Mattress industry executives and management will get to see and learn about the environmental, manufacturing and sleep comfort benefits of mattresses made with BiOH polyols when they visit the Latexco booth at the upcoming ISPA Industry Conference, to be held March 6-7 at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Florida.
Latexco will feature its BiOH Gel Latex, a non-toxic latex foam, which was introduced during last year’s ISPA EXPO. The Latexco product is available in a wave pattern to provide pressure-point relief and back support. The high density of the gel evenly distributes pressure, while pinholes in the surface allow balanced ventilation. Cooler sleep is an advantage of BiOH polyol technology.
“BiOH Gel Latex has clear benefits for the environment, but it also has other features, such zoning and load-spreading flexibilities,” comments Kevin Callinan, vice president of sales for Latexco, which has worldwide headquarters in Tielt, Belgium. “Since all of our bio gel toppers are open-cell products, we can adjust the zoning to maximize air flow and enhance thermal-regulation properties.”
Today’s environmentally conscious consumers are increasingly seeking green products for their homes. BiOH Gel is produced with BiOH polyols which completely replaces 100 percent of the petroleum based Polyols used in most urethane gels. Preliminary life cycle analysis indicated that manufacturing BiOH polyols requires 60 percent less non-renewable energy and results in less global warming emissions than manufacturing the petroleum polyols we replace.
For every one million pounds of BiOH polyols used, more than 2200 barrels of crude oil are saved. Considering that the industry uses billions of pounds of petroleum polyols, BiOH polyols can have an impact on using less petroleum.
Claims that a product helps the environment are enticing to consumers. In fact, the 2012 Green Home Furnishings Consumer Study found that people may be buying less but they are buying eco-friendly. Now the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a 314-page update to its Green Guides, which are intended to help eliminate confusion among consumers about “green” marketing claims by requiring marketers and advertisers to use clearer, more detailed language.
The Guides also help marketers avoid making sweeping claims without proof or qualification. With the furniture and bedding industry using an increasing amount of “green” materials – from recycled wood to soy-based polyols – it is essential that you understand how the finished products in your store’s inventory may now be marketed and advertised.
What are Green Guides?
First issued in 1992, the new Green Guides clarify and modify guidance on environmental claims, some of which have become increasingly more common since the last revisions such as carbon offsets, non-toxic claims, and claims that products are made from recyclable or renewable materials. While not enforceable by law, the FTC can take action under the FTC Act if a marketer makes an environmental claim inconsistent with these Green Guides.
Helping you to avoid over-stating the truth
In issuing these Green Guides, the FTC wants to help marketers avoid making sweeping, over-the-top claims that can’t be substantiated. For example, simply stating that a product is “eco-friendly” may be leaving too much up to consumers’ interpretation. The Guides further state that, “Marketers should not state or imply environmental benefits if the benefits are negligible” and clarify what information may be needed to substantiate a claim.
Say, for instance, that a manufacturer increases the recycled content of his product from two to three percent. He then states on his label: “contains 50% more recycled content than before”. While the claim is technically true, it likely gives the false impression that the manufacturer has significantly increased the use of recycled materials.
Some of the Green Guides that may apply to the furniture and bedding industries
• Recycled content: Do you carry reclaimed or recycled wood furniture? For products that contain used, reconditioned or re-manufactured components, the Green Guides state that, “Marketers should make recycled content claims only for materials that have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process or after consumer use.” If a product is only partially constructed of recycled content, “Marketers should qualify claims for products made partly from recycled material. For example, “Made from 30% recycled material”. The Green Guides further advise that, “Marketers whose products contain used, reconditioned or re-manufactured components should qualify their recycled content clearly and prominently to avoid deception about its components.”
• Recyclable content: Mattresses are recyclable, right? The recycling language used may depend on your location. A product should not be marketed as “recyclable” unless “it can be collected, separated or otherwise recovered from the waste stream through an established recycling program for reuse, or use in manufacturing or assembling another item.” When recycling facilities are available to at least 60 percent of consumers or communities where the item is sold, marketers can make unqualified recyclable claims. Otherwise, a marketer can state, “This product may not be recyclable in your area.” If recycling facilities for a product are available to only a few consumers, the FDA says a marketer should use stronger qualifying language: “This product is recyclable only in the few communities that have appropriate recycling programs.”
