SSA attends important meeting in Washington D.C.

By Dale Read, SSA President

On October 20th 2016 three people informally representing the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) attended a five hour Roundtable sponsored by the USDA-National Organic Program (NOP)  and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to Examine Consumer Perceptions of “Organic” claims for Non-Argicultural or Non-Food Products. Angela Owen, Chairman of the SSA and Owner of Suite Sleep, Dale “Sebastian” Luckwitz from SSA and OTA member company Naturepedic and Dale Read, President of the SSA attended the roundtable report on research conducted by the government agencies; and also, a research presentation on consumer perceptions and attitudes conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA).  The SSA is a member of the Organic Trade Association ( OTA) and attended the “consumer perception” research report session with other members and people associated with the OTA’s “Misleading Organic Claims Task Force” including people representing the Global Organic Textile Standard ( GOTS), Textile Exchange ( OCS-100), Control Union, Oregon Tilth, organic textile clothing manufacturers and several mattress and bedding manufacturers, as well as a number of key OTA staff members who have been advocating for a clear non-food “organic” claims definition at the federal level.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) participated in the roundtable along with experts from The Environmental Working Group, Consumer Reports, The University of Maryland, Texas State University, the FTC and USDA-NOP. A variety of government researchers, outside academic researchers and consumer advocates weighed-in on research findings and industry information concerning consumer perceptions and expectations regarding non-food products that make “organic” marketing claims. Noting that historically the USDA-NOP regulated “agricultural” crops at the farm or plantation level and processing and marketing of foods, but not non-food categories, the group discussed examples of blatant misuse of what might be expected to be an “organic” product, as well as existing non-government third-party standards for textile retail products such as mattresses and bedding.  The meeting also explored “Consumer Misperceptions and Organic Claims in the Marketplace…” as well as “Approaches to Improving Organic Claims…”

The Issue is Far from Resolved but there are Several Observations we can make:

•          The SSA is a strong advocate for transparency in marketing claims. The SSA’s BEDFAX® program is not a “green” program, but instead a contents label program advocating a 100% transparency for consumers regarding marketing claims. As a result, we are very interested in consumer education regarding mattress contents, and we are seeking to do away with “green washing” or any possible misleading or erroneous claims regarding mattresses and bedding. As a result of our vision and mission, our commitment embracing transparency and advocating consumer education, having unregulated and unclear non-food “organic” claims in the marketplace is a key concern for the SSA.  

 •         Mattresses and other “fiber or textile” based mattress, bedding and textile products are not the same as personal care products ( shampoos, deodorants, cosmetics, creams, lotions) or dry cleaning services. There is a very clear and well-established third-party international standard for both textile components and finished products in the form of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). More on this in a second. Because there already exists a widely recognized credible international standard for mattresses and bedding, we would strongly suggest that non-food organic rules and regulations for mattresses and bedding not be lumped in with personal care products, dry cleaning or other products not covered by such legitimate standards as GOTS and the Global Organic Latex Standard ( GOLS). Due to the unique situation that already exists, mattresses and bedding should be treated separately from personal care products and other non-textile related products.

•          While not the only standard dealing for “organic” textiles and textile related products such as mattresses and bedding , (there is also Textile Exchange’s (TE) OCS-100 for textile components tracking) and the Global OrganicLatex Standard (GOLS) for latex mattresses and pillows;  the Global Organic Standard  ( GOTS) is indeed the most widely recognized and, long standing international standard for finished “organic” mattresses and bedding. GOTS certifications for finished organic mattresses and bedding are achieved only after a rigorous inspection by credible professional national and international certifying agencies such as Control Union and Oregon Tilth.  GOTS also allows companies to market “ Made with Organic” claims based on a 70%-plus organic content, and it allows for certified components, which can be marketed correctly.

•          Environmentally and socially responsible and conscious manufacturers can also make a variety of “sustainable” or healthier and safer claims with such certifications as Rain Forest Alliance, GreenGuard, Oeko-Tex 100 if they choose a transparent marketing claims program that does not entail an “organic” claim.  However some consumers DO specifically look for “organic” mattresses, pillows, sheets, toppers; and for those consumers, the GOTS program is a well-established, third-party certified program recognized worldwide. It does entail specific set-asides and 70% or 95% bio-based, naturally organic materials requirements. These specifications and standards have been studied for years and resolved on a worldwide basis. While not a “pure” organic standard from some consumers’ perceived viewpoints, it is clearly a widely accepted and worldwide standard that allows for healthier, safer products that are harmful chemical and GMO-free product for the consumer.

