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.