Naturally Northern Rivers Australia woos post-pandemic shoppers

By Michael Barrett |

Naturally Northern Rivers Australia has ventured into the online retail space.

Australian-grown natural, organic and health-based products are set to make their presence felt within travel retail Oceania after the entrance of a new player.

Naturally Northern Rivers Australia has set its sights on the fast-growing health and wellbeing market through a carefully curated selection of natural, healthy, and organic products sourced exclusively from the lush Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

The ethically and sustainably sourced product range is the brainchild of TravConsult Directors Trevor Lee and Choi-Lee.

The company is working with local producers who are advocates of sustainable and ethical practices and can demonstrate authentic provenance, the firm tells TRBusiness.


The two entrepreneurs are familiar faces within DF&TR and lead TraveConsult, which has been providing strategic and practical solutions for aviation, tourism and retail transformation for almost two decades.

The company has forged close relationships with local producers that are advocates of sustainable and ethical practices.

“Our core values have been the beacon that has guided us from the beginning and provenance was key,” commented Choi-Lee

“We’ve hand selected products ranging from food to skin care, all Australian owned and grown and produced in the Northern Rivers, NSW.

“Our artisanal partners are situated in the lush soils of the largest volcano caldera in the southern hemisphere, adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage listed rainforests.”

The range has already made an impression on local retailers, travel retail included. A key turning point for the new venture came when Brisbane Airport, recognising the importance of locally sourced, sustainable products, incorporated the brands into its retail offer.

Brisbane Airport invited the emerging Naturally Northern Rivers Australia brand to distribute its product range on the airport’s new online retail portal, BNE Marketplace, the online airport shopping experience launched by the airport in late 2020.

Brisbane Airport Corporation Commercial Marketing Manager Annabel Bachmann said the environment and sustainability are top of mind for the airport operationally and in combination with changing consumer habits these values will shape the future of retail.

“From a retail perspective it’s important to us that we take a collaborative approach in helping to put ethical and sustainable brands centre stage,” said Bachmann.

“We are delighted to be able to feature boutique businesses such as Naturally Northern Rivers Australia, which represent the best of sustainable and organic regional suppliers from among our Northern Rivers neighbours. There is no doubt consumer habits are changing and this will only continue to increase more rapidly post-pandemic.”


Trevor Lee and Lilly Choi-Lee, Founders, Naturally Northern Rivers Australia.

Naturally Northern Rivers Australia says consumers are making purchasing decisions based on greater transparency around where ingredients come from and how they are made, a behaviour they believe will only increase further post-pandemic.

The company’s analysis is consistent with research conducted by travel retail research expert m1nd-set, which shared its insights on post-pandemic sustainable purchasing behaviours at the inaugural Travel Retail Sustainability Forum in April.

According to m1nd-set’s research, more than one third of international travellers purchase more sustainable products compared to pre-Covid and more than half (54%) will actively look for more sustainable and environmentally friendly products when shopping at the airport on their next international trip.

Furthermore, two thirds of travellers say they are prepared to pay more for a product if it is environmentally friendly.

Trevor Lee, Co-Founder and Director of Naturally Northern Rivers Australia, underlined to TRBusiness the importance of sense of place and the need among consumers to touch, smell and taste products when purchasing in travel retail.

As such, he highlights the need to provide an attractive alternative in the Covid-19 impacted trading environment.

“With consumers’ ability and desire to touch, smell and taste significantly impacted during the pandemic, shoppers are leaning more toward alternative indicators to validate their product choices.”

Choi-Lee added: “At Naturally Northern Rivers Australia we are striving to keep would-be travellers connected with the idea of travel by providing them with rich and unique insights into the real DNA of the Northern Rivers region, through unique stories of the land, its produce and its people. Hopefully, they will be tempted to visit here one day and feel the positive energy of this place.”

The company is actively marketing the new sustainable product range to Chinese consumers eager to purchase authentic and naturally sourced Australian products.

The aim to develop the range across travel retail throughout Australasia in the next eighteen months before expanding to other world regions.

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