This issue is far from resolved at this point with the USDA-NOP and the FTC.  The industry has until December 1st. to submit comments on the topic of correctly marketing claims for “organic mattresses and bedding.” Not all SSA members who are concerned about this issue see this in the exact same light. We share a common belief in “transparency and consumer education” regardless of which “organic standard” you embrace. We welcome your comments and thoughts on this issue.

 

SSA Representatives Angela Owen, Dale Read and Sebastian Luckwitz (2nd, 4th and 6th from left respectively)

SSA Representatives Angela Owen, Dale Read and Sebastian Luckwitz (2nd, 4th and 6th from left respectively)

SSA Has Revised Its Vision, Mission, Elected New Officers and Board Members, Two New Websites, the BEDFAX® Program and Created a New SSA Logo

After two years of working-committee meetings and SSA Board of Directors meetings, the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) has completed the non-profit industry group’s updated vision and mission statements; elected new officers; created an expanded board; introduced two new websites (www.sleepinformation.org and www.bedfax.org ); introduced the final, restructured BEDFAX® consumer disclosure contents label program and promulgated the new SSA logofor membership and marketing purposes at the Las Vegas Summer 2016 market.
Starting with a meeting held in the snow in Boulder, Colorado in the early spring of 2014, over a period of two years the SSA redefined its overall vision for the future and its mission (see below) , and then set about restructuring the governing board, the association’s websites, its consumer transparency labeling program and concluded this fundamental phase of the change process with the introduction of the new clean, crisp and modern SSA logo (see attached). “It took us two plus years,” says SSA President Dale T. Read; “however, this focused non-profit industry association has emerged with new board members and officers, new vitality and energy, new websites, a renewed message and a new look and feel with both the BEDFAX® program and the SSA logo.”

MISSION STATEMENT
“To serve sleep innovators, both manufacturing and retail, by promoting members, product transparency, and education.”

Vision
SSA’s vision is to be a trusted authority for consumers on product transparency and education for specialty sleep products.

“Our re-focus with the updated mission statement,” says Read, “puts us back center stage in the business of advocacy for innovators and emerging companies in the specialty sleep field. If you look at our SSA Showroom in Las Vegas, where we have over 30 manufacturing exhibitors, you will see innovative, cutting edge products offered by emerging companies. These innovators offer the industry new types of foams, suspension systems, biometric monitoring and measurement systems, organic materials, new designs, accessories for heating and cooling,  power and electronics, as well as top-of-bed, under-the-bed andfashion accessories to name a few of the product categories,” says Read. “For over two decades we have been an advocate or a host for emerging specialty sleep companies offering new products to the retail marketplace. Many of the larger, well known mattress/ bedding exhibitors in Las Vegas today started out with the SSA over 20 years ago on our show floors in Orlando, San Francisco or Las Vegas. Both returning and new companies approach us for every market, and we are pleased to serve the vital role as an advocate and a sponsor for these emerging companies,” states Read.

“We should also note because of this vital service, which we offer specialty sleep and accessories manufacturers and the attending retailers of all types and sizes, we have sold out our show space for the past several years.  Since the time following the Recession in 2010, we at the SSA have experienced a strong rejuvenation, and financial solvency that allows us to carry out our multi-faceted mission focused around advocacy and retailer education of innovative sleep products.”

News Leadership and the Next Horizon  

This past summer in Las Vegas, the SSA elected three new officers to govern the board and added two new members to the SSA board.  Angela Owen, CEO and Owner of Colorado based Suite Sleep was elected to serve as Chairman of the Specialty Sleep Association. Owen, who has more than fifteen years of experience in the sustainable bedding industry, sees her leadership as a bold challenge to try to change the industry’s “smoke and mirrors” sales tactics to clear and transparent product labeling. “As the new chairperson of the SSA, I see two distinct challenges ahead,” states Owen, “First, we need to redirect our education and appeal for the BEDFAX®  transparency labeling program to retailers and consumers, as opposed to just manufacturers. Secondly, we are going to explore added-value for SSA members to encourage growth and expansion of our membership including specialty sleep retailers, manufacturers and industry suppliers,” says Owen.

Sarah Bergman, who is Vice President of Marketing & Creative for PureCare, who oversees the company’s brand development, design, social media, PR, marketing and retail enhancements ( POP,etc.) was elected to serve as Vice Chairman of the SSA. At the same meeting, Pascal Roberge, Director of Sales for Beaudoin, a leader in bed frames, support systems and upholstered beds was elected to serve as the SSA Secretary / Treasurer. Among other duties, Roberge will be focused on developing SSA-sponsored research and marketing advocacy for the expanding under-the-bed, frame and support category.  Dale Read and Tambra Jones were also re-appointed to serve respectively as President and Executive Director of the SSA.

