Case Study: Savvy Green – Product, Brand Building & Development
Founded an eco-friendly brand with national and international distribution.
Savvy Green LLC is an award-winning “eco” household-cleaning brand with domestic and international sales to niche retailers, distributors and big-box stores. The company was founded in 2013 when Rita Knorr, who developed the formulas in her kitchen, and her friend Mary Allen decided to go into business together to share their environmentally friendly, low-carbon-footprint, natural cleaning products with the world.
Challenge: Bring a new eco-friendly brand to market
Savvy Green started by using a simple recipe to create a dry laundry detergent to give friends and family. The founder who developed it — a yoga teacher with a civil engineering background and passion for natural products — gave the powder detergent to friends as gifts. Her reasoning? That small act alone could account for a significant reduction of liquid detergents in large plastic containers and their associated carbon footprint. Friends loved the powder and one friend, Mary Allen, partnered with Knorr to turn the gesture into a business.
Inspired by how effective such a strategy would be if applied on a larger scale, Rita and Mary established Savvy Green in St. Petersburg, Fla., as a woman-owned, independent, privately held company. Savvy Green’s goal is to provide products to natural food stores, supermarkets, and online retailers throughout the U.S. and Internationally.
The two built the business from the ground up.
The tag line: Smart-Green-Clean.
The mission: Savvy Green is about offering safe, eco-friendly, and effective options to liquid laundry detergent — with no need to sacrifice “clean” for green.” The Savvy Green LLC company is committed to environmental responsibility through every step of the process—from development to ingredients, packaging, production and distribution—all the way to a customer’s ease of use and responsible disposal of containers.
Strategy: Brand Building
Using her extensive experience creating new brands for department stores as a buyer and divisional vice president, founder Mary Allen guided the startup through these steps:
- Sourced Ingredients for Laundry, Oxygen Booster and Dishwashing Powder
- Researched brands in this space and agreed on Savvy Green as the name
- Secured logo and art elements, including product shots
- Set up Business LLC, licenses, banking and an accounting platform for purchase order, Invoice and inventory management
- Packaging review and development
- MSDS and Testing Lab certifications
- Production and fulfillment sourcing
- Website development with Story, Blog, FAQ and Product details with links to sales
- Listed on Platforms – Amazon.com, RangeMe and ECRM
- Created Social Media presence: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin
We needed to source and develop packaging that represented our core values.
- At the time of development, only cardboard boxes were used for powder detergents. Many customers were shifting to liquids to avoid issues with powder detergent clumping.
- Savvy Green had to develop a package that could withstand humidity, be resealable and avoid clumping.
- We sourced a resealable flexible package but found it was not recyclable. After researching, we found an HDPE#2 packages being used by Dominos Sugar. We contacted them and shared the supplier for this innovative material.
- We chose a matte finish using water-based inks instead of the normal more volatile chemical inks. We included detailed copy to follow all FTC guidelines.
- In keeping with our brand positioning, we made sure to highlight this new and innovative package as resealable and recyclable.
- Maintained 70% less packaging than the standard liquid laundry detergent bottle.
- We sourced a “best-in-class” resealable closure to withstand multiple opening and closing. The sealed package did not have the notch opening, as we had personal experience of zipper closures being damaged, so we added art to show using a scissor to open our package and protect the integrity of the seal.
- We developed shipping cartons, the last step of packaging.
Strategy: Trade Show Exhibiting
- We planned Trade Show exhibits for Expo East, Expo West, Chicago Housewares Show, Natural & Organic Product shows in London and Hong Kong.
- For sales collateral — fleers, brochures and banners — we engaged freelance graphic and printer services.
- We worked with Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service for support with International customers
Impact: Brand Recognition and Testimonials
- Placement in local, state and national health and natural food stores, Costco, Amazon.com, Jet.com, Zulily and other on-line retailers, distribution in S Korea, Hong Kong by the Dairy Farm Ltd, China and the UK-EU on Ocado, Amazon UK and in Natural food Stores in Holland, supermarkets in China.
- Award-winning products and packaging: 2020, 2018 & 2017 Lux Intl. Best Non-Toxic Detergent, 2016 Clean Choice Award, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Finalist Best New Natural Living & Home Product at the Natural & Organic Products Show in London, 2014 Natural Products Expo East Finalist for Natural Living Product, Gold Award for Environmental and Sustainable Packaging for Flexible Package Assn., Silver Award from Canadian Packaging Assn., 2013 Pack World Top 45 New Package.
- Set up and maintain social media for brand awareness and sales.
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“We use Savvy Green laundry detergent at our summer camp to meet the needs of our campers and staff. Some of them are sensitive to chemicals found in other detergents, so the scent-free, mineral-based ingredients in Savvy Green are exactly what we need. In the past, we had to provide these campers and staff with a ‘special laundry,’ which made our laundry system less efficient and more costly. The concentrated powder is also more economical than liquid detergent. We highly recommend Savvy Green and thank them for working with us.” Marc Honigfeld, Owner/Director – Trail’s End Camp, Beach Lake, PA