Just within the first few moments of becoming a mother, my entire being irrationally shifted into a pervasive need to protect my baby in every way possible. My daughter’s arrival into the world left me desperate to preserve her pureness and keep her safe.
Before kids, I did not invest in buying organic foods and I most certainly didn’t think about the ingredients in my personal care products. For the most part, I ate what I believed to be a healthy and balanced diet and would hit the gym regularly. After kids, my kitchen is stocked with organic foods and my personal care products lean toward the natural or naturally based. As for the gym…I’m working on finding the time.
For me, it was the reality of being responsible for the health and wellbeing of someone else that created a purchasing pattern of “just to be safe.” Are organic foods actually worth the added cost? Maybe not, but just to be safe, that’s what I will opt for now that I’m a mom. Is that smart, logical and rationale? I’ve done the research and I still don’t know, but it is my reality.
As a millennial mom, I’m not alone. In fact, according to a recent survey from Baby Center, for 77% of us, safety is the most important factor when making everyday purchases. Forty-five percent say natural/wholesome ingredients are important criteria when making everyday purchases. Additionally, millennial moms report a shift in purchasing criteria for food/groceries (63%), cleaning products/detergents (53%) and personal care/cosmetics (48%).
Celebrity mom, Jessica Alba, created an entire company – The Honest Company – featuring non-toxic products for baby and home “to help moms and give all children a better, safer start.” And Jessica is not the only one. Other celebrity moms such as Miranda Kerr (KORA Organics), Katie Holmes (Alterna Haircare) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Goop by Juicy Beauty) have also launched or are aligned with natural or organic beauty products.
A recent survey commissioned by Kari Gran and conducted by Harris, found that 40% of the woman polled intend to increase their spend for all-natural beauty products and 63% of millennials noted it was important their skin care product purchases are all natural. The survey also found that millennials are the most likely to spend more on all-natural beauty products in the next two years, with half of them claiming they will.
Motherhood or not, the demand for natural and organic food has seeped into the personal care, home and beauty categories. Activist organizations such the Environmental Working Group and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are continuously flagging ingredients of concern and moms are listening. Whether or not we can fully verify many of the calls to action, these organizations plant seeds of doubt. All of sudden retinyl palmitate otherwise known as Vitamin A (an antioxidant no less) becomes scary. We are told to avoid parabins even though the FDA says that there is no need to worry and they are preservatives that protect products against microbial growth and maintain product integrity. For all intents and purposes, these ingredients are likely not an issue and taken out of context lead to fear mongering. But once those seeds of doubt are planted, many moms, including myself start to avoid these potentially harmful (likely safe) ingredients “just to be safe.”
So what does this mean for brands “just to be safe?”
- Innovate to deliver quality naturally-based products with an accessible price point. Consumers are reading those labels, seeking ingredient transparency and most importantly want to be assured the products they use are safe and effective.
- Prepare a comprehensive issues and crisis defense plan. Standby the safety and efficacy of your products and ingredients and share this information with your consumers.
- Launch new products using names the evoke safety. Pure Sun Defense and Babyganics are good examples.
- Copy, learn from or acquire smaller brands that are winning with millennial moms. A recent study released by Goldman Sachs reports these smaller brands are winning with millennial moms because they are able to provide a customized experience around the product.