In addition to the three newly elected officers, the SSA board also elected two new members to the board expanding it to a total of ten voting members.

With the goal of increasing and strengthening retailer representation on the SSA board, the board has elected specialty sleep veteran Brian Davis, General Manager of the Saint Louis, MO-based Bedroom Store with 15 locations in the Midwest. Davis’s long affiliation with specialty sleep guru and former President of the SSA Denny Boyd helps re-focus the SSA in its mission to address specialty sleep issues at the retail level. Davis will serve for three years on the board. At the same time, looking for new blood and an international perspective, the board elected Thomas Frismodt, CEO of US-based Danican, an innovative and growing specialty sleep company, to a three-year term. Frismodt has blazed a trail of marketing and product achievements at companies in Denmark, Sweden and now in North and South America. Frismodt’s company brings a new, expanding and modern touch to the SSA showroom C-1565 at the World Market Center, Las Vegas.

The unveiling or introduction of the new SSA Logo was the final act or icing on the new cake for the SSA. The logo was developed by a branding committee consisting of Sarah Bergman, Mark Miller, Angela Owen and Tambra Jones. “We are pleased to introduce this new, clean, contemporary and stylish logo: one that fulfills our vision, mission and our future plans. It works very well with our new BEDFAX® logo introduced earlier in the year at the ISPA EXPO in Florida, states Executive Director Jones.

New Companies Fill Out The SSA Showroom’s Show-Within-A-Show Product Lineup

With 30-plus different mattress, bedding and home furnishings manufacturers and retailers exhibiting in Showroom C-1565 at the summer 2016 Las Vegas market , The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) reports that it is once again a magnet for retail store and e-commerce buyers. 

“We faithfully scan all buying groups entering our show space,” says Tambra Jones, SSA Executive Director, “and we are pleased to count hundreds of different buyers who come into our show space to see the new ideas, innovations and products offered by our SSA members who show in Las Vegas.” Jones explains that the energy can be electrifying in the showroom with different groups of buyers ranging from the smallest one person design firms and mom and pop stores to the very largest mattress/ bedding retailers in the business. “There is always something new, something different to draw in the buyers,” says Jones. “This market presents an extensive cross section of all types of innovations and technologies from various mattresses, support systems, heating and cooling technologies as well as furniture, top-of-bed and foundation or under-the-bed accessories. There is always something new, unique, cutting-edge and different in our showroom.”


This summer many of the returning exhibitors have taken larger spaces to offer more product displays and demonstrations to buyers. There are two new exhibitors in the SSA Show Space. They are Levitation Laboratories, which features the new multi-patented UpLift™ 3-in-1 Weightless Mattress System and Contour Products, Inc., which features top-of-bed cervical, orthopedic, side/back sleep, cooling, leg pillow, and bed wedges . 

According to Dale T. Read, President of The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), the non-profit association has now completed their two year program of redefining the association’s vision and mission; the complete administrative and legal re-organization of the BEDFAX® Verified Mattress Contents labeling program and the launch of the association’s new logo and graphics standards. “It has taken us two years, (since March of 2014), but we now have a revised and updated duo-mission focused on consumers and our members. We also have the formal launch of the BEDFAX® Verified program under way and now we have a whole new modern, clean look and feel with new signage, graphics and logo for the SSA.” Read says that the SSA is now approaching manufacturers and retailers to explain how the BEDFAX consumer disclosure contents label helps educate the discerning consumer about “What’s In This Mattress?” The BEDFAX contents label program is a voluntary, third-party, industry contents labeling that informs a consumer of exactly what is inside a participating mattress model by weight or volume including what is in the cover, the quilt or comfort layer and the core of the participating mattress. 


The following individual manufacturers will be exhibiting in the SSA Showroom C-1565:


Allassea Sleep Systems will be introducing the company’s new Triple Threat Mattress shield, a mattress encasement that kills bed bugs, dust mites, mosquitoes, within 24 hours of contact. This patent-pending, hypo-allergenic, nano-net technology is unlike other shields on the market because it kills pests while it is safe for people and pets.


Bio Sleep Concept Inc. This company, which focuses on natural and organic latex mattresses, futons and latex toppers, as well as “Downia” feather and down pillows, organic cotton and wool pillows will feature their exclusively licensed “Downia” feather and down products. Downia is a century old company that focuses on best quality products that are certified by the New Zealand asthma foundation.


