Q&A with iwi’s VP of Marketing, eCommerce, & Innovation, Adrian Garcia
A few months ago, iwi was the first supplement brand to introduce a paper pouch packaging alternative to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bottles. And now the "iwi Pack" option is available for most of our products. We sat down with Adrian Garcia, our VP of Marketing, eCommerce, and Innovation, to learn more about what prompted the decision and what other advancements you can expect from iwi in the future.
Q: Hey, Adrian! Before you give us a peek behind the curtain, let’s first set the stage. Tell us why the change to paper packaging made sense and why now.
Adrian: iwi is a purpose-driven brand working every day to offer better nutrition to our consumers, while taking care of the planet too. Although our plastic bottles are already recyclable, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our products and processes. And that is how we came up with the idea of the iwi Pack, a paper pouch alternative.
Q: You have a rather broad portfolio at iwi. Can you explain how this decision – and its application – represents a cross-section of your areas of expertise?
Adrian: We first ran several shipping tests to make sure the integrity and quality of the product was not at risk. Then we decided to launch it with three of our top products (Omega-3, Omega-3 Minis, and DHA). And after hearing how our consumers loved the iwi Pack, we quickly expanded to the rest of the portfolio.
Q: What insights have you gained from customer feedback and other marketing data and how did those insights inform this decision?
Adrian: We know there’s a huge need to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic to lessen our impact on the environment, and we’re constantly listening to consumer feedback to improve our processes. So, we saw this as a huge opportunity to develop a more sustainable packaging option.
Q: How does the shift to paper packaging fit in with iwi’s purpose and broader sustainability mission?
Adrian: As our CEO, Miguel Calatayud often says, iwi’s purpose is to “create sustainable food solutions for everyone and our planet.” Offering more sustainable packaging alternatives allows us to further protect the planet we care about.
In addition to providing better nutrition to our consumers, we also work diligently to protect the ocean by giving back 1% of our net sales to Ocean Unite, a nonprofit working to supercharge ocean action.
Q: Let’s talk impact. How much plastic is iwi eliminating by making this change?
Adrian: We’re proud to say that since we started producing the iwi Packs we have saved approximately 130,000 bottles.
Q: Despite the obvious environmental benefit, some may wonder whether paper packaging is as effective as plastic when it comes to preserving the integrity of the supplements inside. Does it work just as well?
Adrian: Yes, it does! The combination of the material inside of the iwi Pack and the box we ship it in maintains the integrity of our products very well. The lining in our Pack provides an excellent barrier to extend shelf life and protect the taste profile of our supplements, while the box gives the Pack an extra layer of protection during shipping.
Q: When can we expect to see more iwi products packaged in paper? Will iwi eventually go all-paper?
Adrian: Most of our softgels are currently offered in the Packs. We as a team are exploring the option to transition 100% of our subscribers to the iwi Pack.
Q: Lastly, can you give us a preview of any other innovative changes you have planned for iwi and when we can expect them to roll out?
Adrian: We’re continuing to optimize our packaging materials and hope to provide 100% compostable iwi Packs in the near future.