Start with the washing up. That’s the advice to c-store retailers from Ecover, which offers a range of ecological products for retailers wanting to offer consumers a ‘green’ alternative.
Ecover marketing manager Clare Allman explains: “In our consumer sampling exercises we always advise people to try our washing-up liquid first as it’s an easy transition to make. The same is true for retailers.”
Ecover has been around for 25 years, launched first through health food shops. Four or five years ago it began to be listed by the grocery multiples and today it’s also stocked by Londis.
Allman says the two main barriers to purchase are cost and whether Ecover actually works. “Obviously, the cost of being eco-friendly has to be accessible.
“In the grocery multiples, market leader Fairy Liquid retails at 88p while Ecover sells at a penny more, so the difference is negligible.”
As to whether Ecover works as well as other cleaning products, Allman points to recent consumer trials in magazines such as Which?, where the brand scored well.
Its launch into the convenience sector came earlier this year via the Convenience Retailing Show in Birmingham and through Londis’ trade shows.
“The environment is on everybody’s agenda plus it’s an
“Our core trade has always been through health food shops but grocery multiples and convenience stores are taking us to a wider market - and all these sales have been in addition to the ones from the health food shops.”
Allman says it’s difficult to pinpoint a typical Ecover consumer. All she can say is that they’re likely to recycle their rubbish, be aware of ‘green’ electricity and hybrid cars and understand the benefits of organic food and buying locally.
New mums are often converts to the brand, so Ecover does sampling with the National Childbirth Trust.
When it comes to Ecover’s effect on the environment, Allman says its washing-up liquid is 20 times less toxic than other brands.
“One squirt will do the job,” she says, “because you’re washing 10 plates at a time not 100.
“By using our products you really are making a difference because they’re all totally biodegradable. Conventional cleaning products degrade to a certain degree but they can still leave some deposits in the ecosystem.”
Ecover products come in small outers so you could easily give them a try - they might be just what your customers are looking for.
Recommended for c-stores
Lemon & aloe vera washing-up liquid - 500ml (ideal for impulse purchases when consumers have run out)
Multi-surface cleaner - 500ml
Squirt-Eco - 500ml (a ready-to-use multi-purpose spray)
Cream cleaner - 500ml (creams are still popular with older consumers)
Non-bio laundry liquid - 1.5ltr
Fabric conditioner - 500ml