Fair Trade Sourcing: Organic Mint
Servicing the triple bottom line by benefiting farmers, consumers and
Daemmon Reeve, Earthoil Plantations Ltd., with an introduction from Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
VOL. 34 DECEMBER 2009
According to a new Natural Marketing Institute (NMI; www.nmisolutions.com) report, when it comes to the triple bottom line concept—people,
planet and profit—consumers have turned against
the “‘whatever the cost’ strategy” of previous years in
favor of the first two pillars. “[C]onsumers clearly want
more focus on the social and environmental legs of the
stool, while profit takes a back seat,” the report notes.
“Whereby this result might be expected, it points out
the need for responsible capitalism.” NMI adds that,
far from being anti-profit, the financial opportunities
are significant, estimating that the market for lifestyles
of health and sustainability (commonly referred to as
LOHAS) is about $209 billion and growing rapidly.
The renewed focus identified by the report
encompasses social issues, employee workplace and environmental initiatives in the service of increased profits.
NMI found that social issues somewhat trumped those of
the environment, which strategically positions products
made with fair trade and socially responsible ingredients.
Such human-resource focused programs are extremely
marketable, NMI found, making them an obvious opportunity for clients in the flavor and fragrance industry.
Here, author Daemmon Reeve provides a case in
point—fair trade organic mint oils.
—Jeb Gleason-Allured, Editor
Behind every product lies a story. But no matter how
prettily it is packaged, the story will fall on deaf ears if
it is not the one that people want to hear. Clearly, success depends on how well the product tells its story, and
whether or not it resonates with the consumer. Organic
and fair trade markets provide the perfect platform for
storytelling; consumer trends in recent years prove that
these are the types of stories the world wants to hear.
With appeal and applications in a cross section of industries—from confectionery to cosmetics—organic mint oils
are a case in point.
Today, the global health and wellness trend is
ingrained in the consumer products industry, putting
natural flavors and fragrances in great demand. Similarly,
in recent years, the industry has witnessed a merging
of natural, organic, eco and luxury concepts within the
personal care sector. Consumers have come to expect
more from their purchase, seeking out multiple benefits including those with psychological, functional and
sensory attributes. Manufacturers are now being encouraged from all angles to alter their attitude and behavior
towards the planet and its inhabitants; a clear shift in
consciousness has occurred. As a result, the provenance
of raw ingredients has become as instrumental as any of
these factors, thus promising a bright future for organic
and fair trade essential oils.
Ingredients in Personal Care
For centuries, mint has been used for medicinal and
culinary purposes. Renowned for its antiseptic and cooling properties, the herb is currently among those being
swept up in the avant-garde use of botanical blends in
the wellness and personal care arena. Higher hygiene
standards have generated sales of nature-inspired mouth-washes and toothpastes formulated from medicinal roots
such as cinnamon and spearmint. Studies suggest that
71% of British consumers use mints or gum to freshen
their breath, and 30% to cleanse the pallet.* Likewise,
the US market for mint flavored gum has shown a
steady growth in recent years, and is considered a highly
competitive and dynamic segment, especially due to the
rising demand for sugarless options.