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Mass retailer targets organic personal care market

By Simon Pitman , 22-Mar-2007

Mirroring the trend already seen in Europe for mass market retailers to start stocking organic personal care lines, Target, one of the biggest retailers in the US, is about to commence sales of a new Erbaviva bath, body and skin care line.

This is part of a trend that market researcher Organic Monitor has referred to as the 'mainstreaming' of organic personal care products - products that were until very recently only to be found in specialty stores.



Erbaviva, which was set up in California ten years ago, will launch its Erbaorganics skin care line, targeted at mothers and babies, in 1,500 Target stores across the US from next month, and will also be available online at erbaaorganics.com.



The fact that this organic personal care line is now being stocked by a mass market retailer is a major step in the US, but in the UK, where the market for organic personal care market has fast developed in recent years, several mass retailers have already started distributing organic personal care lines in recent months.



Only this week Wal-Mart-owned retailer Asda announced the launch of the Bentley Organic personal care line at its UK stores, following similar launches made in the UK by supermarket retailers Tesco and Waitrose.



The line has 12 products specifically formulated for infants, pregnant mothers and new mothers, including stretch mark oil and leg refresher for women and shampoo, diaper cream and body oil for babies.



"Erbaorganics is one of the first USDA-certified organic personal care brands for the mass market," Robin Brown, founder of Erbaviva, said in an interview with Organic Monitor.



"We are positioning it to become a leading brand of certified organic personal care in mainstream channels," he added.



The products are formulated using natural ingredients that are pesticide- and pollutant-free, while the packaging has been designed to be environmentally free and recyclable.



The company said it is planning to expand its distribution on a global basis, specifically in Australia and Europe, where it is hoping that the product line will be stocked in pharmacies.



"We're staying true to Erbaviva's philosophy by putting the safest and most natural products on the market, but we're trying to make our pricing reasonable," said Brown.



"Our goal is to get the highest quality of organic products out to as many people as possible," he added.



The company says it expects to triple company-wide sales by the end of the year with the introduction of the new line, which is expected to generate $2 million to $3 million in first-year retail sales.



Likewise the company says it donates 15 percent of the proceeds from sales of the new line to the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.

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