If you are a regular reader of our newsletter you may have noticed the survey we sent out in March. We wanted to find out how our customers felt about our supplements and, since we are considering some packaging options, we also wanted feedback on those options. Thanks to everyone who took the survey! The feedback was, in a word, awesome! We recognize that taking a survey is an investment of your time and we thought you might like to see the results. We are studying the feedback now in order to come up with a viable solution for those who find our bottles difficult to use. So, without further ado, here’s what the survey respondents had to say about our elderberry supplements and the packaging options we are considering.
Overall, how happy are you with Norm's Farms Elderberry Extract, Elderberry Wellness Syrup and/or Children's Formula? As the chart to the left shows, the vast majority of respondents said that they were very satisfied with Norm's Farms supplements. Here are just a few of the many comments we received: “My family of three escaped the flu this winter because of Norm's Farms Elderberry Extract. My son had two colds that did not last long. He increased his intake to two to three teaspoons a day during his cold.” “I'm 60 years old, and I couldn't shake this flu, my daughter told me about elderberry, you sent my sampler, and after a few days of taking the wellness syrup, I was back on my feet again, feeling better for the first time in months. Thanks” “The taste is great---the cost is so reasonable--and I love that's its "family owned"--plus the benefits are numerous!!!”
How do you dispense our supplements? Almost half of the respondents said that they pour our supplements into a spoon. Almost 18% said that they poured it into a cup. Here are some of the ways the survey respondents dispense our supplements: “I do a variety of things: Occasionally I take it directly with a spoon. More often I put it in a breakfast shake. And just as often I heat about 1/2 a cup of water & add your product to that, making a nice warm comforting tea. I only use 1/2 cup of water because it allows the tea to be more concentrated & tastier.” “I use a measuring "shot" glass or it will spill.” “I pour it into a medicine measuring scoop that came with an over the counter cough medicine .” “Freeze entire bottle at a time in ice cube tray compartments, put those chunks in ziplock, thaw 2 chunks at at time into glass jar into fridge, take one tsp at a time. If don't use this approach once bottle opened it ferments way too quickly.” “Pour it into sparkling water or a smoothie or juice.”
When dispensing our Elderberry Extract, Elderberry Wellness Syrup and/or Children's Formula, do you find it easy to pour from the bottle? Here are just a few of the many comments we received: “Inexperienced folk will spill every time. One must put spoon or cup right under the ridge of the bottle so as to catch drips.” “Bottle of Elderberry Syrup seems to drip in spite of our careful pouring efforts. That requires washing off with a damp cloth. Maybe you have heard this before.” “I love the glass bottle but I feel like I always lose some of the elderberry. It always seems to run down the sides of the bottle. It’s not a ton but a dropper would be ideal since it’s taken in such small doses.” “All elderberry products I've tried drip and dribble down the bottle, no matter what. A flip cap with a pour spout would be wonderful.”
We are considering adding a box to our 8 Oz Extracts & Syrups so that we can add a plastic medicine cup to help with portion and pouring. Would that packaging change be helpful for you? As the chart to the left shows, most respondents didn't think that this would be a helpful option. Here are just a few of comments we received regarding this packaging option: “I have lots of little medicine cups already.” “I say no to more packaging. Keep it simple. I do understand some people would like the medicine cup to measure. I just hate the use of more plastic and paper that will probably not be recycled.” “It would make it more sanitary if sharing the bottle with other family members. Would like it if it didn't cause price to rise.” “LOL---that's what I use---from purchasing Nyquil many moons ago because since I have been using elderberry---the Nyquil is collecting dust!!—’ “Hate to see more plastic in the world”
We are considering offering a 4 ounce version of our Supplements with dropper caps. Would you welcome a 4 ounce version with a dropper cap as a purchase option? Interest in a 4 ounce version with a dropper cap was pretty evenly split with about 45% of respondents expressing interest in having this option available. Here are some comments we received for this packaging option: “Yes, I've considered purchasing a dropper for myself and when I gift Norm's supplements to friends. I would welcome this option so long as it is priced accordingly (not a large mark-up).” “No, 4 oz. is not enough for my family.” “I would not be interested, but some people would like the easy dropper method to help with doses. Maybe more convenient for travel.” “I like that option a lot and even a bigger bottle with a dropper would be great” “An 8oz with dropper cap would be even better!”
How important is it to you that our products be packaged in glass? No confusion here....it's glass all the way for Norm's Farms! Glass has always been our strong preference and its nice to see that it matters as much to our customers as it does to us. Our commitment to glass eliminates some options for improving the pour and that's ok! Here are some comments we received regarding packaging in glass: “Concerned about plastic leaching, plastic in environment.” “I won't buy it in plastic.” “I always worry about plastic "off-gassing" its bad stuff, & that negates all of the good of your supplements.” “Glad that Norm's bottles can be recycled and don't contribute to plastic clogging up our oceans, landfills, waterways, and endangering wildlife and our health.” “I try to stay away from plastic products as much as possible, and I think your product TASTES better because it is packaged in glass rather than plastic. The elderberry products I have purchased in the past that were bottled in plastic always tasted icky. PLEASE keep the glass bottles. :)”
Elderberry Extract has a consistency like wine and sometimes it might cling or roll over the lip of the bottle. If Norm's Farms were to change the viscosity and make our supplements thicker, without changing the benefits, is this a change you would welcome for an easier pour? Slightly more than half of respondents said that they would or might welcome a change to our recipe that improved the pour, and the comments revealed that the majority of people like our simple recipes and would prefer that we keep our recipes the same. Here are some comments that help explain the way folks are feeling about this option: “Less additives is good. No need for thickness.” “Depending on what is used to thicken. I think packaging is the better solution” “I don’t really know. I suppose I wouldn’t stop using it as long as I didn’t oppose what the thickening agent it. I say the less ingredients the better!” “I like the purity and have no trouble dispensing."We've been researching options that will improve the "pourability" of our supplements and can report that a dropper cap for our 8 ounce bottles is not available to us. We'd have to have them specially made and then order by the container load, which is beyond our resources. We do think we are hot on the trail for another solution though....so stay tuned!