The Natural Shopper


“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate,” wrote Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Havas Media in TechCrunch, March 2015. 

What does this mean for the natural retailer?

I had the pleasure of attending a lecture at the NACDS (National Association of Chain Drug Stores) of Wendy Leibmann, CEO and Chief Shopper of W/SL Insights, Retail Solutions, Innovative Solutions.  I learned that the American dream has changed and it’s changing the way we shop.

According to a WSL survey, “How America Shops® MegaTrends The America Dream Re-Mixed,” 40% of shoppers realized they “don’t need all this stuff.” Two or three brands are “good enough.”

So, what does the consumer want instead? Experience. After owning a home and paying off debt, the average American’s highest priority is having the means to dine out at least once a week.

According to Ms. Leibmann, today’s consumer is more interested in the good life than good stuff.  Successful retailers have to go beyond “easy” and give consumers “anyway they want it.”  When addressing the consumer you have to go beyond personalization and address the many “me’s” that consumers are.

Today’s shopper wants you to be what she needs, when she needs it, how she wants it.

This morning she was a mother. This afternoon she is an executive. Tonight she will be a wife. Tomorrow she will be a daughter.  On Fridays, she’s a foodie. Saturday, she’s a yogi. On Sundays, she travels.  As a retailer, you need to cater to whoever she may be this minute.

Well-being is on her list. The number one obstacle to good health is too much stress. The demand for health has doubled since 2011.

The well-being customer is looking for natural help to look and feel healthy.

According to the WSL survey “How America Shops® The Wellness Uprising” feeling and looking healthy means different things to different people.  Consumer define healthy lifestyle as balance, here are their other descriptions:

  • Being rested: 76%
  • Able to move easily: 73%
  • Being at the right weight: 70%
  • Having glowing/soft skin: 46%
  • Having shiny hair: 42%
  • Looking good in clothes: 38%
  • Having bright eyes: 38%
  • Having strong nails: 34%
  • Having white teeth: 33%

Who’s succeeding in this retail environment? You can. Just be available, provide value, make it easy,   personalize it, have fun and offer happiness.

For more insights on retailing, I would recommend the presentations and exhibits at NACDS.

In addition to giving retailers advice, NACDS is also chockfilled with insights for manufacturers. As Ms. Leibmann pointed out, healthy lifestyle is on consumer agendas.

Here are the top three trends I spotted.


There were more products claiming to help protect different body parts.

For hearing, Pluggerz offers customizable ear plugs for different noises and purposes.

H2Ocean uses sea salt in oral care, nasal care and skin care to help prevent infections.

Bee Bald provides SPF protection for bald heads.

True Gear iShield Anti-Reflective Lenses spare your eyes from computer glare.



The makers of Biofreeze® Pain Reliever created Perform® Atomic Heat™, a new topical formula used for warming the body prior to physical activity, and for relieving muscle, joint and arthritis pain.

Good To Go offers a gentle way to relieve constipation.

ProFoot protects your feet from pain.



The Female Health Company’s FC2 female condom give women dual protection so they can have more fun in bed.

Jidue, a massaging mask, is made to help you sleep deeper and wake looking better.



Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm.  Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives.  A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at  You may also visit
Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 9/22/15


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