'Social retailing' model used to popularize fiber/probiotic blend

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Retailing

Regular Girl, a prebiotic-probiotic blended product, is debuting on the market via a “social retailing” model that is low risk for retailers and attractive for consumers, the brand holder believes.

The product, which as the name indicates is aimed at gut health for women, features a Bifidobacterium lactis strain married to Taiyo’s Sunfiber, a guar gum derivative with years of development and clinical trials behind it. The brand serves as a vehicle to increase market uptake of the ingredient.

To do this, the company hit upon the social retailing idea, in which the brand takes care of all merchandizing via its own web portal and retailers who choose to link to the product among their web offerings can get a percentage of sales.  Individual consumers can earn a percentage too, which is one of the attractions of the concept, said Felicia Stoler, a dietitian who works with the brand. Stoler spoke with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA. 

The social retailing angle is a way to incentivize an activity that already occurs, Stoler said. Consumers, perhaps especially women, already share what health and nutritional products work for them, and this concept is a way for them get something out of that activity beyond the good feeling of providing helpful advice to a friend.

“It will be online only, you will not be able to find it in a traditional store,”​ Stoler said. “I often share with people brands and information that I like and I never get anything for the positive referral. When I send people to a restaurant the restaurateur doesn’t turn around and say, hey, we want to give you a free dinner. In this way people are getting 10% of the sale. What’s beautiful for the retailer is that they get the 10% without doing any of the work, and we have all this social media content about the brand online which they can use.”

Stoler said Sunfiber is unique in that it promotes regularity, whereas most fibers promote more frequent evacuation but aren’t of much help if a consumer’s issue is overly loose stools.

“Sunfiber helps to provide true regularity, so whether people need to firm or loosen their stools, that’s exactly what it does, and it’s completely soluble,”​ Stoler said.

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