Breaking News


November 9, 2009

Asian Firms Look to Adopt Natural, Organic Standards

ASIA: A growing number of Asian natural cosmetic companies are adopting natural and organic cosmetic standards to differentiate their products. According to new research by Organic Monitor, a growing number of Asian companies are taking the certification route, with most opting for European standards. The Ecocert standard is the most widely adopted, with companies in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Australia adopting this standard, according to Organic Monitor.

In Malaysia, the Buds Cherished Organics brand is reporting a sales surge since the Ecocert-certified range was launched earlier this year. Produced by the Malaysian company I-Green, it is the first Asian brand of certified organic baby care products. The company believes organic certification is responsible for its popularity. Ecocert certification gives a guarantee to mothers that the baby care products do not contain any potentially harmful synthetic chemicals.

The success of the Buds Cherished Organics brand is leading the Malaysian company to start exporting to neighboring Asian countries and Europe and it may start certifying its other brands.

Asian consumers are turning to natural and organic cosmetics as they become more aware of the possible dangers of synthetic chemicals in cosmetics and toiletries. Health scares, especially those involving Chinese products, have raised consumer interest in product quality and safety issues. Certification gives a guarantee that products meet high production standards and do not contain potentially harmful chemicals.

In China, the Australian brand Jasmin Skincare is capitalizing on consumer demand for “chemically-clean” cosmetics. The company is also reporting a big increase in sales since it started marketing its products for theirorganic ingredients and certification. To highlight these attributes, it markets its brand as “the best organic skin care in the world.”

Although many organic brands would argue otherwise, this marketing ploy is very successful in China where many consumers have lost confidence in tainted cosmetics. To gain confidence with such Chinese consumers, Jasmin Skincare executives have even stated their products are safe enough to eat. Certification is key to Jasmin Skincare’s success. It is one of a growing number of Australian cosmetic companies adopting the Organic Food Chain (OFC) cosmetic standard. Its products are made from certified organic ingredients, many of which are USDA certified.

Other Australian companies are adopting European cosmetic standards, with Ecocert again the most popular. Nature’s Care has recently launched a range of certified organic personal care products. It has adopted Ecocert standards because the standard is more internationally recognized than OFC.

To many companies, certification not only provides a guarantee that high production standards are met, it also opens up export markets. In this respect, U.S. brands risk losing out in the fast growing Asian natural cosmetics market. American brands such as Nature’s Gate and Aveda are very successful in Asia, however these brands have not adopted natural and organic cosmetic standards. With very few American companies adopting standards, European and Australian brands will look to capitalize on growing Asian demand for certified natural and organic cosmetics, according to Organic Monitor.

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Valeant To Acquire Major Australian Skin Care Brands

AUSTRALIA:Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will acquire Private Formula International Holdings Pty Limited, a leading skin care company. Through its acquisition of Private Formula International, Valeant is acquiring global rights to the following: Dr. LeWinn’s premium skin care, Hissyfit anti-aging skin care and Revit-anail (Renunail in the U.S. and UK), nail strengtheners. Dr. LeWinn’s is distributed throughout Australia in more than 2,500 pharmacies, as well as through major department stores, and has annual sales of approximately $27 million.

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Unilever Picks Up Sara Lee Brands, Cuts Stake in JohnsonDiversey

UNITED KINGDOM: Unilever has acquired Sara Lee’s personal care business for $1.9 billion in cash. According to Unilever officials, the acquisition will strengthen the firm’s leadership positions overall in Western Europe. In addition, there is significant potential to build these brands in developing and emerging markets, which already generate approximately 15% of their annual sales, the company said.

The Sara Lee brands generated annual sales in excess of $1.1 billion with an EBITDA of $191 million for the year ending June 30, 2009.

Following the acquisition, Unilever announced plans to cut its stake in JohnsonDiversey from 33% to 4%. The deal, which is expected to close before the end of the year, follows on from the original 2002 sale of Unilever’s institutional and industrial cleaning business to Johnson Wax Professional. 

JohnsonDiversey will continue to sell and distribute certain Unilever products into the professional commercial cleaning and hygiene market, according to the company.

Courage + Khazaka CEO Honored by Univ. of France-Compté

FRANCE:On Sept. 9, Gabriel Khazaka, chief executive officer and founder of Courage + Khazaka Electronic GmbH, Germany, a leader in skin testing instruments, was honored for his lifetime work by being appointed an Honorary Professor of the University of France-Compté, Besançon, France. The ceremony took place during the International Society for Biophysics and Imaging of the Skin meeting.

After working for 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Khazaka founded Courage + Khazaka in 1986.

UniCredit Bank Austria Acquires Stake in Kalina

RUSSIA: UniCredit Bank Austria AG has acquired a 10.72% stake in Russian cosmetics and personal care products company Kalina. Kalina’s operations include Pallada Ukraine, Glavskazka International, Dr. Scheller Beauty Center, Kalina Overseas Holding B.V.and Kalina International SA. It also owns a controlling stake in Dr. Scheller Cosmetics AG.

In August, Kalina reported that sales for the first half of 2009 rose 24.3% and gross profits jumped 12%.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit Is Nov. 16-17

GERMANY: The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit is a new series of events from Organic Monitor which will cover major issues the beauty industry faces concerning sustainability, natural, organic, fair trade and ecological products. The inaugural summit will be held Nov. 16-17 in Frankfurt, Germany. Major themes will include market and industry developments, sustainability and CSR best practices and developing green formulations. The organizer will bring together some of the leading and most influential organizations involved in sustainability in the beauty industry.Speakers include members from natural cosmetic firms such as Weleda and Laverana.

George Korres, founder of Korres Natural Products, will present the opening address.

Amarjit Sahota, director of Organic Monitor, will present the latest figures on the global market for natural and organic cosmetics and highlight the major trends and developments. An update will then be given on international natural and organic cosmetic standards by leading certification agencies. In addition, details will be given on the Cosmos standard as well as NaTrue, NPA and NSF.

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Inglot Cosmetics Opens First Store in North America

POLAND: Inglot Cosmetics, a Polish-based cosmetics company with more than 250 store located in Australia, Europe, Canada, Dubai and Asia, has opened its flagship North Amer-ican store in New York City.

Inglot’s new shop in New York City.
“We felt that New York City provided the ideal forum for us to launch our newest product in conjunction with the opening of our first North American store,” said Wojtek Inglot, founder of the firm. “Inglot is a combination of high-end luxury products at everyday value prices. There is simply no other company that infuses such advanced technology and beauty in this manner.”

At the launch party, Inglot unveiled O2M, a breathable nail polish. Using polymer technology originally designed for breathable contact lenses, O2M significantly increases the oxygen and water vapor permeability of the varnish, facilitating a smooth glossy spreading of the varnish that reduces the tightness of the polish and allowing nails to breath, diminishing the potential of fungal infections, according to the company.

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