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Grocery retailer Whole Foods targets personal care consumers

By Deanna Utroske

19-Mar-2015
Last updated on 19-Mar-2015 at 14:54 GMT2015-03-19T14:54:26Z

limited edition Hello, Beauty! bag sold as part of Whole Foods Market’s first-ever Beauty Week (photo courtesy of Business Wire)
limited edition Hello, Beauty! bag sold as part of Whole Foods Market’s first-ever Beauty Week (photo courtesy of Business Wire)

The Beauty Week promotion, which got underway on Wednesday, will acquaint existing customers with Whole Foods’ personal care portfolio and attract prospective new shoppers to the store as well.

Mass market retailers often innovate and experiment in the personal care space to invite consumer attention in drugstores and supermarkets with shelves full of diversions.

The seven-day Whole Foods event lets the retailer engage directly with consumers during live activities and build on that relationship with discounts and an available limited edition beauty bag.

“Whole Body departments will host events, classes, demonstrations and promotions to inform shoppers about Whole Foods Market’s large selection of quality personal care products and cosmetics that support healthy people and a healthy planet,” noted the company’s media release.

Shopping in real life
Early this year the Women’s Marketing shared the smartest trends for reaching women consumers. And, the agency noted that women prefer in-store opportunities to try products and are just as likely, if not more so, to discover and purchase beauty items through conventional channels rather than online.

“We see she is open to making online purchases, but still feels most comfortable testing her beauty products in-store before settling on the perfect products. 65% of those online have never made a digital beauty purchase,” the agency told Cosmetics Design.

That same shopper “relies on magazines to keep her up-to-date, and spends significant time listening to the radio and surfing the web,” according to Women’s Marketing.

Defining organic
The retailer has stepped in to bridge what some consumers would describe as a gap between brand transparency and their own expectations around ingredients.

Starting from the premise “that the definition of ‘organic’ should not change substantially between the food and the non-food aisles of stores,” Whole Foods instated a four-tier guideline for the organic personal care products it carries.

“Organic” items comprise a minimum 95% organic ingredients and certification from the USDA National Organic Standard. “Made with organic” products comprise a minimum 70% organic ingredients and hold the same USDA certification. “Contains organic” products also comprise a minimum 70% organic ingredients and are certified to the NSF/ANSI 305 standard. Organic beauty and personal care items sold at Whole Foods fall into one of those three categories, otherwise “no other use of the word 'organic' will be allowed on the packaging,” according to the company’s blog post about the standard.

Organic growth
Whole Foods also has in-house benchmarks for baseline and premium personal care items regardless of their organic standing. The company attributes its success in the beauty space to these standards and aims to expand on that during the Beauty Week event. 

“Our beauty department is really growing at Whole Foods Market and we’re excited to spotlight new products and showcase customer favorites in our stores this week,” said Maren Giuliano, executive global Whole Body coordinator in the release.

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