Marketing organic products is a rapidly-growing trend in the U.S., but one of the up and coming players might surprise you -- the Australians. Once thought of only in reference to beer, shrimp on the barbie, and "Crocodile" Dundee, the Australians are quietly pursuing marketing strategies to place their organic products in the hands of eager U.S. consumers.
Organic products are made without using synthetic chemicals or genetically modified components. According to the state government of Victoria, "The Australian organic food industry is booming; it is currently worth around $200-$250 million per year domestically and a further $50-$80 million per year in exports with an expected annual growth of up to 60 percent."
Now the Australians are expanding beyond the organic food and beverage market to include everything organic -- skin care, hair care, baby products, pet food, clothing, and a full line of products for organic homes and gardens. These exporters hope to capture a share of the huge, consumer-driven U.S. market, which surpassed $31 billion in 2011, an increase of 9.5 percent, according to the Organic Trade Association's 2012 Organic Industry Survey. While the majority of these sales were in the food area, the non-food sector reached $2.2 billion, an increase of 11 percent. According to Business New Daily, "The survey predicted continued growth rates of nine percent and higher in 2012 and 2013."
According to Mandi Lebbos, CEO and founder of Love PR, an Australian PR firm with an office in Los Angeles, brands that develop and create a range of products focused on organic formulas and ingredients are rapidly being embraced by more consumers because there is more focus on educating the mass market on the possible effects and recurrence of harmful ingredients and chemicals found in many cosmetics and personal care products. Consumers are now becoming more aware of what they are putting on their skin and the long term benefits of transitioning to more natural and organic based products. Mandi cites Crystal Rock Deodorant as one example of a U.S. brand that has taken the natural path by developing a product made from natural mineral salts in place of irritants and unnecessary chemicals.
How Australian Organic Brands Plan to Penetrate the U.S. Market
According to Lebbos, the U.S. is a dream destination for Australian brands with goals of expanding to a larger consumer market. By comparison, the U.S. has a larger population and maintains international metropolitan hubs, home to the largest market of celebrities, fashion and beauty activity. Australian brands like Vani-T and NVEY ECO -- both launching in the U.S. in 2013 -- have built a following of dedicated Australian consumers because of their dedication and commitment to providing skin nurturing products that educate people about the benefits of using organic and natural based products and ingredients. A strong PR, communications and social media program will be used to convey these attributes to health-conscious American consumers.
"Public relations is extremely important for Australian brands looking to achieve success in the international market because the focus on educating the mass market is not something they are traditionally accustomed to," said Lebbos. "From native Australian ingredients to new and innovative ways of creating something as basic as a lip gloss, it's important for these Australian brands to assemble an effective team of PR and social media strategists to provide information that will educate the American public about these new brands."
Identifying social media influencers that can help spread their message to American consumers who are concerned about what goes into the products they use will help the Australian marketers achieve their lofty sales goals.