Re-duce Re-use

+ Market Overview

How The Category Evolved:

The natural alternative health category began its rise in the early 90's. The rising tide created double digit growth throughout the nineties. The category began to see the first signs of maturing and a flattening of sales in the late 90's-early 2000 and growth has been marginal the last 5 years.

The reason for this explosive growth is due to a number of merging dynamics.

1. The early adopters of the "fringe-alternative lifestyles of the 60's" (now called the Cultural Creatives) was mushrooming to be a new legitimate critical mass driven by a new code of consumer ethics and personal guiding principles. This group is a vote- with- your- dollar group and has significantly influenced cultural changes and other demographic groups.

2. Growing dissatifaction/mistrust with status quo healthcare, natural , less invasive health modality provided the only reasonable alternative.

3. Media played a significant iimpact on its growing acceptance (but also has played a role in more recent times in impacting its credibility.

4. The Cultural Creatives' influence on the "conformist-mass" consumer (a staunch believer in the "system").
These conformist consumers are older and difficult to change their value systems, yet they have slowly absorbed the vocabulary of alternative health solutions and participates in most of the product classes.

This group is the mass consumer yet has been influenced with what previously they may have rejected as healthcare options. This group's participation has helped propel the growth in this category. This group, however, still strongly believes in the "magic bullet" health solution.

5. The internet has played a major role in access of information, education, and category/product credibility. It also has provided convenience for purchasing and product comparison.

Where The Category Is Now:

The last 5 years there has been increasing negative media, yet the category is still managing to eek out growth. However, the negative media has given significant body blows to product classes such as vitamin E, echinacea, calcium, to name a few.

Pharma companies are being more pro active in thwarting the movement of "alternative health ideologies".

"The category has been to "product centric and produced the natural consequences- all products now have become commoditized and created acute shrinking margins. The larger players have been able to survive the downward pressure on margins, but many small and middle level players have not and has created very active consolidation and attrition

The whole category suffers from poor marketing, product proliferation, commoditization, poor credibility. The category has succeded mainly through opportunistic tactical selling. As the environment became more competitive, with more frequent attacks by the media, and competing ideologies, the mainstay of tactical selling is now falling short and the players in the category have not responded well to take the category to new levels.

Where The Category Will Be Evolving

The low hanging fruit has been picked for some time now, new marketplace pressures are forcing significant change on the category. Most companies are not responding to these forceful pressures in any meaningful, strategic, or innovative way. Most companies are on "tread water mode" and are not exploring next level opportunities.

The category has to move away from being "product centric " and expand its market definition to "lifestlye philosophical branding". No brand in this category has been able to achieve "LIFESTYLE STATUS".

The category needs to become more credible, more relevant, and more connected to the consumer .....the opportunity is for a unifyimg global brand that stands for something larger than "reducing your cold".