• Made with renewable materials: In its review process, the FTC discovered that consumers often misinterpreted this claim to mean that the product was recyclable, made with recycled content or biodegradable. To minimize the confusion, the Green Guides recommend that marketers “identify the material used clearly and prominently, and explain why it is renewable. For example, “Our flooring is made from 100% bamboo, which grows at the same rate, or faster, than we use it.” By identifying the material used and explaining why it is renewable, the marketer has minimized the risk of unintended claims. New BiOH technology allows our customers to create products with typical levels of renewable content at greater than 50 percent.
• Carbon offsets: It wasn’t all that long ago that the concept of a carbon footprint was foreign to most people. Now most everyone has a general idea of what it means. In its Green Guides, the FDA cautions that marketers should, “have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support carbon offset claims. They should use appropriate accounting methods to ensure they measure emission reductions properly and don’t sell them more than once.”
Preliminary life cycle analysis indicated that manufacturing BiOH polyols requires 60 percent less non-renewable energy and results in less global warming emissions than manufacturing the petroleum polyols we replace. Additionally, for every one million pounds of BiOH polyols used, more than 2200 barrels of crude oil are saved. Considering that the industry uses billions of pounds of petroleum polyols, BiOH polyols can have an impact on using less petroleum.
Savvy sales people understand that the more they help their customers resolve a need, the higher their sales will climb. While you may not get a lot of people walking into your store and specifically asking for products made with soy-based BiOH® polyols, you probably do get a large percentage seeking better quality sleep and/or more environmentally responsible home furnishings. Once you’ve educated them about the benefits of BiOH® polyols, it will be easier to close the sale.
Here are some tips for talking with your customers about BiOH
• Become a cool-sleep expert. Exhausted people stumbling into your showroom may blame everything but the temperature of their mattress while sleeping. Explain that:
o Many people overlook some of the most obvious components to a good night’s sleep simply because they don’t know about them.
o Temperature regulation is important to sleep quality.
o Mattresses, mattress foam toppers and pillows made with BiOH® visco polyol provide a cooler, more comfortable sleep. Studies show memory foams produced with this new product dissipate heat more quickly, cooling off 15-40 percent faster than memory foams using infused gel technology. Foams made with BiOH® polyols are also less sensitive to temperature overall, so they stay softer at cooler temperatures.
• Give them tools for living a more responsible lifestyle.Surveys have found that 70 percent of shoppers would be interested in buying eco-friendly furnishings. The stumbling block? An estimated 55 percent say they are unaware that these products exist! People want to do their part for the planet, providing it’s not too difficult or expensive. So make it easier for them!
Selling mattresses and home furnishings made with soy-based BiOH® polyols can be as simple as educating your customers. Once they learn that products made with BiOH® offer them the possibility of consistently better rest, and are an eco-friendly, sustainable way for them to contribute to the health of our planet, they will feel good about making this choice.
Today, some marketers suggest that we classify consumers from light green (minimal commitment to sustainability and earth-friendly buying) to dark green (strong commitment). Whatever the shade, being green is more mainstream than ever. How is this trend affecting home furnishings?
Some of the most exciting findings come from the Sustainable Furnishings Council, which has released the top findings from its 2012 Green Home Furnishings Consumer Study. The fourth study of its kind, researchers surveyed 432 female homeowners ranging from ages 30-60 with household incomes more than $50,000 shows.
The survey, conducted by the Sustainable Furnishings Council with the support of furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, aims to provide trend data on consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviors relating to environmental issues and the home furnishings industry. Among its discoveries:
There is a growing interest in buying green. More than half of the consumers surveyed have purchased green products in a variety of categories. These consumers practice recycling at home and are concerned about a range of environmental issues.
Those who purchased home furnishings in the last year showed twice the interest in green products as those who have not purchased. People may be buying less but they are buying eco-friendly.
In general, consumers will pay a little more for a special feature that is important to them. 67 percent of respondents said that they would pay up to five percent more for green furnishings.
That last bullet point is perhaps one of the most important findings. Consumers will pay extra to buy a green product, especially if it does more than its traditional counterpart. Just as we’ll buy energy efficient brands because they’ll also save us money, when you’re talking with consumers about mattresses and other products with BiOH® polyols, spend ample time discussing the benefits to the consumer – such as better sleep – in addition to the benefits to the environment.
That two-for-one value could easily be the tipping point that results in more sales. Your customers will be excited about sleeping better at night. They’ll also feel good about themselves because they just bought something that helps sustain Mother Earth.
It stands to reason that they will also feel good about you, as a retailer, because you sell these earth-friendly, health-enhancing products and you were knowledgeable about their many layers of benefits.
