Global internal growth and a growing demand for natural, vegetable-derived ingredients are helping AarhusKarlshamn expand its position in the personal care industry. It’s been more than a year since the merger between Aarhus United of Denmark and Karlshamnns AB of Sweden formed AAK AarhusKarlshamn. Now the company boasts annual sales of $1.5 billion, 2,500 employees and production plants in seven countries. More importantly for cosmetic formulators, AAK Lipids for Care is rolling out an array of novel ingredients based on vegetable raw materials.
Shea butter, in particular, is becoming increasingly popular with cosmetic formulators. According to research conducted by Mintel, the number of new cosmetic products that contain shea butter has soared from 222 in 2000 to more than 2,500 in 2006.
“The interest in shea continues to grow,” noted Rita Leissner, marketing manager, AAK Sweden. “We have a full range of shea products for use in all types of personal care applications, including skin care, hair care and color cosmetics.”
In fact, AAK calls itself the world’s leading shea butter producer. As the No. 1 player in the segment, the company has worked very closely with the United Nations to improve the lives of women in Burkina Faso, Africa, where the material is produced. At the same time, AAK is a founding member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil and participates in the UN Global Compact program for the promotion of sustainability.