For whom does Marcel's Green Soap make products?

For whom does Marcel's Green Soap make products?

The light green consumer has more and more options to choose from in the supermarket. And that's good news. Because the more green choices we make, the greater the impact. But the supply of light green products (5%) still lags behind the demand (60%). And that's why we focus on the light green consumer with Marcel’s Green Soap. Not to conquer the shelf, but to change it.

How green are you?

We distinguish three types of consumers: dark green, light green, and grey. The dark green consumer is always focused on the environment and willing to make concessions. Every decision they make considers the impact on the environment. About ten percent of our population consists of dark green consumers. Not every consumer is able or willing to go that far, for example, because dark green products are too expensive or do not provide a viable alternative. But these consumers, about sixty percent of our population, understand that we need to take better care of the world. This is what we call the light green consumer. They may not become vegetarian right away, but they will eat less meat. They take shorter showers, shop consciously, and, if it's not raining too hard, they'll bike instead of drive. In short, the light green consumer is willing to make more sustainable choices, but not at any cost. Literally. Because while they want to drive electric cars, it has to be affordable. The light green consumer doesn’t want to compromise on other aspects either. A recycled bottle with vegan soap may be super green, but it also needs to clean well, smell good, and look appealing.

"Not every consumer is able or willing to go that far, but understands that we need to take better care of the world."

Then there's the grey consumer. This consumer doesn't care much about the environment and/or is simply not willing or able to make concessions. Despite making up only about thirty percent of the population, over ninety percent of supermarket shelves are filled with grey products. The remaining ten percent consists of green products - five percent light green, five percent dark green. And that's where Marcel's green mission comes in.

Step by step towards a greener shelf

As a light green consumer, a few years ago, you had little choice in the supermarket aisle: an affordable 'grey' product or an expensive but environmentally friendly 'dark green' alternative. So, it was often grey and cheap. The willingness to make greener choices was there, but without having to make too many concessions. Marcel saw an opportunity there. Initially, mostly in the cleaning aisle. He developed a dish soap, hand soap, and all-purpose cleaner in four delightful scents, tested them with his daughters, set up a stall in the supermarket, and behold: the first chapter of Marcel's Green Soap was written.

Today, the range consists of 52 products, in nine different categories. In addition to cleaning products, Marcel’s Green Soap also offers personal care products. All ecological, pleasantly fragrant, and good for your home, skin, and hair. And so, step by step, we are conquering, or rather, changing the supermarket shelf. Not to make as much profit as possible, but to increase our impact. Because the shelves need to be greener, not just the cleaning aisle.

"Because the shelves need to be greener, not just the cleaning aisle."

In addition to Marcel's Green Soap, Driehoek is also part of our brand portfolio. This well-known green soap in yellow-green packaging has traditionally appealed to the light green consumer. Initially, mainly because it is a powerful, effective soap at an affordable price, but also because it doesn’t contain harmful substances. Because Marcel believes this brand fits well with current consumer preferences, he acquired it from Unilever in 2017.

Marcel's green mission

Despite sixty percent of our population demanding light green products, only five percent are available in supermarkets. We find this unfortunate because there is so much potential for sustainability there. Fortunately, the supply has increased in recent years. Brands like Clipper tea, Oatly, and De Vegetarische Slager contribute to the 'greening' of the shelf. These brands, along with the growing range of organic (private label) products, make it attractive for consumers to make sustainable choices without paying too much.

Since Marcel's Green Soap was established in late 2015, we have focused on the light green consumer. Our products are developed so that consumers hardly need to make any concessions. Of course, all our products are environmentally friendly first and foremost: 100% vegan, almost entirely biodegradable, and packaged in recycled plastic or plastic-free packaging. But besides that, they clean really well, smell delightful - if we may say so ourselves - and are also very affordable. In this way, we want to offer an accessible product that encourages light green consumers to make greener choices more often. And if things go well, maybe even persuade grey consumers to buy a light green product. By keeping our products accessible, we believe we can make the most impact. Marcel's mission is not to 'conquer' the shelf with his own products, but to make the shelf greener step by step. Whether it's with Marcel's Green Soap or with other environmentally friendly (private label) brands.

"Fortunately, the light green consumer has had more choices at the supermarket shelf in recent years."

And that's why Marcel encourages other brands to become part of the 'Feel Good Cleaning' movement. With the common goal of making the market greener by looking for environmentally friendly alternatives. Marcel is an open book in this regard, or 'open source' as he puts it. He shares his experience and knowledge about making products more sustainable with anyone who wants to listen. In the hope that brands will copy and follow him so that sixty percent of our population will have more choices in the supermarket.

Every step counts

But how do you reach the light green consumer? How do you gradually lead them to an even greener lifestyle? And how do you ensure that even the grey consumer makes the transition to green? Of course, every consumer has different purchase considerations, but you can't do it with just a sustainable product. The eye - and in our case, the nose - also wants something. A product needs to look appealing, work well, and smell good or feel pleasant. And all that for an affordable price.

When we develop a new product at Marcel's Green Soap, we always look for a good balance between sustainability, affordability, quality, and attractiveness. We don't shout that the world will end if you don't use sustainable hand soap, but we do encourage the consumer to make greener choices. Because every step counts. And then there's 'our' Marcel. As the positive figurehead of the brand, he shows that he stands behind the products. That gives consumers confidence. Did you know that Marcel often answers the phone himself when you call Marcel's Green Soap customer service? This way, he stays involved and knows what's going on with the consumers.

"We always look for a good balance between sustainability, affordability, quality, and attractiveness."

By gradually expanding the product range, we hope to gradually lead the light green consumer further into our green mission. Because we work with a small team and produce mostly in the Netherlands, we can act quickly and respond directly to demand. For example, we recently developed the first palm oil-free laundry detergent in the Netherlands. This makes it possible for the light green consumer to wash green now too!

The greener the shelf, the greater the impact

And now, the future. What will the world look like in five years? You never know, especially not in these times. But it's clear that consumer behavior is changing. In a positive way. Marcel's Green Soap's revenue grew from seven tons in 2015 to over eight million in 2021. A signal that the (light) green consumer is willing to take steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle and hopefully an encouragement for other brands to produce greener too. Because the greener the shelf, the greater the impact. And thus, together, we ensure that the light green consumer truly has choices in the supermarket.
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