What Consumers Really Think of Natural Products Companies
These days, consumers think about much more than what’s inside the packaging when they buy a natural product. They want to know the story behind the brand. Who started it? Who runs it? Where do they source their ingredients? How do they treat their workers? We commissioned a survey that was conducted by Momentive of 2,000 consumers. As it turns out, brands that lead with integrity are highly valued.
Leadership of natural companies matters
For one thing, leadership matters. The survey found that entrepreneurial blood, sweat and tears pay off. Respondents were almost 50% more likely to buy a natural brand if founded by entrepreneurs. Likewise, if a natural company is women-owned or led, 48% of consumers were more likely to purchase its products. But all of this comes with big expectations for how the company is run. If a company is women-owned or led, people perceive it to be inclusive (29%), family-friendly (36%), well run (29%), and that it makes quality products (21%). If the founders choose to sell, however, it could spell a downturn in sales. If a large conglomerate buys a natural brand, one-in-four respondents were less likely to purchase that brand’s products.
Natural companies held to a higher standard
Do consumers think differently about natural companies than they do about conventional brands? In a word, “yes.” The research showed that almost one-third (31%) of respondents believe a natural brand is more trustworthy than a conventional brand. At the same time, only about one-in-ten think a conventional brand is much more trustworthy. A majority (61%) will hold natural products companies to a higher standard than conventional brands in terms of product quality, company mission, and sustainability.
In terms of expectations, the survey revealed that consumers expect more from a natural products company in all categories measured:
- 38% expect a natural products company to be inclusive, while 30% expect this from a conventional company
- 57% expect natural products companies to treat its employees well, while 49% expect this from a conventional company
- 70% expect natural products companies to be transparent about sourcing and ingredients, while 46% expect this from a conventional company
- 44% expect natural products companies to support the community or a greater cause, while 33% expect this from a conventional company
- 62% expect natural products companies to make high-quality products, while 49% expect this from a conventional company
What does it mean in regards to funding?
The natural products industry has its own unique needs and obstacles, which include product seasonality, big POs to fulfill, and – as the results of this survey revealed – big expectations to live up to. In order to have the working capital to meet these demands, natural products companies require flexibility, speed, and a financing partner who understands the industry. When it comes down to it, along with those big expectations come big opportunities to gain loyal customers by positively impacting people and the planet.