Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cocoa Powder, More Lutein & Other Member Requests

In browsing orders and member notes, I follow trends. Eight years after we started up, our average order size has increased, but our members are still a very thrifty group, many on fixed incomes. The last ten orders had totals of: $33.63, $67.17, $32.24, $46.28, $83.05, $64.49, $77.38, $114.46, $31.18, $215.54 and $184.97. You get the general theme.

Sure, we receive 4-figure sales, mostly from health care practitioners and clinics, who are Co-op affiliates. However, our bread and butter orders are far more modest. For example, that $67.17 order had 15 items and saved our Spokane, Washington member $14.30 (normal cost would have been $81.47 without the 20% off anniversary coupon).

At $3.97, our Oil of Oregano has been a consistently good seller since we introduced it, and, no surprise, winter cold season drives interest in this product. At $4.95, our Milk Thistle is another in-demand botanical. One of my absolute favorite Co-op products, with nary a health claim to its name, and one of our members least favorite items, is our Cell Nutritionals Blender Bottle. I use these blender bottles most mornings (love how easy they are to clean). Alas, these bottles sit like ugly ducklings on our shelves, waiting for members to "get" them (and invite them into their true place of belonging -- in kitchens around the world!). :-)

Our new stevia drops and Grenada Dark Chocolate are moving well. In fact, at the beginning of the sale, we ran out of our Grenada Dark Chocolate bars (again!).  Now, our final winter stock is on the way, as temperatures will soon be rising and create possibilities for melting these fabulous dark chocolate bars.

One member wrote in to ask for a 100% cocoa powder to keep in stock all year long. Hey, this is someone speaking my language. I just splurged on Valrhona cocoa powder, so this idea gets my vote! By the way, the Valrhona powder I recently bought is "dutched," which makes it less acidic and more mild than "natural" cocoa, despite its richer, darker color.

"Natural" cocoa, although lighter in color, tastes richer and is also chock full of health-promoting flavanol antioxidants. Dutched cocoa, in contrast, retains only 10-40% of the flavanol antioxidants found in natural cocoa. We'll investigate pricing for a natural cocoa powder product, probably using the same source we use in our Rich Chocolate flavor of Constant Health. Stay tuned for an update.

Meanwhile, brisk sales of our Eye Protection have triggered a "reorder" alert on this perennial member favorite. We have had many requests to carry a higher amount of lutein in our Eye Protection formula, so we are pricing the formula out with 20mg lutein, which is more than three times the current 6mg of lutein. Stay tuned for updates on this one too. 

Finally, we ran out of CoQ-10 150mg and had a slew of requests to honor the anniversary sale pricing when new stock arrives.  Fair enough, we will be offering a 20% off coupon to anyone subscribing to our newsletter once we are back in stock.

That's the latest news from anniversary sale central! Thanks again to all who support us!!!

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