to customers using the natural options that meet the premium standard.
Will the Premium Body Care® standards create more competition for Alaffia products as more companies move to meet the standard? Or does meeting the standards act as more of a differentiator for the brand?
  • While competition may increase, the opportunities and benefits increase as well.
  • As consumers demand higher quality products and cleaner ingredients, the demand on ingredient suppliers and manufactures goes up. This means these ingredients become more available, and more affordable.
  • At the same time, the more companies that use safer ingredients, the better off are our communities. People are not exposed to as many harmful ingredients. The environment benefits as fewer harmful chemicals are washed down drains and into our water supplies.
  • So while there is going to be more competition, the benefits outweigh them.
What is the most tangible positive effect Alaffia has seen from introduction of the Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® standards?
  • The most tangible is at the store level. Whole Foods Market team members recognize and remember Alaffia products.
  • Furthermore, the Premium Body Care® standards help customers and reassure them that they are getting skin care that is safe for themselves, their families and their environment.




Jena says ...
Love Alaffia!!! found this podcast searching for them via google, very cool.
05/04/2010 9:07:52 AM CDT
Cindy says ...
Thanks Whole Foods, I really enjoyed this podcast and will check out this company if it is in your stores.
05/03/2010 4:50:38 PM CDT
Mel says ...
I tried some of Alaffia products out in your store and ended up buying some! Thanks for pushing this cause!
05/10/2010 10:25:57 AM CDT
Sven says ...
I'll have to check out this product, I don't believe I have seen it before.
04/28/2010 9:43:49 AM CDT
Rochelle says ...
Happy to learn about companies like this one that commit to quality despite the added expenses involved.
04/29/2010 12:56:35 PM CDT
Kiva says ...
I'll have to dig into this company and find out more about them, where they are located etc. I assume most of your stores carry their products!
04/29/2010 12:57:54 PM CDT
nelly says ...
Please do support these companies Whole Foods. I know their lack of buying power will make it more difficult to reach high standards and still be competitive, like the 365 brands.
04/29/2010 1:02:09 PM CDT
Bev says ...
Alaffia is a great great company! I encourage any reader to go and check out their products, and their sourcing and company values.
04/29/2010 1:05:25 PM CDT
Gloria says ...
I believe in supporting companies like this by voting with my dollars. I am really impressed that your stores are supporting Alaffia!
04/29/2010 1:07:12 PM CDT
Tracy says ...
Positive Change indeed! Hard to believe USDA doesn't have more sway over product branding/labeling. I know they have Organic standards, but surprised not other guidelines for "natural" labeling.
04/29/2010 1:20:57 PM CDT
Felicia says ...
I am very aware of the Alaffia brand. I am happy to see a solid company like this getting some coverage and feature space from your blog. Thanks for keep the dream alive.
04/29/2010 1:30:37 PM CDT
Jill says ...
Making safe products accessible is one of the greatest service a store like yours can provide. For that I appreciate the 365 line, and just ask that you explore more kid products which to are affordable.
04/29/2010 1:34:50 PM CDT
Manny says ...
Your stores always provide me access to products I just can't find anywhere else, both consumables and body care. Thanks for being a tremendous health resource.
04/29/2010 1:49:36 PM CDT
Pierre says ...
Good stuff, another good podcast!
04/29/2010 2:02:01 PM CDT
milinda neusaenger says ...
The "Everday Shea" products from Alaffia are absolutely incredible!
04/29/2010 2:04:28 PM CDT
Eve says ...
I'm with Melinda- Great products from this great company, support them people!!!
04/29/2010 2:06:34 PM CDT
Debbie says ...
I'm obviously not sure how many of you have used Shea products. Fantastic stuff- Alaffia works great on faces!
04/30/2010 6:30:15 AM CDT
Karen says ...
It sure is nice to see a small company like Alaffia getting support from their biggest distributor. In a the previous podcast you asked us to help make a change by demanding more from companies, but your influence is much more direct, thanks for flexing your muscles the right way!
04/30/2010 8:02:23 AM CDT
Sue W. says ...
I enjoyed this series, it is important to consier what goes on the body just as much as what goes in the body!
04/30/2010 8:42:20 AM CDT
Chris says ...
My girl friend turned my onto this company, and we both are so impressed with the great work they do. Glad to see you giving them some air time!
04/30/2010 9:36:33 AM CDT
Nan says ...
Very cool. Good job WF supporting a company like this!
04/30/2010 1:23:43 PM CDT
Sally says ...
Excellent podcast, even better the mission behind the podcast!
04/30/2010 1:50:41 PM CDT
Delaney says ...
We use shea butter a lot in our climate so I will look into this particular source.
05/03/2010 11:12:41 AM CDT
Zia says ...
My friend turned me onto this part of your website. It is a nice extension of your store and values, and I am pleased to see the good work you are doing to support body care standards!
05/03/2010 11:44:17 AM CDT
Jenny says ...
I checked out Alaffia, you have to love a company that hardly even mentions their product in their website. It looks like they are doing amazing work around the world!
05/03/2010 5:14:42 PM CDT