Contour Products Inc. will be showing top-of-bed cervical, orthopedic, side/back sleep, cooling, leg pillow, and bed wedges in the SSA Showroom in Las Vegas for the first time as the company celebrates their 25th year being an innovative leader in the specialty sleep, comfort and support industry. They manufacture a variety of pillows, wedges, seat solutions and CPAP accessories that help to comfort, support and properly align the body for overall comfort and improved well-being. An emphasis on posture, ergonomics and support is what separates Contour Products from the competition. We believe that being comfortable is not just an indulgence, rather it is a necessity to obtaining quality sleep and for maintaining good health.

Danican …. This fast growing Superior-Quality Scandinavian Bedding Products company featuring mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, pillow protectors, mattress protectors, cooling pillow cases and cooling sheets is expanding on its highly successful container program by adding a wider and deeper product assortment. New at this market will be adjustable bed frames, as well as new types of mattresses, pillows and duvets.

East Grace Corporation of China will be showing their full line of mattresses including innerspring, latex and foam mattresses with cotton covers.

ERGO Beds International from Australia is featuring mattresses and sleep ensembles with “Ergonomic Technology” designed to conform the mattress and the bed base to the human form. The specially designed mattress can be adjusted to align the sleeper for a better night’s sleep.

Ergo Sleep Centers, a fast-growing retailer of ergonomic and symptom-specific sleep products, will show three of their market-tested Ergo Majestic line. At the last market, Ergo Sleep Centers first introduced four of the five-bed Ergo Majestic line, designed specifically for Baby Boomers and those over sixty-five, a majority of whom are coping with physical conditions associated with aging. The company will now introduce additions or changes to the summer Las Vegas market to show improved products to mattress / bedding and home furnishings retailers. Specific improvements and additions to the line include the ERGO-Majestic Solution to offer a firm mattress that is capable of providing superior ergonomic support with the capability of supporting up to 350 lbs. per side of the mattress. They also upgraded the ERGO-Majestic Plus providing better envelopment around the shoulders and hips using the new airflow layer to offer even more cushioning comfort for both back and side sleepers.

Forever Foundations will continue their commitment to re-inventing the foundation with their display of the latest updated and revised line of bedroom accessories. The company will feature the brand new Store More Black foundation, the Forever BedPower power strip, the under-the-bed LED bedlight and the revised and redesigned under-the-bed Store More BedDrawer. 

Grün Komfort is returning with their organic and natural products. Their certified product line ranges from latex mattresses, coconut mattresses, luxury duvets, pillows and even a full baby and teen line with accessories. They believe their premium bedding line provides a most healthy and natural sleep experience!

Innerspace Luxury Products, marketers of compression-rolled Certi-PUR memory foam and polyurethane mattresses, will be expanding their line by introducing new tables. These tables are a high quality low retail price point design.


Levitation Laboratories, making their Las Vegas Market debut, will be introducing two new debut products for 2016: GlideOn™ Mattress Maneuvering System that provides ease of mattress rotation and maneuverability—all while holding an optional bed skirt neatly in place; and its UpLift™ Weightless Mattress System that combines all the mattress maneuvering and bed skirt control features of GlideOn™ with its patented Weightless Mattress Technology, rendering the mattress virtually weightless in seconds for ease of bed making in home, health care or hospitality venues.

Naturepedic will feature their improved high-value Chorus Organic Mattress, New EOS Essentials Organic Mattresses and New Freight Program. The fast-growing Ohio-based pioneer in certified organic mattresses and bedding for adults and children, will be featuring two organic mattresses aimed at providing high performance with superior value for the growing adult health, wellness and safer living retail marketplace.

Noctova Sleep, manufacturers of the gel memory foam and youth collection mattresses, gel memory foam and latex pillows, adjustable bed bases and Noctova Cool, cooling protectors will be featuring their “Deluxe Model” adjustable bed base with massage features and a wireless remote.

REMarkable Pillow by TMI makers of American made memory foam pillows with high performance covers ( bamboo,Tencel, Cool Gel, mica crystal and cashmere) will be introducing their patented new Body Pillow. Unlike other body pillows, this body pillow has two separate cavities designed to give full support to your head as well as your lower back. Even the shape has been carefully designed for body shapes of all sizes including pregnant women. 

Sleep & Beyond, a third generation family owned manufacturer of organic and natural bedding, will be featuring their new myWoolly pillowcase, a 100% washable wool-filled pillow case, along with myWoolly Travel Pillow, a 100% washable and adjustable wool-filled pillow. New sizes will for the myWoolly pillow include king size. They will also feature organic cotton sheets in TwinXL size. 


Thomashilfen, North America, with its 60 years of expertise in the sleep industry and 180 international patents, is in the process of launching with Sams Club (on0line) and with Sears Canada. The company, which recently completed the Canadian Furniture show, has recently launched a new website that is retailer and consumer focused. Offered in a variety of firmnesses and softnesses these German e-engineered beds of the future provide a unique bed frame design with an open cell multi-density Swiss foam mattress using no harsh chemicals to achieve FR. Based on feedback in the North American market, consumers now have a choice between a Soft, Medium, or Extra Firm ThevoRelief.” 


