Attracting the next generation of customers is key –

Do you see any new faces? Your historical customers are aging. Attracting future generations is essential.

The shrinking generation of original natural product buyers is a problem for independents.

During his third-quarter conference call in August, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, returning to lead the company for the third time, reflected, “I would add one more thing that hasn’t come up yet. , and that’s Starbucks’ relevance with young people… One of the metrics for me personally has always been trying to figure out on a yearly basis, is our customer getting older or younger? being in a company where our customer base is aging, and we have a less relevant situation with young people. We have never, in our history, been more relevant than we are today for Gen Z… and loyalty does not just build.

You have little hope of attracting Generation Z to Starbucks, born between 1997 and 2012, the oldest being now 25 years old. But the next older generations: millennials, born from 1980 to 1996, and now in their early 40s; and Generation X, born from 1966 to 1979, and now in their 50s, are ripe candidates for the health products you’ve specialized in for decades.

The pandemic presents the opportunity for a multi-generational expansion of your natural product customer base beyond the founding baby boomers. Indeed, conventional supermarkets have massively increased their wellness programs in response to COVID-related customer demand, adding healthy cooking classes and menus, store tours, self-care initiatives, mental and physical wellness benefits and on-site qualified nursing medical clinics.

This unprecedented increase in wellness marketing in supermarkets has woken up 50 million prime-age American adults and their children who we believe had never considered natural products.

It’s worth remembering: During the early days of the natural products industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when you couldn’t get yogurt in a supermarket, while grocers stores added natural products, sales at nearby independent natural product retailers increase. Natural products in supermarkets have heightened buyers’ desire for personalized nutritional advice and a more complete selection of products, prompting them to seek out specialists in natural products.

Reaching new generations

You have good options beyond social media to reach new customers. Because social media is crowded and expensive if you buy advertising online, other means of communication may be more effective.

Communities that correlate with health include birthing centers; diabetes, weight and diet support groups; exercise, self-help, yoga, tennis, running and cycling clubs; even bereavement counseling groups that need to manage stress. Place your store’s newsletter in your local pharmacy and in your doctor’s office. Many natural product retailers receive recommendations from pharmacists and doctors, including “prescriptions” for products such as CoQ10 for those taking statins. You can also give talks at your local hospital and, let’s not ignore the baby boomers!, at adult homeowners associations. Your store may also sponsor a little league or football team.

Because these analog methods are less “noisy” than the Internet, your message is much more likely to reach some of the millions of newly COVID-sensitive customers who are now keenly interested in natural immunity. Carpe Diem! not a word

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