Whole Story

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.