As the number of New Zealanders making a conscious effort to return to their grassroots increases, so too does demand for products with a natural spin, leading to a 25 percent increase in the organic sector from 2009 to 2012.
Now, the latest product to grace shelves and satisfy the need for everything natural is a manuka oil and fennel based toothpaste.
A far cry from your average toothpaste, Grin Natural toothpaste is breaking into the market and offering increasingly informed consumers with an alternative. And it seems to be tapping into a global trend.
According to Global Industry Analysts, the global market for toothpaste is being driven by population growth and increased awareness of oral hygiene. The research also identified one of the global market drivers being a preference for toothpastes with natural ingredients.
Grin Natural’s marketing manager Tara Tan says Grin noticed the trend and, while the results are not specific to New Zealand, the demand for natural and organic products here is no different.
“It is still very small, and a new market, but we identified the market as having good potential to grow big in the next two years.”
Since its launch in October last year, Grin has gained distribution in over 100 supermarket and health stores nationwide with the stock list expanding daily.
Grin is currently going through the process of having the toothpaste certified as 100 percent natural with an ingredient list including manuka oil, organic sea salt, fennel, methanol and spearmint. The common toothpaste ingredient fluoride fails to make the list.
Grin doesn't add fluoride, believing it can have negative effects on some individuals and young children, but that doesn’t mean it will be taking on fluoride-containing toothpastes. The fluoride debate has raised many arguments with many calling for the public to have a choice—and this is a choice Grin is happy to provide.
“We do not fight against the fluoride-containing toothpaste, what we want to do is offer complimentary oral care options to customers especially for certain groups that need to be more health conscious when choosing products, for example the senior groups and for the ladies who are pregnant.
“Flouride-containing toothpaste is probably not the best option for them so we want to offer them the opportunity to have non-fluoride containing toothpaste that can do an awesome job, as well as the mainstream toothpaste.”
Despite promoting itself as a toothpaste suitable for the whole family, Grin has focused on tapping into the women's market as they are the prominent household shoppers according to Tan. To date advertising has included sponsorship of women’s events, social media campaigns and partnerships with women’s brands.
When Grin launched, with branding developed by DNA, it turned to Kiwi health and wellness bloggers Julia and Libby in an effort to build up its customers. With the sisters' focus on all that nourished the mind, body and soul, Tan says they were “the right people to influence potential New Zealand customers”. The sisters shared Grin with their nearly 50,000 followers on Facebook.
Further attention was sought through a "Black Box" product trial with 1,000 New Zealand women given the toothpaste to try. They were then asked to talk about it on social media, and although risky, Tan says Grin was well received by women, which was positively reflected on social media.
More recently, the toothpaste partnered with New Zealand fashion label Moochi for a campaign to promote natural beauty. Grin displays were set up in Moochi stores and a social media competition took it to wider audience. Tan says the partnership was created to make customers notice Grin and ask about it.
“We encouraged people to take pictures of everyday stuff that could make them Grin and then put on the social media and put on the hashtag ‘#moochixgrin’.”
Hundreds of people sent in pictures with the top eight winning a Fujifilm Instax camera.
In an effort to expand its customer base, Tan says Grin will run a nationwide campaign later this year, following the launch of the 100 percent natural kid’s toothpaste in March.
While the current Grin toothpaste has been promoted as suitable for the whole family, Tan says the kids' toothpaste is a gel format, making it ideal for younger ones who just have baby teeth and safe to swallow.