Tyler Net, Inc. is bringing back Smartwerks, Inc. their affordable, cloud-based Point of Sale, Inventory and Accounting solution that is easy to use.  They say it will help retailers to process sales faster, know their customers better and be smarter about their products. Smartwerks will have Customer Referral and Rewards programming features.

Universal Forest Products, Inc. which features the Cinch Sleeper™ Bed Foundation Kit will show their patent-pending assembly which uses Snap-Tight™ clips that require no tools or metal fasteners making it quick and easy to assemble and disassemble their easy-to-carry bed foundation. The Cinch Sleeper serves as a mattress foundation, and can be used with or without most metal bed frames, and it pairs perfectly without any mattress.

Viscosoft, the International pillow and protector supplier will be expanding with the launch of the new Infiniti memory foam mattress program at the SSA Showroom C-1565. The new line will include three 12-inch memory foam mattresses that are specifically designed for the retailer to use with adjustable bases in their test-rest area. 

W. Silver Products, which is a family owned company that operates a steel mill in El Paso, Texas, manufactures their own angle iron from reprocessed railroad track. The company will be featuring their line of adjustable bed frames which they make in the same factory as their full line of bed frames and support systems.

SSA to host Greenguard seminar in Las Vegas - UL To Give GREENGUARD Certification Presentation to Furniture and Mattress Manufacturers and Retailers at the Winter 2015 Las Vegas Market

“Clearing the Air on Chemical Emissions Claims”

Sponsored by the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA)

Friant CA- November 12, 2014 -  The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) and UL jointly announced today that Mr. Scott Steady, Product Manager, Volatile Organic Compound(VOC’s) Emissions Testing and Certification, UL Environment will be giving a presentation to the furniture and mattress/ bedding industry on chemical emissions and the UL GREENGUARD Certification program.  The program will be entitled: “GREENGUARD: Clearing the Air on Chemical Emissions Claims.”  and will be held in Las Vegas World Market Center, Room C-174, Monday, January 19th from 4 PM until 5:30 PM.

Dale T. Read, President of the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA), says that the association and its BEDFAX® program is very pleased to sponsor this in-depth informative program that reaches out to all furniture and home furnishings suppliers, manufacturers and retailers who wish to understand the GREENGUARD Certification program and how it works to back-up chemical emission claims concerning their products with technical data.

Discussing the topic of chemical emissions, also known as VOC Emissions, Scott Steady explains, “Most of our exposure to environmental pollutants occurs by breathing indoor air.  Bedding and furniture products can emit chemicals such as formaldehyde and other VOCs that can cause odor, irritation, and other health effects.  As consumers seek healthier, more sustainable products, increasing scrutiny has been placed on manufacturer’s health and sustainability claims.  The GREENGUARD Certification program tests products to strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors.  GREENGUARD Certification provides the market with solutions and resources to identify products with lower chemical emissions, and provides manufacturers with credible tools to legitimize and promote their sustainability efforts.”

 The January program will provide concrete information to manufacturers and marketers of furniture and bedding products including:

 

 

• What is the importance of Indoor Air Quality and how does it affect health?

• Learn what GREENGUARD Certification is, the technical requirements, the certification process and how it differs from other programs

• How GREENGUARD Certification provides value to manufacturers, consumers and retailers

• What manufacturers can do ensure the product claims they make are accurate and credible.

The SSA’s Read states “This is another SSA sponsored program in a series focused on educating and informingmanufacturers and retailers about contents labels, certifications, truth in marketing claims and consumer transparency.  In the past SSA has sponsored speakers such as Environmental Consultant Vicki Worden of Worden Associates; Lori Wyman of Control Union who spoke on the Global Organic Textiles Standard(GOTS) ; and Attorney James Kohm, Enforcement Attorney for the Federal Trade Commission(FTC)  ‘Green Guides.’ This is one more service the SSA is providing to our members to keep them and their bedding industry colleagues informed in the arena of marketing claims, standards and certifications,” says Read.

 

About GREENGUARD Certification

UL's GREENGUARD Certification program helps manufacturers create - and helps buyers identify and trust - interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used. All certified products must meet stringent emissions standards based on established chemical exposure criteria.

 

About UL
UL is a premier global independent safety science company that has championed progress for 120 years. Its more than 10,000 professionals are guided by the UL mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. UL uses research and standards to continually advance and meet ever-evolving safety needs. UL partners with businesses, manufacturers, trade associations and international regulatory authorities to bring solutions to a more complex global supply chain. For more information about our certification, testing, inspection, advisory and education services, visithttp://www.UL.com.