Last month’s High Point Market gave us an opportunity to see and experience trends in the bedding industry. It’s clear that consumers are becoming more discriminating both in terms of the environmental impact of their bedding products, as well as in how those products may improve their ability to consistently get a good night’s sleep.
Three trends worth noting:
• Gel is the buzz word! At High Point Market, there were mattresses and pillows marketed using such phrases as “gel-infused”, “cool gel ventilated”, “swell gel” and “gel comfort”. It’s all about helping consumers achieve cooler, more restful sleep. Cargill is on point with our new BiOH® polyol, which can replace 100 percent of the petroleum polyols in gel products today, reducing the dependency on oil and increasing the renewable content in finished foam products. The urethane gel made from this new BiOH® polyol can be used in mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, upholstered furniture, carpet cushion, automotive seats & more.
• Bedding accessories are still on the rise. Mattress protectors, toppers, and decorative pillows will remain popular, and remain excellent sources for add ons and impulse buys.
• Organic/Eco-Friendly = growing demand. The focus on sustainability and the health of our planet continues to increase. Case in point was the debut of the Alexander Julian Couture line, a Made In America line featuring sustainably harvested hardwood frames. There were also numerous examples of natural décor and nature-inspired furniture on display. Watch for high profile designers including Kathy Ireland and Alexander Julian to participate in a consumer print campaign for green home furnishings.
Retailers: The future is where natural meets wired
When we saw that one major mattress manufacturer is actually debuting a mattress with a built-in iPad station, we wondered how adults ages 18-29 are changing our industry. Just in time for High Point Market, Furniture/Today released results of a survey conducted with Millennials: the generation born between 1981 and 2001. 100 percent of those responding said that they regularly shop for furniture at lifestyle furniture stores, such as Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. The report offers tips for attracting more of these young adults into traditional furniture retail stores, such as offering WiFi so shoppers can access in-store specials; battery charging stations perhaps in a coffee bar setting; and using end caps and front-of-store bins to encourage impulse buys.
If you plan to attend the ISPA Expo this month, be sure to stop by booth #733, where Latexco will feature its new mattress made with BiOH® polyols. You’ll definitely want to pick up a handout to share with co-workers and customers because better/cooler sleep and environmental sustainability are two of the hottest trends in today’s mattress industry. We expect this mattress to create quite a buzz at the show.
Cargill has developed a new BiOH® polyol, with greater than 90 percent renewable content, that can be formulated into urethane gel products. It is made from renewable raw materials and can be incorporated into foam. This new BiOH® polyol can replace 100 percent of the petroleum polyols in gel products today, reducing the dependency on oil and increasing the renewable content in finished foam products. The urethane gel made from this new BiOH® polyol can be used in mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, upholstered furniture, carpet cushion, automotive seats & more.
In addition to the expo, we’re also running a full-page ad in the March, April and May editions of Bed Times, which features both of our cool new products: our next generation “cool” memory foam and our renewable urethane gel. (Turn to page 67 in this month’s issue.)
About ISPA Expo
ISPA Expo is the world’s only trade show devoted exclusively to the mattress industry. This year’s event takes place March 14-17 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to previewing all of the newest products, you’ll have the opportunity to make valuable connections and learn profit-building sales techniques.
Members of the Cargill BiOH team will be there on opening day, and we look forward to meeting as many of you as possible!
Tossing and turning, and hot uncomfortable sleep are outdated. They also are unhealthy. One of the most exciting trends discussed at last month’s Las Vegas Market was the public’s growing interest in gel beds and “cool and healthy sleep” bedding products that support a better night’s rest.
Both were heavily referenced during Furniture/Today Executive Editor Dave Perry’s State of the Bedding Industry presentation. Perry had previously predicted that, “Gel beds will be more common in Las Vegas than casino chips” – and he was right! We at BiOH® polyols also are predicting that this trend will take off at a remarkable speed within the specialty sleep category.
Two new BiOH® products for healthier sleep
There are now nearly a dozen gel bedding products on the market from such well-known names as Simmons, Sealy, Kingsdown and Serta. Most, if not all, combine memory foam with gel technology. Now BiOH® is debuting two new products to fill this growing demand: one is a memory foam and the other is a gel.
It’s an exciting new direction for the bedding industry because these products have the strong potential of giving consumers the best sleep of their lives. And just imagine the health and productivity benefits of having millions of well-rested Americans!
We make cool, healthy sleep plus environmental sustainability possible with two brand new products:
• BiOH® polyols renewable urethane gel: Ideal for a host of cool sleep products, this new polyol can produce urethane gel with greater than 90 percent renewable content.
• BiOH® polyols next generation “cool” memory foam: A breakthrough product with more than 50 percent renewable content. This new viscoelastic foam dissipates heat 25 percent faster than comparable memory foams.
Other experts and trend watchers agree that cool sleep technology is creating a new wave of excitement for the industry. To learn more, call 877-765-9246.
These days we are so used to being tired, that most of us hardly remember what it felt like be well rested! Demands on our time – from shift work and family obligations to jet lag and 24-hour business cycles – cut short our sleeping hours. And our stress levels prevent us from enjoying a good quality of sleep once we do finally crawl into bed. It’s no wonder that U.S. retail coffee sales rose 19 percent last year! We are all battling to stay awake.
Jessa Gamble, an award-winning writer and expert on our internal body clocks’ struggle against our urban schedules, describes an interesting study. When people lived without artificial light, they slept twice at night. They slept from 8 p.m. to midnight, had two hours of meditative quiet in bed during which their bodies produced abnormally high levels of prolactin*, then they slept again from 2 a.m. until sunrise.
The study participants reported that they felt they were experiencing true wakefulness for the first time in their lives.
Do your customers want to feel that wide awake tomorrow morning?
The statistics say it all: we’re tired! According to a Gallup poll, three in 10 Americans don’t feel well rested. A Harvard study found that 40 percent of college students feel well rested just two days per week. The most revealing of all: Only about four in 10 people responding to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation said they got a good night’s sleep every night, or almost every night, of the week.
Sell a better night’s sleep
People want better sleep. Their bedding is a means to that end. Your goal is to give them the confidence that what they are buying will help them wake up in the morning feeling more refreshed.
Become a better sleep expert. Earn their trust by giving them other ideas, in addition to their bedding, that might contribute to a better night’s rest. We will continue to provide information on this topic here.
When the conversation turns to bedding, point out that temperature regulation is important to sleep quality. Mattresses, mattress foam toppers and pillows made with the new BiOH® visco polyol provide a cooler, more comfortable sleep. Studies show memory foams produced with this new product dissipate heat more quickly, cooling off 15-40 percent faster than memory foams using infused gel technology. Foams made with BiOH® Polyols are also less sensitive to temperature overall, so they stay softer at cooler temperatures.
Many people overlook some of the most obvious components to a good night’s sleep simply because they don’t know about them. Let’s start a new trend in 2012 of better educated consumers who understand the value of great bedding!
*Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Prolactin levels fluctuate throughout the day, and are highest during sleep.
Feeling drowsy this morning? Maybe you need to chill out. Experts agree: cooler temperatures help you sleep deeper and longer. That advice applies not only to room temperature but also to your bedding.
A mild drop in body temperature induces sleep
Mother Nature has put your body on a 24-hour cycle, called the circadian rhythm. Time, light and temperature all factor into how your body clock functions.
Every night, your body temperature automatically lowers by just a couple of degrees, signaling your tissues and organs to become less active. Even a slight increase in external temperatures can become so uncomfortable that it causes you to awaken. The closer you can stay to your body’s natural ‘set point’, the more rested you will feel in the morning.
Sleep experts typically recommend keeping bedroom temperatures between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. In reality, you should set your thermostat at whatever temperature comfortably helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
New BiOH® soy-based polyols help memory foam achieve better temperature regulation
Your mattress is, of course, another part of the sleep equation. Memory foam mattresses are popular because they conform to your body’s shape, giving you maximum support, and helping to prevent tossing and turning
throughout the night. But foam is notorious for absorbing and holding onto body heat. In fact, some memory foams rely on heat to stay soft.
Now there is a way to enjoy the benefits of memory foam mattresses while also sleeping cooler. Studies show memory foams produced with a revolutionary new BiOH® Polyol dissipate heat more quickly, cooling off 15-40 percent faster than memory foams using infused gel technology. Foams made with BiOH® Polyols are also less sensitive to temperature overall, so they stay softer at cooler temperatures.
Concerned about durability? Memory foam toppers with BiOH® Polyols are resistant to rips and tears.
And, as a bonus, initial findings show that these new vegetable-based foams are 51 percent renewable, so you also are helping the environment when you purchase BiOH®-based foams.
The result is a memory foam that provides a cooler, more comfortable sleep. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting new development.
New BiOH foam does not heat up as much.
After eight hours in an oven at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the new BiOH memory foam was not as hot as the gel-infused material.
The BiOH experience offers resources for you to learn and participate in helping communities and the environment. It is brought to you by the BiOH polyols business — a maker of soy-based ingredients for foam. Please explore our site and then share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you!
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