Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Premium Body Care® – A Worthy Challenge

By Chris Jensen, April 6, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Chris Jensen
At Whole Foods Market® we are proud of the years of work we’ve put into developing our Premium Body Care® standards. In this first installment of a 3-part podcast series, Lecia Rand, category manager for Whole Foods Market™ and 365 Everyday Value® brand supplements and body care, talks about these top-tier standards which took years to develop and continue to be a worthy work in progress.

A quick summary of what Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® standards:
  • Whole Foods Market developed our Premium Body Care® standards to help define what “natural” really means in body care products.
  • There are a lot of products that claim to be natural, but there is no regulatory standard for making that claim.
  • Our experts spent years examining ingredients according to the strictest criteria for safety, efficacy and impact on the environment.
  • They have found more than 380 ingredients that do not meet our standard.
Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® standards have already had a significant effect on raising the bar in the natural body care industry.  What are some of the obstacles that mount when trying to create clean body care products?
  • We recently reformulated most of our 365 Everyday Value® body care to meet our Premium Body Care® standards. We made that change and kept our prices at an affordable level, which was the biggest challenge.
  • 365 Everyday Value® shampoos and shower gels are made primarily with surfactants, ingredients that make them lather are difficult to make to meet our Premium Body Care® standards. This is because our Premium Body Care® standards only allow the gentlest lathering agents.
  • These ingredients are more expensive and though they clean just as effectively, lather a bit differently – a challenge for formulation.
  • 365 Everyday Value® lotions cannot use ingredients like polyethylene glycol or other ingredients derived primarily from petroleum.
  • Alternatives to the ingredients in lotions are also more expensive.
Which Whole foods Market Exclusive Brand products meet our Premium Body Care® standards as of March 2010?
  • 365 Everyday Value® shampoos, conditioners and shower gels with wonderful scents like lavender and fresh mint.
  • Whole Foods Market™ USDA Organic Castile soaps that are rich-lathering, all purpose liquid soaps for bath and household use.
  • A line of Whole Foods Market™ lip balms made with organic oils that will soon be USDA organic.
  • Whole Foods Market™ organic bar soaps made in France.
A foundational aspect to our Premium Body Care® standards is the fact that “the homework never stops", meaning that as new science emerges, and as more products are created or reformulated to meet the standards, the work continues to evolve.  What will be challenges – and successes – that will emerge in the future?
  • Whole Foods Market will work closely with our vendors to find new and unique ingredients that meet the premium body care standard.
  • We hope to see more choices for ingredients that are effective and safe as our standard helps to shape the market for these products.
We are seeing new opportunities for natural scents that meet the strict Premium Body Care® standards for natural yet also offer more choices than some of the more basic essential oils.




Sean McVey says ...
This is great! I was starting to get sick of every single product on the shelf being labeled natural. It's good to know there are defined measurements to stack up against. Thanks for the post!
04/06/2010 8:58:27 AM CDT
Ilona says ...
I read about this last year, thanks for your dedication!
04/06/2010 4:03:36 PM CDT
Mani says ...
So are all of the 365 bodycare brands Premium by your standards? If so it is great that you can provide lotion and shampoo and such at such a great price. Almost to good to be true.
04/06/2010 7:41:13 PM CDT
Holly says ...
Interesting idea. Are their other organizations which have created their own standards?
04/06/2010 7:50:19 PM CDT
Leigh says ...
Thanks for the post, and more importantly the work creating some type of standards. It seems like every product at every store is starting to be labeled Organic, or natural.
04/06/2010 7:53:18 PM CDT
Bev says ...
I really like the 365 body products and I am glad to see many of these are meeting your own standard :)
04/06/2010 8:05:32 PM CDT
Kathy says ...
I started using your 365 Shampoo about a year ago, and truly appreciate being able to afford the products.
04/06/2010 8:10:17 PM CDT
Ann says ...
I must say I had never heard of "surfactants" before reading through the support materials here. Good stuff.
04/06/2010 8:11:49 PM CDT
Tina says ...
I noticed a few of these products don't lather as much as I am use to, but now knowing why I appreciate the process.
04/06/2010 8:14:17 PM CDT
Sissy says ...
I would like to read more about the 380 products that don't make the list, and how you made the call.
04/06/2010 8:23:54 PM CDT
JS says ...
I really like the direction you are leading in body care!
04/07/2010 7:30:45 AM CDT
Rory. says ...
A worthy challenge indeed! Thanks for your dedication.
04/07/2010 8:32:14 AM CDT
Carrie says ...
I have always been curious if companies can just put "natural" on a label. I believe that their are national standards for Organic labeling, glad to see you have created your own.
04/07/2010 10:04:52 AM CDT
Abby says ...
It is interesting that you created this standard, yet only recently moved to have your products match "the standard". Sounds a bit strategic to me. You carry so many great body care products that have long been dedicated to excellence, please don't push these off your shelves.
04/07/2010 10:11:38 AM CDT
Gina says ...
I really like the 365 body products, mostly because I can afford them :) Glad to hear they are made with good quality ingredients, I always wondered about that prior.
04/07/2010 10:18:36 AM CDT
Joe says ...
I buy the 365 shampoo and shower gel for our house. It saves a lot, because my girlfriend would normally buy products that are 2x's as much. I really like the smell and feel of the gel!
04/07/2010 10:46:33 AM CDT
Olive says ...
Kind of cool you took this initiative. I wonder how it stacks up, but will certainly read more.
04/07/2010 11:01:50 AM CDT
Jas says ...
Very cool! Nice to see a standard in this area of your stores.
04/07/2010 11:06:36 AM CDT
Nan says ...
I still have a HUGE 365 Lotion bottle I think I bought over a year ago. The best part, I love the lotion and I think it cost about $5!
04/07/2010 7:32:51 PM CDT
Dee says ...
I really do like your products, as well many of the other great products you carry in your stores. I do like the price on the 365 line! Keep it up.
04/08/2010 6:01:41 AM CDT
Val says ...
all to often we forget our skin is the largest organ in the body, and to conduit directly into the body- be weary what you put on your skin!
04/08/2010 7:36:11 AM CDT
Polly says ...
I am glad to see you have put so much energy into evaluating these products. Thanks.
04/08/2010 7:40:47 AM CDT
Andria says ...
I'll have to go to your stores and see what products have made your cut. Some I know and believe to be great, regardless of a "standard" being applied.
04/08/2010 7:49:22 AM CDT
Russ says ...
I dig the 365 shampoo and really haven't tried other stuff from that line, but will. It would be cool to se more 365 men's products.
04/08/2010 7:59:54 AM CDT
Steph says ...
Very good! Looking for an affordable sunscreen at your store, perhaps a 365 future product?
04/08/2010 8:08:40 AM CDT