 

For more information on the Specialty Sleep Association ( SSA) and the Winter 2015 Las Vegas Market, go to:

 www.sleepinformation.org

 www.BEDFAX.org

What’s In Your Mattress? Do Consumers Really Care About the Materials, Construction and Chemicals Inside Their New Mattresses and Bedding?

What do consumers really care about when they are buying a new mattress? Every piece of meaningful research on consumer preferences from Furniture Today and other sources confirms that consumers are mostly interested in comfort, support and performance leading to a really “good night’s sleep”, as well as price or real perceived value when purchasing a new mattress.  

So the questions have arisen: do consumers really care about what is in their mattress, just what are the materials used, which chemicals are part of the mattress and what goes into that mattress or how is it constructed?

Recent reports from ISPA and Furniture Today indicate that nearly 20 million mattress units are sold in the United States every year, and along with that another 17 to 19 million foundations or box springs are sold. Total sales for these reached 38 million-plus units and  $14.2 billion in retail mattress/ bedding sales.

According to Furniture Today’s July 27th “Making the SLEEP Connection” column written by David Perry, consumer research “…found that one in three consumers –31% - said that the main construction materials in a mattress are important to them when they buy a mattress for themselves or spouse or partner..”  That 31% of $14.2 equals $4.58 billion in sales that are affected by consumers wanting to know what is inside a mattress. Perry wrote,  “Any good retail sales associate should be able to talk knowledgeably about how the materials inside the bed will yield a good night of sleep.”

In October 2015 Colonial LLC, a leader in mattress showroom top-of-bed displays and POP materials released a study that stated “ seven in ten respondents said that it is ‘very important’ to them too know how a mattress in constructed.”  This research makes an even more compelling case that  $9.94 billion in mattress sales could be affected by a retail sales associate knowing what is in the mattress that the RSA is selling to the consumer.

Believing there is ample evidence that a significant percentage of consumers really do want to know “What’s in Your Mattress”, while also keeping it simple, and getting to the point, The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) is now re-introducing a new, simplified “consumer disclosure contents label program called BEDFAX. It is a simple, third-party, voluntary contents verification program supported by extensive written documentation, testing and certifications declaring the percentage by weight or volume of the materials, chemicals, and contents in the mattress cover, the quilt or comfort layer and the core of the mattress. BEDFAX is a contents transparency program, not a “green” marketing program, although one can make “green” claims by submitting current, active certifications and testing reports from valid third parties according to guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission for meeting substantiation requirements.

The simple, easy-to-read BEDFAX contents labels will make it easy for both sales people and consumers wanting to know exactly “What is in Your Mattress.”

 

Dale T. Read
President of
The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA)
www.sleepinformation.org
daler@marketingarmgrp.com

SSA Vice Chair and Sec/Treas are re-elected - Angela Owen of Suite Sleep and Roger Coffey of Latexco West Are Re-elected Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the Specialty Sleep Association

Friant CA – September 8, 2015 – Following the election of the chairman and a new board member, the Specialty Sleep Association has re-elected Angela Owen, Owner and “Sleep Diva” of Suite Sleep, Boulder, Co to serve as Vice Chairman. The SSA Board also re-elected Roger Coffey, President of Latexco West / Sleep Comp West of Sante Fe Springs, CA to serve as Secretary/ Treasurer of the non-profit industry association.

Owen who has been an activist and community leader in natural, healthy, safer and sustainable products for the home and family, created Suite Sleep in 2003 and has been one of the chief pioneering voices in the sustainable bedding industry for the past 12 years. She also has served as a leader of the steering committee developing the BEDFAX transparency and consumer labeling program for the SSA. 

Coffey has played an active role in the development of specialty sleep products both fabricating and marketing polyurethane and latex foams.   He founded Sleep Comp West to fabricate and market latex mattress cores and toppers; and later, became President of Latexco West when Latexco-NV, the largest latex manufacturer in the world purchased Coffey’s company in 2006.

 

SSA President Dale Read stated that Owen and Coffey serving as officers of the SSA Board will help the SSA fulfill its dual vision and mission to not only embrace “consumer transparency” with mattresses and bedding through the SSA’s BEDFAX® program, but also to vocally promote the unique and distinct advantages offered by specialty sleep products including air beds, flotation beds, memory foam beds, latex rubber beds, polymer gel beds, adjustable beds, natural “bio-based” and “organic” beds “SMART BEDS” and futons.

