Packaging Solution Summary: A manufacturer of natural oils was experiencing leaks and breakage when its oils, which were packaged in glass bottles, were shipped through Amazon. After switching to Great Northern – Fiber Interior Packaging, the company now passes the Amazon SIOC 6A Test, improving its Amazon reviews and saves money by eliminating returns due to breakage.
Founded in 2009 by two best friends who wanted to create nutrition supplements without “all the bad stuff,” Natural Force uses healthy, clean ingredients to make all-natural and organic protein powders, MCT oils, coffee, and more. In 2018, the company launched a rebranding project that included a fresh, new look and eco-friendly packaging materials.
“It’s our new, go-to option for packaging our glass bottles”
– Tony Federico, VP of Marketing at Natural Force
Care for yourself, care for the planet
Natural Force began by transitioning its protein powders from bulky plastic tubs to resealable pouches. This new packaging reduced plastic use by over 70% and also allowed for more compact and efficient shipping. At the same time, they replaced the plastic bottles used for MCT oils with pure, infinitely recyclable glass. These changes greatly reduced the company’s environmental impact, but, several months after the rebrand’s launch, Natural Force began to hear reports from customers whose glass bottles had leaked or cracked during shipping.
To safely ship a glass bottle, a significant amount of packing materials are typically needed: bubble wrap around the bottle and wadded recycled paper or packing peanuts to absorb impacts. When customers ordered directly from naturalforce.com, Natural Force could control this process. Amazon sales, however, were another story. As a Fulfilled by Amazon seller (a requirement for Prime shipping eligibility) Amazon customers received products shipped from Amazon distribution centers. This meant that products were sometimes packaged in flimsy padded envelopes that left them vulnerable to the rigors of cross-country shipping. This increased the chance that a glass bottle would break or leak, and, while Natural Force happily refunded or replaced orders for impacted customers, their product reviews and seller rating began to suffer.
A Sustainable Solution That’s Remarkably Strong
On a mission to solve this packaging frustration, Natural Force co-founder Joe Rakoski discovered Great Northern – Fiber Interior Packaging. He immediately recognized the values shared by Natural Force and Great Northern as Fiber Interior Packaging is biodegradable, 100% recyclable, and made of molded pulp not virgin wood. But he wondered: Would it meet the challenge of real-world shipping conditions?
After exploring options and initiating testing, they began to answer this question.
“You can literally drop-kick a 32 ounce bottle of MCT oil across the street and it will be fine,” says Natural Force VP of Marketing Tony Federico, “I started dropping bottles on my tile floor just to see what would happen and the Great Northern – Fiber Interior Packaging kept them in perfect condition.”
In other words, Natural Force had found the perfect solution: The new packaging was exactly what they needed to safely ship glass bottles while staying true to their environmental mission. It’s also easy to unpack, adding to the positive experience for the customer. “They open the box, remove the top insert, take out the bottle, and that’s it,” states Federico.
Since switching to Great Northern – Fiber Interior Packaging, Natural Force has enjoyed seeing the positive reviews roll in. Often, they specifically mention the new packaging. For example, an Amazon customer who ordered a bottle of Pure Omega-3 fish oil gave a 5-star review that said, “First bottle received leaked fish oil in the package. The seal was broken due to poor packaging. It was shipped in a bubble envelope. The second bottle was shipped in a box and the bottle was very well protected in specially designed cardboard molds placed on top and bottom of the bottle. I liked the packaging because it was simple, recyclable, no plastic.”
The switch has also saved Natural Force time and money spent on refunds and replacement orders. They are so pleased with the new packaging solution that they created dedicated product images advertising that their products are shipped in plastic-free, biodegradable, and 100% recycled paper protective packaging — building confidence in consumers who are considering a purchase.
Great Northern – Fiber Interior Packaging helped Natural Force to provide a great experience for their customers while staying true to their mission and values. Federico says, “It’s our new, go-to option for packaging our glass bottles. “As a B-Corp dedicated to making high quality, nutritional supplements that provide “Care for yourself, care for the planet.” Natural Force is excited to partner with Great Northern and looks forward to launching even more products in Fiber Interior Packaging.