Friday, May 28, 2010

When companies mess up a good thing...

Ever have that product staple that works with everything? This includes giving reliable and consistent results on top of having great ingredients? You find yourself thinking that as long as this product is a mainstay, you’ll have NOTHING to worry about.

Then it happens.

Your beloved product is either discontinued or worse….REFORMULATED. *gasp* Sometimes it’s done with the goal of making a good product better, or the MAIN reason… because the current formula becomes too expensive to maintain without increasing the prce.

Case in point: Jamaican Mango & Lime Cactus Leave in


This product was one of the VERY FEW that dried moist. Yes, you read correctly. It dried touchably-moist. My hair felt moisturized at ALL TIMES. I loved its herbal scent, and its ease of application. You wouldn’t think by looking at the bottle or consistency that it could moisturize my then highly porous (color-treated) hair, but it did. It also worked underneath all of my then-stylers, gels and creams alike. Then they reformulated it. The consistency was then that of a less than creamy, cream with a baby power-ish scent. Hated it. The company claimed to have left the product formula the same, but changed how it was manufactured.

Uh huh.

I guess they thought we weren’t smart enough to call b.s. on that. Just because you use the same ingredients DOESN’T mean it’s the same formula.

Anyway, some Naturalistas liked the changes. Many of us didn’t, and a mommy of a biracial little girl named “Viva” and member of Naturally Curly started a campaign of sorts to get them to go back to the original, and it seemingly worked. Or so the company claimed and led us to believe. I don’t believe they even considered ANY changes, because the same new formula sat on the shelves months/years later.

Now, let me fast forward some years later and we have YET AGAIN another reformulation. THIS time, the company went from yummy, natural ingredients to mineral oil and petroleum. *blink blink*


There are SO MANY MORE products I can name, but I won’t name them all because you likely get the gist of my point(s) and the subsequent frustration(s). But I WILL mention that a representative from Elasta QP reached out to me weeks ago to address my concerns over the “new & improved” DPR-11. And without provocation, she talked to higher ups and informed me that they’re looking into these concerns, as many other naturals and I have voiced our displeasure over the reformulation, so kudos to them for listening and reaching out to their customers!

I just really wish companies would leave great products as is. If you want to increase your bottom-line, maybe invest more in marketing and promotion of your best and most profitable products and phase out your least profitable and/or product divisions. Or maybe use ingredients that are a bit more easily available. The more exotic the raw material, the more likely you’ll experience price fluctuations (which is then passed on to the consumer) and scarcity (which again, involves increasing the price of the product).

That’s just my opinion. ;)


SummerRuby said...

This is why I focus on making my own products (with natural ingredients). With using commercial products, the formulas and availability are in the hands of someone else, and you're usually stuck just hoping nothing changes. You just don't have that worry if you make your own products.

KP said...

I agree and disagree. Even companies that have natural ingredient-based products aren't exempt. I've seen a couple in general change their formulas when they actually made the products themselves. Mostly because those raw material's prices went up, thus forcing them to either substitute ingredients or increase the price.

Either scenario can suck. lol

I think it has a lot to do with picking ingredients that are in abundance. I think with most [major]commercial products, they change it because they can. Most consumers aren't label readers, they're brand loyalists. Some could care less if a product changed its ingredients because thought isn't put into it. The same applies to clothing and accessories. Some folks will cling to a "label" even if the quality is mediocre(or average) at best, but just for that sake of saying they HAVE or WEAR it. ;)

On the other hand, many naturals are VERY cognizant of the benefits of ingredients, natural and otherwise, thus we're a bit more discriminatory. That's a good thing because like you said, it allows us to be more active in making products that specifically work for us. :)

Thanks for you comment!

tiff said...

too bad the jml line went south. looking forward to making one or two my own staples and sticking with good/ generally consistent companies. like Bronners,Aubrey, shea moisture/Nubian Heritage.