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Start-up behind plastic free toothpaste hits supermarket shelves

Following their win at the Foodstuffs Emerging Supplier competition, Porirua start-up Solid, which has created an innovative plastic free toothpaste, is now hitting the New World shelves.

Solid was founded by a former oral health therapist, Laura Nixon and her partner, Adam McConnochie, who were frustrated at the plastic free and sustainable alternatives to toothpaste.

Around 16 million toothpastes tubes end up in landfills, and both Nixon and McConnochie want to tackle this.

With Solid, the plastic free toothpaste, they were able to create a sustainable solution: their jars could be returned to Solid for reuse and then used again and again. This way, Nixon and McConnochie were able to create a toothpaste that didn’t compromise quality and sustainability.

“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,” says Nixon.

“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.” 

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The pair decided to pursue this start-up last year – with McConnochie leaving his entrepreneurial adviser role – and entered Foodstuffs Emerge, a competition that offers emerging suppliers a fast-tracked journey to New World shelves across the country.

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

Six months down the line, Solid have been able to launch two of their innovative products in New World’s across the country, with 82 percent of their toothpaste purchased from supermarkets.

“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,” adds Nixon.

However, online Solid has been able to expand into twelve categories, including mouthwash to toothpaste tablets, all specially made to encourage behaviour change.

“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,” says Nixon.

“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.” 

Though Solid is focused on their sustainability and oral health principals, Nixon says their newest priority is understanding the New World community.

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