Miruna Codeanu

Organic is just another niche

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2013 at 6:13 am

Organic and bio are niches in a market that respond to a market segment’s need or availability to pay more on a product labeled as organic/bio/ecoculture.

Here’s why:

(source: Forbes )

Most bio/organic/ecoculture brands started as independent family businesses. Later on acquired by corporations most of bio brands are now part of huge corporate portfolios.  Companies accused of using GMO’s in their products own brands labeled as organic and bio. GMO’s target a certain population segment while bio brands another segment. You can tell by the pricing policies.

Bio/Organic/Ecoculture is a marketing positioning yet to be disputed. There are some internationally recognized organism that can authorize the use of their certificates, however the rules are still imprecise and used quite manipulatively.  Though (might have been) developed from an inner desire to serve the common health, now just a part of a broad portfolio, Eco brands have their own target just like any other brand.

Let’s talk cosmetics. The cosmetic industry is probably the second domain after food to abuse the use of “organic/bio/ecoculture”. Cosmetics with formulas so safe that you can eat them, are actually now rising as “safe to eat cosmetics” but before that they were labeled as “bio/eco/organic” although most of supermarket brands just use some bio/organic extract. What happens in the cosmetic industry  The same. Former independently owned brands such Body Shop, Burt’s bees now belong to world wide cosmetic giant L’Oreal and the list can go and on.

Cosmetics and food are two of the domains I know about and happen to be the two where the green label is rapidly gaining territory. Sure, the green label can be applied to some other products such as detergents, baby products but foods and cosmetics are registering the biggest growth for the time being.

However, consumers and marketers might have the tendency to regard green products as something different and maybe this where the independent manufacturers fail. They think they are better, they think they are making some unique product that will revolutionize the world. Sure, that is good to believe when you are starting a business and it is good that they do. I do that too when I imagine how I’d design some unique X that will blow all the minds away. The belief alone is enough to support some growth, enough to make the business appealing to a corporation. And then comes the corporation and shows them how they can treat the bio segment like any other segment and market products to them as such and how their bio/eco brand is just another brand in their huge portfolio. This is not something to blame corporations for, this is the moment when you should watch and learn from corporations.

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