A winning smile: Plastic-free toothpaste arrives at New World

A winning smile: Plastic-free toothpaste arrives at New World

Just six months after coming in first place in the inaugural Foodstuffs Emerging Supplier competition (Foodstuffs Emerge), Solid, a Porirua-based oral health company, has just introduced their innovative plastic-free toothpaste to New World supermarkets across the country.

Founded by Laura, a former oral health therapist frustrated with the lack of plastic-free options in the dental industry, Solid was born from her desire to provide effective oral products without compromising on quality or sustainability. 

“One of the challenges with oral health is that people don’t always enjoy brushing, and because they don’t have a product they like to use, they don’t brush for as well or as long as they should,” Laura says. 

“A toothpaste that people love contributes towards a healthier mindset around brushing. Customers are buying our toothpaste because they want to be sustainable, and they’re sticking around because it’s delicious and healthy.”

Every year, sixteen million toothpaste tubes end up in landfills – a problem Solid is determined to tackle. All of Solid’s jars can be returned to Solid for reuse and they can be used again and again.

“We encourage customers to return their jars and we always hear from people that they feel good about themselves doing it. People are looking for sustainable options, and if you can create it and make it easy, people will support it.”

In 2023, Laura, alongside her partner and co-founder Adam – who left his job as an entrepreneurial advisor after realising he was living with one, entered Foodstuffs Emerge, a competition that offers emerging suppliers like Solid, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take their products on a fast-tracked journey to New World shelves across Aotearoa.

“We had always been a bit unsure about  what the first step was to being on supermarket shelves,” Adam explains.

“Foodstuffs has this amazing Emerging Supplier Forum, and there was one in Wellington we attended. It was a two-hour masterclass on how Foodstuffs works and what we needed to know as suppliers. 

“Everything led from there. We entered the Foodies FMCG ecosystem and that’s where we heard about Emerge.”

Heading to the Emerge final, the pair encountered an unexpected snag when Laura couldn’t attend. 

“That was quite nerve-wracking,” Adam says. “Because Laura is a lot better at this sort of stuff than me and the other contestants were so innovative and cool. 

“We were just happy to be there, so winning was a complete surprise and delight.”

Now, six months on, Solid’s two most popular products have launched in New World supermarkets across the country. 

“Around 82% of toothpaste is purchased from supermarkets, and we need to be where people are buying their products. New World is where our customers go, and the Emerge competition has helped us connect with them.”

Online, Solid offers a range of products, split up into twelve categories, from mouthwash to toothpaste tablets. Each is specifically designed to encourage behaviour change. 

“It’s easy to think as an individual we aren’t making a difference, but that isn’t true. A lot of Kiwi think similarly to us – whether that’s through travelling by plane less, eating less meat, or using oat milk. 

“We want to be part of that customer journey and offer people a solution so they can be more thoughtful about what they consume without sacrificing having a nice, useful product.”

“The dental community has also embraced what we’ve been doing. They understand there’s a long way to go with sustainability and they’re excited to see a company like ours looking to change that.”

But, while promoting sustainability and oral health is a chief focus, Laura says her newest priority is getting to know the New World community.

“The opportunity to be in the supermarket is just amazing, and we want to stay on shelves and be successful. Toothpaste isn’t particularly sexy, but we like to think we’re making it a bit more interesting and exciting for people.

“We’ve got a bunch of new flavours and formats on the way, and we’re about to send our first major order to Australia, so watch this space!”

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