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The ECHOstore is Green Minded

Here is a cool store which I happen to know via a personal email to me. I am glad tat stores like this is emerging. Being green and healthy should be the new way of life. Here is an article about ECHOstore. Please read on...

Sharing the ECHOstore mindset
Natural is the New High
By Chit Juan
(reprinted from The Manila Times)

My business partner, Jeannie, and I were invited by the USDA Midwest Exporters Association to attend the Natural Products Expo West 2010 show in Anaheim, California last March. The show hosted over 50,000 delegates and attendees, and there were over 3,000 stands or booth displays of every natural product, supplement, organic food, and other related supplies.

Just for sweeteners alone, there was natural sugar, agave, maple syrup, and new ones like Xylitol and Stevia. They have not even heard of our Coco Nectar, Coco Sap sweetener, and Muscovado. There is a whole new market for natural sweeteners and healthy alternatives to high fructose corn syrup.

On the vitamins and supplements aisles, we found many new products touting every health benefit from better sleep to removal of visceral fat. All these coming from our Asian fruits like mangosteen and lychees. There is a whole new market for our malunggay, ampalaya, and Turmeric supplements in the Western world.
In the matural lving section, we found organic cotton shirts, complete wardrobes made from bamboo fabrics, and many natural fibers made into socially conscious shirts and beddings. There is a whole new market for our piña, jusi, and banana fibers.

For health and beauty products, we found new selections using goat’s milk, some seaweeds, almonds, and mineral makeup. Haven’t our ancestors used mineral make up from past generations? There is a whole new market for our goat’s milk products, malunggay soap, and even natural shampoo like gugo. There are also special baby product categories which I am proud to say we already carried at ECHOstore since we started and continue to promote to conscious mothers who only want natural products for their newborns and toddlers.

And the food aisles were full of new products that are less fattening, more natural, organic, fair trade, and still delicious. We had a feast trying new vegetarian products like soy sausage, soy cheese alternatives and—guess what—soy burgers and chorizo. Here is the big news to them—coconut water! Our ordinary buko (coconut) juice has been elevated to specialty drink status. It is available plain or flavored with raspberries and other fruits.

Chocolate is also being promoted as a natural product, especially 60 to 70% cacao dark chocolate. It is also now used to coat vitamins, and is yet another new product using all-natural ingredients. There is also organic chocolate milk, chocolate powders using natural sweeteners, and new ways of getting the health benefits from the indulgence called chocolate.

Even pets as a specialty niche had their own “pavilion,” where everything from dog and cat vitamins, teethers, snacks, and health and beauty aids were represented. There are special vitamins for every pet condition, like gas pain and bad breath; and there are complete dog bath lines of products from shampoo to special creams and lotions.

The other treat at the show was meeting Robert Kenner, the director of the moving documentary Food, Inc. (you can see it on YouTube), who met the press after the film showing, and engaged the public for an hour on his unexpected new role as the filmmaker of this highly moving film about industrial food manufacturing in the USA and how consumers do not know where their food comes from.

All in all, it was a wonderful highly-stimulating experience to see all these natural products, especially food, being sampled by all the attendees (this writer included) and getting immediate market response. It confirmed my hunch that the Natural Trend is now here to stay. As environmental change is a megatrend, “natural” follows as a consequence of all the concerns for global warming and its effects on agriculture, climate change and its effects on the food products we are familiar with, and the return to all things natural as a sort of payback to Mother Earth for bearing with us for decades of industrial abuse to plants and animals.

So green is natural and natural is green. It does not even have to be organically-certified for many of the products exhibited. Just natural. And I guess that is an even easier thing to do or practice. Be natural. Take things the way nature intended them to be.

ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle
[email protected]

Ground Floor, Serendra Piazza, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Phone: (632) 901 3485

Ground Floor, The Podium, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong
Phone: (632) 470 2688

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