As a parent to a toddler and a young school-aged child, I know the importance of setting reasonable expectations when we go on a family outing ― for the kids and myself. Yet, for brand owners of natural products, there are higher stakes involved when it comes to consumers’ expectations for these products.

Gerber Finance recently commissioned a Momentive survey of 1,000 consumers who buy natural products, revealing that consumers’ expectations for natural products show that more is expected from them.

  • 38% expect a natural products company to be inclusive versus the 30% that expect this from a conventional company
  • 57% expect natural products companies to treat its employees well, compared with 49% expecting the same from a conventional company
  • 70% expect natural products companies to be transparent about sourcing and ingredients, but only 46% have the same expectation from a conventional company
  • 44% expect natural products companies to support the community or a greater cause, but only 33% expect this from a conventional company
  • 62% expect natural products companies to make high-quality products, versus 49% that feel this way about a conventional company

“The natural products industry has its own unique needs and obstacles, like product seasonality, big POs to fulfill, and ― as the results of this survey revealed ― big expectations to live up to,” said Jennifer Palmer, CEO of Gerber Finance, in a statement. “The natural products companies we work with are living up to these expectations and then some ― while making a positive impact on people and the planet.”

The survey also revealed that respondents find leadership of the company can impact their view of the organization. For instance, 50% noted they were more likely to buy a natural brand if it was founded by entrepreneurs. Additionally, women ownership or leadership influenced 48% of respondents with them more likely to buy these natural products.

This is associated with expectations that if a company is women owned or led that it is perceived to be inclusive (29%), family friendly (36%), well run (29%) and that it makes quality products (21%), Gerber Finance reports. However, if the company is sold to a large conglomerate, one in four respondents were less likely to purchase that brand’s products, it adds.

Every brand has its own set of expectations, but research like this shows that today’s consumers expect natural brands to undertake greater responsibility for sourcing, community involvement and more.