Explore Coverage

Living Maxwell

Company Stories


So, What’s It Like to Sell Dr. Bronner’s Products?

Dr. Bronner’s may very well be the most unique company in the entire organic industry.

Not only has it been producing super-high quality soaps, cleaning and personal care products, and coconut oils since 1948, but its unconventional approach and commitment to social and environmental issues truly set it apart.

Most notably, the company gives 8.6% of its revenues to hundreds of different causes. Yes, 8.6% of revenues — a staggering amount.

Led by its Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) David Bronner (above, right), this third-generation family company is incredibly committed to fair trade and regenerative organic agriculture and is one of the founders of the Regenerative Organic Certification; has been one of the main backers for the legalization of industrial hemp farming and supporters of Vote Hemp; advocates for the legalization of marijuana; helps fund research on psychedelics as a tool for healing trauma; donated millions of dollars over the years to push for GMO-labeling, on both the state and federal level; provides free health care to employees; puts caps on executive compensation; and so, so much more.

If there is a cause or political event that in some way impacts the organic industry, you can be assured that Dr. Bronner’s has made a statement about it or is involved in some capacity.

Given that this is such a unique brand, I wondered what it is like for the people who have to sell the company’s products to retailers — what do they talk about in the sales meetings, how much do the buyers already know, how much does the activism of the company matter, etc.

These were all questions that I posed to Director of Sales Marc De Rosa and Senior National Sales Manager Gina Coccari, two executives who were recently promoted to run the Dr. Bronner’s sales division.

Here is an edited version of my conversation with them.

When you go into a sales call, how familiar are the buyers with the Dr. Bronner’s brand and what are the key points you try to get across?

Marc De Rosa: The amazing thing about Dr. Bronner’s is that we support so many different causes. No matter who I’m meeting with, I can find a cause that they identify with, whether that’s animal advocacy, social and environmental justice, or fair trade.

Gina Coccari: Currently, we’re focusing on Regenerative Organic Certification. It’s part of the DNA of our brand, and we want to help drive the industry towards more regenerative agricultural models.

How much do you discuss the company’s charitable endeavors during sales calls and does this matter to the buyers?

MDR: Buyers demonstrate real interest in our charitable giving and support of progressive causes. Our job is about more than selling our products — it’s about inspiring people with what we do to create a new standard for business.

GC: We always discuss this point with buyers. Our supply chain and support of social causes greatly differentiates us from other brands, and our commitment to giving back also informs how we partner with retailers. Conscious buyers who are also deeply committed to making the world a better place care a lot about these efforts.

In terms of future retail distribution, where do you see the Dr. Bronner’s brand being sold?

MDR: We’re looking to expand into home, hardware, beauty, outdoor and pet retailers. My vision is to have Dr. Bronner’s be a staple in every home on the planet.

GC: We want everyone to have access to Dr. Bronner’s products — not only because the product is superior, but because the business model supports so much good.

Which are the best-selling Dr. Bronner’s products?

MDR: We are famously known for our liquid and bar castile soap line. Our organic and fair trade coconut oil is a top seller, as is our peppermint toothpaste. Lately, our shaving soaps, lip balms and hand sanitizers have gained incredible popularity.

GC: Dr. Bronner’s original 18-in-1 liquid castile soaps lead the pack! We’re proud that we have these other products that have become category leaders as well.

What is your favorite Dr. Bronner’s product?

MDR: I use all our products from head to toe! If I had to pick one, I’d have to say our Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner, which I use for laundry and cleaning just about everything in my household.

GC: I’m obsessed with our organic peppermint hand sanitizer. It leaves my skin super soft and tingly!

(At the bottom of the picture, Gina Coccari and Marc De Rosa)

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Go deeper

Living Maxwell

Company Stories

Talking Organic with Sarah Michelle Gellar — Hollywood Actress, Best-Selling Author and Co-Founder of Foodstirs

With celebrities rushing to invest in organic food companies these days, Sarah Michelle Gellar truly stands alone.

This long-time Hollywood actress isn’t writing a check, fading into the background and hoping for a payout several years down the line. She is doing the exact opposite.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is helping to run and is playing an active role in building one of the hottest organic food brands in the industry. Along with her two other co-founders, CEO Galit Laibow and COO Greg Fleishman, Foodstirs is redefining the healthy baking category by using the best organic and Biodynamic ingredients available.

In addition to her acting career and responsibilities at Foodstirs, this Emmy Award-winning actress and mother of two recently released Stirring up Fun with Food: Over 115 Simple, Delicious Ways to be Creative in the Kitchen, her #1 best-selling book. Organized by the month, Stirring up Fun with Food succeeds because of its approach — providing engaging “food-crafting” ideas that help kids develop self-confidence, creative thinking, and even math skills in the kitchen.

Go deeper Arrow

A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Organic Insider

Company Stories

The Aftermath of the DARK Act Continues: Dr. Bronner’s and OSGATA Quit the OTA. However, the Organic Farmers Association is Formed

A few months after the DARK Act passed, which many in the industry called a massive betrayal of organic by the Organic Trade Association, the fallout continues.

As I shared the news on Facebook recently, Dr. Bronner’s, one of the leading and most vocal GMO-labeling advocates in the country, has quit the Organic Trade Association in protest.

Go deeper Arrow

Living Maxwell

Company Stories

Sol Simple Solar Dried Organic Bananas – A Fantastic Product and An Amazing Story

I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to share with you great-tasting organic products that are also making a big difference in the world.

One such product that I recently discovered at Whole Foods Tribeca is Sol Simple Solar Dried Bananas.

Produced in Nicaragua, the organic bananas come in thin spears and are dried indoors using a solar drying technology, which enables Sol Simple to reduce carbon emissions.

According to the company, traditional outdoor drying techniques take 2-3 days, expose the fruit to mold and bacteria, and allow the fruit to oxidize.

Go deeper Arrow
livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink