With new Botanical Ingredient Library, Layn finds value in information: SupplySide East 2022 report

The free online library and search tool offers information on botanical ingredients filtered by application, primary function, and secondary function.

Ahead of SupplySide East 2022, Layn launched its new Botanical Ingredient Library. The free online library and search tool offers information on botanical ingredients filtered by application (human, pet, or animal agriculture), primary function (natural sweetener, health & nutrition, preservation/shelf life, etc.), and secondary function (antioxidant, brain health, healthy aging, gut health, etc.).

According to Collette Kakuk, Layn’s vice president of global marketing, who led the initiative, the Botanical Ingredient Library is an effort to get information in the hands of clients in a fast, pain-free way, in keeping with the way consumers have grown accustomed to shopping and acquiring information. This means no lead generation through email submission, but open access to a wide range of information on their ingredient portfolio which would be open to clients and competitors alike. This took some convincing on Kakuk’s part.

“[Layn was] always a fan of transparency and making robust information about our ingredients available to guide innovation and help customers make decisions. To make this resource completely open source, requiring no email address from users, was a matter of showing the evolution of how people use the internet today,” explains Kakuk to Nutritional Outlook. “I really pitched to my internal team that we have a great story at Layn, and we have a lot of value to lead with.”

By leading with value and making this information more widely accessible, it creates more visibility for Layn compared to making access contingent on one’s information. “Do you want five people looking at it and benefiting from it - or do you want 500? Information is valuable when used and shared to make things better – and we’re all in the business to help people. We’re excited about that!” says Kakuk.

Ultimately, placing barriers online is out of step with the direction technology has taken us. Everything has become easier, faster, and as a result, people have less patience. The traditional process of customer acquisition can be a time-consuming back and forth that can leave potential clients waiting on important information that will help them make a decision. By providing open access to ingredient information, Layn is empowering potential customers to make an educated decision.

“We [as consumers] understand what kind of information can be available at our fingertips today, and when we search something out, we want the information now,” says Kakuk. “Another thing I wanted to provide to users was that instant connectivity to other ingredients right then and there, not this constant delayed back and forth. Let’s lead with value, let’s lead with openness, let’s lead so people can really use the information and see the value we provide.”

The way the library is organized, there is a suggestive element to it as well, says Kakuk. If a customer is looking for a particular ingredient, the library will help them discover how it can be applied to a number of applications or functions, as well as discover other ingredients that could fit their needs. This promotes innovation and collaboration between Layn and its customers.

It's too early to tell whether or not the Botanical Ingredient Library will translate to ingredient sales for Layn, but with the new library, Layn is taking a rather bold and progressive approach to educating the public about its ingredients. Assuming the demand for easily accessible product information grows, this approach may catch on.