Canadian wellness brand Beekeeper’s Naturals is growing rapidly in spite of — or possibly with a little help from — the COVID-19 pandemic.
The wellness brand recently debuted in all 422 Whole Food locations across the US — a huge growth spurt for the Canadian startup. And with a growing physical presence in stores and a thriving ecommerce site, Beekeeper’s Naturals is experiencing increased demand since the onset of COVID-19.
With a range of products designed to boost the immune system and improve brain functionality, there has never been a more exemplary time for a wellness brand to market its products.
In the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beekeeper’s Naturals saw a 100% increase in traffic to its website from the US and Canada. “Being in the field of medicine during a pandemic has been a pretty wild experience,” said Carly Stein, Founder and CEO of Beekeeper’s Naturals, as the brand saw a 600% year-over-year increase in Propolis Spray sales online, with overall online sales surging in March to 5 times the brand’s normal daily average
In addition to its ecommerce site, Beekeeper’s Naturals products have been available on Amazon since 2017, where its Propolis Throat Spray has held a top 5 spot in the platform’s Cold & Flu department for over a year.
With the goal of reinventing the medicine cabinet, Stein said, “bridging the world of science and nature, and building a reliable brand that is proactive and suitable for people with all different kinds of allergies and health issues” is the brand’s main focus.
The mainstay product for Beekeeper’s Naturals is the Propolis Throat Spray. An increasingly popular natural remedy in North America, propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It contains more than 300 beneficial compounds and is an antioxidant-dense bee product with powerful protective properties. For bees, it is used to line the hive walls to keep germs out. For humans, it supports the immune system, soothes scratchy throats, and helps combat free radical damage in the body.
An obvious shift from reactive healthcare to proactive healthcare is being seen throughout the industry, a movement, Stein said, has been accelerated by COVID.
“We were seeing a shift in people’s attitudes to health prior to COVID as people were looking for ways to take their health into their own hands, treating symptoms proactively rather than reactively, and really trying to heal their bodies in a holistic sense. People are looking for more in their medicinal products. COVID has definitely accelerated that but it was happening beforehand also.”
Stein noted that despite this shift in peoples’ attitudes to healthcare, there was a huge gap in the market in terms of effective, long-term, natural solutions. “There are so many over-the-counter remedies that we have access to like the NeoCitrans and Nyquils which have undesirable ingredient profiles, including things such as refined sugars, dyes, colours, and chemicals, but more than anything those over-the-counter remedies often only treat the symptoms. They’re not addressing your overall health and what we’re seeing more and more is people looking to prevent and protect for long-term health, and not just a remedy to help them get through the day.”
“However, there’s a huge lack of scientific research when it comes to natural remedies. There are a lot of products that conceptually sound great or are well marketed or have the right celebrity endorsement, but ultimately there has been a huge lack of science conducted in the world of supplements. What Beekeeper’s Naturals is trying to provide is a range of products that come from nature — products that include a short list of ingredients that you can understand and that are going to support your overall health goals while also targeting symptoms. Really what we’re trying to do is take the scientific rigour typical to the pharmaceutical world and apply it to the supplement world.”
With a general skepticism surrounding the idea of alternative medicine, particularly in the traditional medicine world, Stein said she has noticed an interesting trend emerge through an initiative Beekeeper’s Naturals began at the beginning of the pandemic. “We started providing our products to healthcare practitioners at 50% off after everything started happening with COVID. We started hearing really positive feedback from nurses and doctors who were incorporating our supplements into their daily routines in order to get through their gruelling routines. It’s almost been like a case study. It’s been so beneficial to hear stories of health care practitioners — who are generally and rightfully sceptical around natural supplements and products and very much involved in the western healthcare model — using our products to support their body and boost their immune systems during this time.”
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When you need a quick burst of energy, what do you reach for? ⚡ ⠀ ⠀ We’d wager you probably grab some sort of caffeine—whether it’s coffee, an energy shot, or pure caffeine supplements! 🤯 ⠀ ⠀ While caffeine is great, it can come with major downsides. ⠀ ⠀ 😖 It can cause jitters ⠀ 😳 It can disrupt sleep ⠀ 🥴 It can lead to digestive issues ⠀ ⚡You’ll wind up with an energy crash ⠀ 😰 It can make you feel more stressed! ⠀ ⠀ In one study, participants who were given 300mg of caffeine (the amount in a few cups of coffee/one energy drink) experienced TWICE AS MUCH STRESS during an activity as those given a placebo. ⠀ ⠀ Moral of the story is if you need to hustle and keep a cool head, caffeine may not be the best idea. ⠀ ⠀ That’s why we take a teaspoon of B. Powered in times of fatigue. Just pure hive power to unleash your inner SUPERHERO! 🦸 ⠀ ⠀ SOURCE https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2195579/
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Across its social media platforms, the brand has more than 157k followers — an audience which was grown organically alongside the brand itself through word-of-mouth communications. Some notable names that have shown interest in Beekeeper’s Naturals include Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Kourtney Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner.
“We’re the only bee product brand that practices third-party pesticide testing on all of our raw ingredients, we’re going beyond organic, we’re really trying to ensure we’re giving people the purest medical-grade products. I don’t like products that have long lists of ingredients because generally that means they don’t have enough of any one active ingredient to actually make a difference to your health. What we’ve created are products with short lists of natural ingredients, that contain high-potency formulas.”
Future expansion regarding retail presence and range of available products are both in the works for the Canadian brand. “Going forward, and into 2021, we will definitely be broadening our retail presence. We’ll be selective with our partnerships, but we want to make the products as available as possible for everyone very soon.”
“New products are definitely in the works. Our goal is to reinvent the medicine cabinet. Literally what we’re doing right now, innovation-wise, is going into conventional pharmacies and pulling down the popular products off the shelf and saying, how can we do this better? Our vision is to begin with educating people about propolis because it has such incredible health benefits. It’s really interesting because we’re seeing the ‘better for you’ trend permeate every sector from clean beauty, clean food, sustainable fashion, but the one area we haven’t seen strong innovation in is medicine, and that’s because it’s hard. We’re ready to take on that challenge.”