Online Exclusives

Weleda Is Keeping Its Promises

August 26, 2011

This naturals marketer has stood steadfast in its “anthroposophical” philosophy for 90 years.

Weleda is finishing up a milestone year, its 90th anniversary, what a journey it has been.
 
From its formation in 1921 as a pharmaceutical laboratory with its own medicinal plant garden, Weleda is now a leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for “anthroposophical” therapy. All of the company’s products—be it a pomegranate firming day cream, a massage balm with arnica or copper ointment for relieving muscle pain—are based on the anthroposophical understanding of people and nature, which states that life processes in the human body and nature are similar.
 
 
Weleda at a Glance
• 2010Sales: CHF 385.3 million
• Personnel: 1931 (full time) at the end of 2010
•Key Personnel: Patrick Sirdey, chief executive officer; Moritz Aebersold, director BU international markets; Peter Braun, director BU pharma; Patrick Kersting, chief financial officer; Andreas Sommer, director BU natural and organic cosmetics. Weleda Board of Directors—Georg Fankhauser, chairman; Barbara Schneider, deputy chairman and member of the audit committee; Rolf Kerler, member of the audit committee; Dr. Giancarlo Buccheri, Prof. Götz Werner, Paola Ghillani.
•Major Products: Personal care products including facial and body skin care, baby care, oral and hair care products, as well as topical and ingestible pharmaceutical products.
 
As a result, all of its preparations and products are formulated using carefully selected natural substances, and Weleda does not use synthetic fragrances or dyes or preservatives. And 62% of the plant-based raw materials Weleda uses come from controlled organic or biodynamic cultivation, or are obtained from certified wild sources.
 
It’s that level of commitment to natural which has garnered Weleda a dedicated following of consumers.
 
“Our customer base is very loyal—very small, but very loyal,” Hamish Cook, vice president of marketing, Weleda North America, said at HBA 2011 in New York City this summer.
 
In 2010, Weleda’s sales topped $400 million (385.3 million Swiss francs) on a decline of 3.5%, which the company attributed to the dramatic change in exchange rates for Swiss francs in relation to the euro. According to Weleda officials, revenues, when adjusted for changes in exchange rates, actually rose 11.1%. Using a similar formula for exchange rates, sales rose 12.2% in 2009, according to the company.
 
Germany is Weleda’s biggest single market, where consumers are smitten with its Calendula Baby Cream, Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash and Pomegranate Firming Day Care—its top three best sellers there, according to company officials.
 
Pomegranate is one of the natural ingredients featured in Weleda's skin care line.
By category, 72% of Weleda’s revenues stem from its natural and organic personal care products which include items like its best selling diaper changing cream plus a full range of facial and body skin care, hair care products and oral care. The remainder comes from its pharmaceuticals business, which includes a range of topical and ingestible treatments and products for a variety of conditions ranging from hay fever to upset stomach to common aches and pains.
 
Harmony with Nature

 
The company’s motto—"In harmony with nature and the human being"— highlights the values that have a crucial influence on Weleda's business objectives. Specifically, company executives insist that all corporate actions should serve the good of its customers, employees and partners, and should be characterized by love and respect for nature. As such, Weleda has been well ahead of the curve in terms of sustainable development, placing great importance on ecological, social and economic responsibility via founder Rudolf Steiner's view on human health, shared social life and environmental awareness.
 
For example, Weleda obtains the majority its organic sesame oil—an essential ingredient in many of its body care products—from southern Mexico in a partnership with a local family-owned business that provides farmers with a reliable source of extra income stemming from a purchase guarantee. Some 238 farmers have a contractual agreement with Sesajal to grow sesame on 1,300 hectares of land under natural, organic conditions.

The price the farmers receive is considerably higher than the market standard, according to Weleda, and even exceeds the current fair trade recommendations. In return for this price, the farmers commit to producing organic sesame with an organic purity of 97%.
 
 
 
 

 

Related End-User Markets:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Who Makes That?

    Who Makes That?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 1, 2016
    From concept and formulation to testing and filling, today’s contract manufacturers perform a range of services for marketers

  • Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Established brands and start-ups address the needs of multi-cultural beauty consumers.

  • The Scalp Microbiome

    The Scalp Microbiome

    Nava Dayan PhD, Dr. Nava Dayan LLC||April 1, 2016
    A review of recent findings and innovative approaches for treating scalp disorders.

  • Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    April 25, 2016
    Agnieszka Saintemarie of Kline Group about current trends and challenges in multicultural beauty.

  • At a Loss for Curls?

    April 22, 2016
    Amplixin, a Miami-based maker of hair strengthening products, has a solution for hair loss.

  • Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 4, 2016
    A new way to try-before-you buy is capturing the attention of consumers and the beauty industry.

  • NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    New product development, formulation expertise and proper preservation are topics of discussion at February monthly meeting.

  • Battling Pollution via Skin Care

    Battling Pollution via Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 7, 2016
    Canadian start-up turns to crowdfunding to help launch a new anti-pollution moisturizer.

  • Texture on the Runway

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 22, 2016
    Au Naturale by Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Creme of Nature, Design Essentials and Garnier create head-turning hairstyles.

  • Arm

    Arm's Reach: skin care line with unique packaging

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 15, 2016
    Chemist brothers create a skin care line with packaging that helps consumers cover hard to reach spots.

  • Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Fisherman makes a boatload of products that contain sea kelp and a raft of natural ingredients.

  • What

    What's on Tap for 2016?

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 8, 2016
    CEW and NPD present their beauty industry review and preview.

  • Witch

    Witch's Brew: Dickinson's celebrates milestone in 2016

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 1, 2016
    Dickinson’s celebrates 150 years of witch hazel skin care with the biggest line expansion in the company’s history.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • 5 Things I Learned

    5 Things I Learned

    January 15, 2016
    The Avon & Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. Dr. Sabrina Fabi (left) and Dr. Kimberly Jerdan.

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    Jacqueline Sheridan, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP||January 11, 2016
    The unintentional conversion of personal care products through marketing.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • A Home of One’s Own

    A Home of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 23, 2015
    NeoStrata’s Exuviance has opened its first freestanding retail space, complete with on-site skin analysis and express treatment rooms.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.

  • That’s Quite an Achievement!

    That’s Quite an Achievement!

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||November 2, 2015
    The CEW honors seven beauty industry leaders.

  • What

    What's Not to Love?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 26, 2015
    The sun care category is rife with issues, but there’s a lot to like about it.

  • Sharp Competition

    Sharp Competition

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 26, 2015
    800Razors.com signs a high-profile athlete to promote its growing direct-to-consumer razor and personal care business.

  • About a Boy

    About a Boy

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 19, 2015
    As a mom, Jenny Cupido wanted to solve her son’s skin issues. Now she’s raising an indie beauty brand too.

  • A Suite Deal

    A Suite Deal

    October 12, 2015
    Image Studios provides an innovative venue for beauty professionals seeking a new way to do business.

  • For Their Own Good

    For Their Own Good

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 29, 2015
    With a rich heritage and recognized formulation expertise, FC Sturtevant Company is moving into the consumer marketplace.

  • A Foothold in Foot Care

    A Foothold in Foot Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 22, 2015
    Treating feet right is the heart and soul of one Brooklyn-based company.

  • SK-II to the Rescue

    SK-II to the Rescue

    September 8, 2015
    A new formula targets microRNA, which a P&G researcher insists plays a key role in skin aging.