Mark Miller Elected SSA Chairman - InnoMax President and CEO Mark Miller Is Elected Chairman of the Specialty Sleep Association Board of Directors

Friant, CA – September 1, 2015 -  The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) announced today that the SSA has elected longtime specialty sleep advocate and manufacturer Mark W. Miller, President and CEO of InnoMax Corporation to serve as the association’s chairman of the board. Miller and his company InnoMax Corporation have been active promoters of advanced specialty sleep technologies since 1975.  Miller replaced Todd Youngblood , who stepped down from the chairman’s seat after serving for two years. 

SSA President Dale Read stated that Miller’s role as chairman will be to help the SSA fulfill its dual vision and mission to not only embrace “consumer transparency” with mattresses and bedding through the SSA’s BEDFAX® program, but also to vocally promote the unique and distinct advantages offered by specialty sleep products including air beds, flotation beds, memory foam beds, latex rubber beds, polymer gel beds, adjustable beds, natural “bio-based” and “organic” beds “SMART BEDS” and futons. 

In accepting his new role as Chairman of the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) , Miller stated, “ I am highly motivated and excited to work with the other members of the SSA to increase retailer and manufacturer participation, and to develop marketing strategies to enhance consumer awareness of the important aspects of better health through better sleep with specialty sleep products.

New SSA Board Member Sarah Budensiek - PureCare Vice President of Marketing and Creative Sarah Budensiek is Elected to Three Year Term on Specialty Sleep Association Board of Directors

Friant, CA – September 1, 2015 -  The Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) announced today that the SSA has elected Sarah Budensiek, Vice President of Marketing & Creative of PureCare  of Fairfield, NJ, designers, manufacturers  and marketers of “essential elements necessary to create a hearty sleep environment” to a three-year term on the SSA Board of Directors. For over a decade, Sarah, a graphic designer has fused creativity and visual communication to enhance the voice of countless brands.  In her leadership role at PureCare, Budensiek oversees all brand development, design, social media, PR, marketing, retail enhancements and more. A Graphic Design USA award winner and involved bedding industry advocate, Budensiek is a member of both WithIt and the Specialty Sleep Association. 

SSA President Dale Read stated that Budensiek will play a vital role by bringing both her energy and experience as well as her marketing talents to the SSA Board.  “Sarah will help us fulfill our dual vision and mission to not only embrace ‘consumer transparency’ with mattresses and bedding through the SSA’s BEDFAX® program, but also to vocally promote the unique and distinct advantages offered by specialty sleep products including pillows, sheets, comforters, air beds, flotation beds, memory foam beds, latex rubber beds, polymer gel beds, adjustable beds, natural “bio-based” and “organic” beds “SMART BEDS” and futons.

Also industry veterans Roger Coffey of Latexco, Mark Miller of Innomax and Pascal Roberge of Julien Beaudoin were re-elected to three-year terms on the SSA Board of Directors.

Ballast Solar Roof System and Money in a Mattress Equals Big ROI - How Day & Night Solar Helped Boyd Specialty Sleep save Money and Go Green

Money in a Mattress

When it comes to investors, there are the risk takers and those who want security. In the past, security meant stuffing hard-earned money into or under a mattress. President and CEO Dennis Boyd put his money into mattresses in 1977 when he founded Boyd Specialty Sleep. For him, it wasn’t a gamble because he knew he had something valuable to offer customers – all of the benefits from a good night’s sleep.

Seeing Green and Creating Green Products

The investment paid off. Boyd is a major mattress innovator and manufacturer in the specialty sleep industry. As the company saw green in the form of profits, Dennis Boyd also wanted his company to be greener in the form of sustainability and in its product lines. Mattresses take up a lot of landfill space since they are bulky, not easily reused, and difficult to recycle.  Environmentally unfriendly chemicals have also been used in producing traditional mattresses, adding to the disposal problem. A big focus was put on using greener materials such as bamboo and less man made materials to directly combat this issue, while at the same time adding to the customer's sleep experience.

Owning a Solar System – Does it Make Financial Sense?

Since Boyd owns its own buildings, they had two choices: 1) to purchase their own solar system or 2) allow a company to install a system and lease the power generated to other companies. Solar needed to make financial sense in addition to helping achieve the company's green initiatives. CFO Bryan Vonderahe began doing the research necessary to make this decision.

“One solar company stood out from all of the rest – Day & Night Solar. I felt as though they were committed to making sure I was educated both in solar products as well as the entire process cycle to implement such a project,” says Vonderahe.

Managing Partner Bob Eaton went to great lengths to answer all of his solar questions and alleviate any of his concerns. Having just completed installation of new roofing systems at their properties, there were concerns about the potential damage caused by thousands of perforations being proposed by other solar companies to secure their solar panels.

