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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Premium Body Care® – A Worthy Challenge

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.

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102 comments

Comments

Pam says …

I agree with others here, the 365 brand is a good cost affective option.

Angie says …

A worthy challenge indeed! Thanks again.

JS says …

I really like the direction you are leading in body care!

Rory. says …

A worthy challenge indeed! Thanks for your dedication.

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.

Mary says …

I appreciate the effort you are making to bring the standards for body care, up to the other standards in your store!

Melani says …

Would love to see a line of child and baby care products with an affordable price in your premium body care line. I was at Whole Foods yesterday and bought the spendy stuff, but that is tough on the budget. Something in the range of $5.00 a bottle for shampoo or bubble bath rather than $9.00 a bottle would be helpful. Thanks!

says …

Melani, Have you tried out our 365 Everyday Value line? The products in that line are well below your price threshold and meet our Premium Body Care standards!

Kathy Ann Francois says …

Just had surgery on my arms. For the scars and for the skin what is good? I heard Shea butter was good with thyme. What do you recommend? Look forward in hearing back from you soon. Wishing you a pleasant day! kindest regards, Kathy Ann

Bev says …

I really like the 365 body products and I am glad to see many of these are meeting your own standard :)

Kathy says …

I started using your 365 Shampoo about a year ago, and truly appreciate being able to afford the products.

Ann says …

I must say I had never heard of "surfactants" before reading through the support materials here. Good stuff.

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.

Sissy says …

I would like to read more about the 380 products that don't make the list, and how you made the call.

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!

Ilona says …

I read about this last year, thanks for your dedication!

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.

Holly says …

Interesting idea. Are their other organizations which have created their own standards?

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.

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.

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!

Polly says …

I am glad to see you have put so much energy into evaluating these products. Thanks.

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.

Bobbi says …

I makes perfect sense to me, that you all would be the leaders in creating this standard! Thanks for your continued dedication to natural health products!

Michelle says …

P.S. Look up cinnamon and honey for acne and other skin care issues!!!!!!!!!!

Michelle says …

Note: Hey Everybody!!Remember you can use your groceries in your health and beauty care regimens!!Your Olive oil, Coconut oil, Honey, Rose Water, Orange Blossom Water,Club soda, Essences, Essential oils,Milk, Oats,Cucumber,Avacodo,Citrus(juice and oils),Vinegar,Salt,Baking Soda,Corn Starch,Sugar...I could go on and I have only just discovered these things!!!!!Come on Join in the fun,the creativity, the saving, the "going green"!Love it!Try it!Please..Prove it DOES work!!!Tell your friends!

rjr120 says …

I was very happy to come across the reasonably priced 356 prodoucts when Whole Foods opened in my city. The low price finally enabled me to switch from the other stuff. However, the conditioner never really worked for me and, since the reformulation, I must use three times more of the shampoo than with the old formulation. When I use the same amount I always did with the new formlulation my hair was left feeling just as sticky and hard to manage as beore I washed. I would not mind just going though the product three times as fast as before if I could afford to keep buying a large bottle every week. Unfortunately I have had to switch back to my old brand (not a natural product) because I cannot afford to keep bying the 365 so often (it is the same size but it last two to three months vs. one week for 365). If the conditioner can ever be formulated to work then I will use it in a heartbeat, and the same goes for the shampoo! On a positive note, I have used the body lotion and body wash since Whole Foods opned here and love it. Also, Desert Organics makes a GREAT face wash with tea tree and awphui with very resonabbly priced economy refills (I have to buy a refill once a year!). Once the shampoo and conditioner issues are resolved my bath will be both affordable and natrual!

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.

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.

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!

Lisa says …

I provide nutrition council to people and always mention the value of looking at your skin as part of the equation. I applaud your commitment on this front!

Olive says …

Kind of cool you took this initiative. I wonder how it stacks up, but will certainly read more.

Jas says …

Very cool! Nice to see a standard in this area of your stores.

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!

John says …

I understand the need for natural bodycare, the one problem I have is natural shaing cream doesn't work as well. I get it now- the lack of lathering really inhibits a close shave. I know this sounds silly, but recently I was traveling and had to buy a travel size traditional foam shaving cream, it it provided a much closer shave. I have switched back to this for the time being, it smells synthetic but the results are to good to ignore.

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.

Steph says …

Very good! Looking for an affordable sunscreen at your store, perhaps a 365 future product?

says …

@Steph, We don't current have a 365 Everyday Value sunscreen, but we do have several great other brands that we offer in all of our Stores. Call your local WFM for more details on pricing or availability. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/all/index.php Thanks!

Donna says …

Alright!!! Good stuff here, I am a first time listener and glad I found it through a friends blog. Keep it up.

Fiona says …

Thanks for always supporting organic, healthy, good companies and products. I really appreciate it.

Rory says …

Thanks for this post. I see "Natural" labels at ACME food stores now, and can't imagine the products are all they claim.

Andie says …

Good work. Glad to see you moving this forward.

Bobby says …

Glad someone has taken up this charge, thanks for your excellent work.

Ann M says …

Great idea on your part!

Manny says …

I really enjoyed this podcast. I buy many of your 365 brand items and love the fact that I can actually afford them.

Annis says …

I actually teach swimming and have to use a lot of lotion. I use the 365 lotion because it seems to work and is a great price!

Alex says …

A standard for natural products seems to make a lot of sense to me. Not totally sold that one company with products in the market is the best choice, but hey, great effort!

Kelly says …

I see this as a great move towards accountability for people claiming their products are natural. thanks for your work.

Ann K. says …

I have never found any 365 dental care products, perhaps I am just missing them at my store, if not I think it would be great to add to your line.

says …

We do not make a 365 Everyday Value dental care line, but appreciate the suggestion! I'll pass it along to our Exclusive Brands team.

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