I get asked this question on a regular basis, most recently on our instagram page where someone quite rightly commented;
'I was wondering why organic products are more expensive. I feel like more people would buy them if they were cheaper'
This is such a valid question. Why on earth are things that are meant to be better for us more expensive than everything else? Logically, wouldn't it make sense for them to be cheaper?
I used to think exactly the same thing, that organic was only for the middle class and for those who have the means to frivolously purchase this in thing called organic.
That was before I realised that organic was infinitely better for us, and for the planet, than something synthetic.
Organic isn't a trend, it isn't a fad it's here to stay and I can only see the demand for an organic, and natural, product increasing as our understanding of not only our internal health but also our skin, hair, oral health and the health of our wonderful Planet expands as well.
Yay to science eh?
Organic food is quickly becoming more available in mainstream supermarkets such as Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose (because you know, middle classes with expendable cash and all that... :)
Goodness even Aldi (because who doesn't love Aldi??) and Lidl have got a slice of the Organic action going on. Organic eggs from Aldi anyone?? what a revelation eh?
But, Organic and Natural dental care, skincare and hair care - from here on in in this blog I shall collectively call it, cosmetics - are massively misunderstood due to little to no regulation on the terms being used correctly, ethically and honestly.
The terms pure, green and clean are thrown around like champers at a wedding making it very difficult for the consumer to make any sort of judgement as to what really is clean, green and pure unless they have knowledge of INCI lists. (the ingredients list on the back of the product)
Especially when there is such a huge price difference too!
From a consumers perspective (ie you, me and the average Jo on the street just happily trying to buy an organic toothpaste down the shop) if there are two separate products with the same claims and one is £5 but the other is £20 we'd nearly always go with the cheaper one right? then we would think that the more expensive one is just a brand trying to make more money and being 'greedy'.
So, let me just list a few reasons as to why an organic cosmetic is often (if it's a true clean, green and pure product) more expensive than a synthetic version;
- an organic ingredient is sometimes 20 times+ more expensive than a synthetic ingredient
- an organic product or brand is usually started by the small guys like me who cannot afford to manufacture in the massive quantities that are required to get the best price. This is for ingredients and packaging. Minimum order quantities are usually around 5000 units and this will only get you on the lower end of the ladder with price. You need to be manufacturing and processing at least 20k to 50k of just one product to get one of the best manufacturing prices possible
- synthetic ingredients are made in a lab, much easier to get hold of than an organic ingredient, which sometimes, sourcing of said organic ingredient can become difficult especially in the current 'global climate' as crops are decimated by flooding, sun exposure, drought and storms. This pushes ingredient prices up and availability down
- an organic product is often certified by COSMO's, certified vegan, certified cruelty free, approved by PETA, certified halal and then some. Think certifications galore. This all costs a lot of money and time, a hell of a lot of money and time. They don't just hand out these certifications willy nilly
- an organic product is usually packaged in the most sustainable packaging possible. Or the most cutting edge if the brand want to upscale quickly and make a name for themselves. Think bioplastics, grass paper boxes and coloured thick glass. All made to stand out from the crowd and be a sustainable market leader. A vision for the future, a lifestyle and ethos. Not a 'I want to make money quick' product.
- shareholders often don't mean much to an organic brand, they've been started as part of an ethos, a need to make the best, most effective product whilst also helping educate their customer - allowing them to make informed choices to better the world. Shareholders are the big guys problem, they want cheap products that make the most money and margins possible.
- Most organic and natural brands I know make very little 'margins' from their product given that if they are in store, they need to offer at least a 50% margin to the retailer that's before all the freebies, point of sale items, leaflets, training, demos, regular discounts and testers that are given as well
- It's known to some that we are going to be launching our first toothpaste next year. Kinda obvious seeing as we are a dental brand really. It's been in research, development and testing phase for 20 months. We will be keeping the price as low as possible but because of that, we will be massively hit on margins. Organic and natural brands always are, because we try to keep our products as low as we can, so that when people ask, why are you more expensive than colgate that I can get in the pound shop, we can hold our head up high and say we kept it as low as we could
The question we should all be asking, after actually looking at the fillers, the polymers (plastic) and the padding ingredients in massive brands like Clarins, Chanel, Rimmel, Bobby Brown, Tony and Guy (for Haircare) etc etc (there are so so many) why are they so bloody expensive when they've made their product for 20p?
I've always gone by the rule of 'you get what you pay for', but as you can tell from the above, it isn't always as simple as that so a new rule of thumb for us all should perhaps be 'if it's so cheap, what's the catch?'
Mmm... I think my next blog should be 'what to look out for in a natural and organic brand' just to follow on from here ...such, a, massive, topic!