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Day & Night Solar eliminated this concern by proposing a ballast mounting system which would equally distribute the weight of the panels and eliminate multiple invasive perforations. Sales representative Patrick Murphy also exerted great effort to show the financial benefits of installing solar. Presenting multiple scenarios, each documented the return on Boyd’s investment. “As someone who regularly works with financial models  to evaluate current and future company performance, Day & Night Solar's ability to produce in-depth, viable ROI models was impressive to say the least,” said Vonderahe. With this knowledge, Boyd chose option 1.

Sustainability for Boyd and its Tenants

“As real estate owners, enhancing our buildings and holding energy rates constant adds tremendous value. For our tenants, it’s a huge benefit to be able to keep energy rates constant as the industry continues to predict long-term and constant rate increases,” added Vonderahe.

Solar was a Safe Investment and Helped Boyd Specialty Sleep to Truly Go Green

“We went with the best in class of solar panels for a greater return on our investment,” said Vonderahe. “The product really stood out in terms of long-term durability and efficiency. We liked the fact that Day & Night’s solar panels and mounting structures are made in America. There was an excellent warranty with a proven manufacturer.  This was very important, because, during the timeframe that we were seeking our own solution,  we watched other solar panel manufacturers go out of business, or be named in property damage lawsuits for fires caused by faulty panels. Plus, no one else, again, offered a ballast system to protect our new roofs.

Getting approvals, filing for designs, tax credits, etc., was all done through Day & Night Solar as part of their service. They made sure every “i” was dotted and “t” was crossed. They took charge and educated us on the entire solar project and process.

The cash outlay was very low and the payback will happen in a period of five years. That doesn’t include the long-term savings with holding down our energy costs.

Thanks to Day & Night Solar’s help, Boyd Specialty Sleep can say “that we have made tremendous strides at becoming a truly green company.” 

2.1 Billion Overweight People Worldwide

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/obese-or-overweight-people-top-2-1-billion-worldwide.html

Obese or Overweight People Top 2.1 Billion Worldwide ….That's 30%..Not exactly a niche market.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/obese-or-overweight-people-top-2-1-billion-worldwide.html

by Dale Read

United States population as of this morning at 9 AM was 318,135,100 people, and 30% of that number is 95,440,530 people.  That's 30%..not exactly a niche market!! Who would not want 95 million built-in customers?

So I represent a client who  manufactures and markets heavy-duty mattress/ bedding support systems that can support up to 4,000 lbs. depending upon the model selected.  My client wondered if they marketed a PLUS-size bed support, foundation, platform bed concept if this was  too narrow a niche market?  To address this, at the last Las Vegas market we handed out  research statistics from the CDC that showed:

Basically what both the CDC report last year and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation research showed this year is that approximately one in every three Americans now has a Body Mass Index of 25% to 30% or more, and they meet the definitions of overweight or obese

That means one in every three mattress/ bedding customers coming into the retail store has a body that lends itself to a PLUS-Size Solution in terms of support, alignment, comfort, performance and longevity of product. So far only a few mattress manufacturers have taken this issue seriously and developed mattresses AND SUPPORT SYSTEMS FROM THE FOUNDATION UP that will address both the short term and long term needs of bigger, larger and heavier customers. Even if the mattress happens to hold up over a few years, the traditional frame, cheaper foundation solution fails larger customers. Our client has interviewed obese consumers, who have reported to them failure of frame and foundation within a year or so. 

The point is we are making here is that this is NOT a small niche. Retailers have more customers coming through the doors that are overweight or obese than they have suffering from menopause, sports injuries, physical disability, even the very serious problems related to allergies or any of the other myriad of issues the mattress industry has addressed with foams, latex, special innersprings, gels,  natural materials, protection systems etc. 

Sinusitis

  • Roughly 13% of people 18 and over in the U.S. have sinusitis.4

Allergic Rhinitis

Our point is really quite simple:  The PLUS-SLEEPER issue is NOT a niche market problem.  It is a huge mainstream market issue affecting 30% of all customers, and that mattress/bedding manufacturers should be addressing through R &D and product development.  That the solution is NOT just a tough, engineered, high performance mattress, but also a system that works from the floor up…from the support system to the top-of-bed.

As president of the Specialty Sleep Association, I believe that if specialty bed categories wish to grow, they should lead the charge to create and market longer term, superior technology products that will perform, will last at least 8 years, and will address the basic support, alignment, comfort and performance needs of the growing 30% of the market that is overweight or obese!  One in three American shoppers needs this totally integrated approach to mattress and bedding.

PS…By the way with ta BMI of 27% yours truly slips into that overweight category…by about 20 to 25 lbs.  It is a real issue for many of us!