Natural food business makes jump into personal care

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Personal care Organic food Skin Florida

A Florida-based natural foods business has made the jump into the
fast-growing organic personal care segment with the launch of a
full range of honey-based skin and hair care products.

The BeeCeutical Orgnanic Company has sprung out of a vegetarian farm produce business set up in Florida in 1980, called the Bread of Life. The success of that business in the Florida area, has led the company's owners to take it into another area of the health and wellness segment, which currently has leading market growth rates - the personal care segment. Established by Julie and Richie Gerber, Bread of Life merged with Whole Foods Market in 1997, prompting the creation of the Whole Foods Florida region. The Gerbers have since retired from their food business, but say they have decided to continue their quest for environmentally friendly consumer products by developing a range of hair and skin care products that tap into the immense interest in products that are free of harsh chemicals and that do not harm the environment. The BeeCeuticals Organics line relies on the couple's Holistic Honey Blend in combination with other organic botanicals, extracts and hive products to generate a line of effective but gentle personal care products. Honey has been used in personal care products since the Roman times, but the Gerbers said their interest in this area was ignited by more recent scientific studies indicating the therapeutic uses of honey, both for burn and wound healing as well as for healthy skin by reviving and replenishing new cell growth. The couple's attention was focused on Apitherapy, which is said to use bee products to prevent, heal or recover from a range of diseases and skin conditions, as well as incorporating holistic healing through the honeybee and its bi-products. In view of this the Gerbers teamed up with Jon Guerra, a Cornell University graduate, chemist and herbalist who helped them research and develop a blend of honeys from around the world, selected for their proven medicinal properties and skin benefits. The culmination of this research was the creation of a proprietary 100 per cent Organic Holistic Honey Blend. The company says that, rather than using the cheap powdered honeys or honey that is heated, filtered, irradiated and pasteurized in its skin care products it chose to opt for a naturally derived honey derivative that maintained all the functional properties. As a result, it claims to use honey that is certified organic, raw, unfiltered and never heated above hive temperature. This is also said to make the Organic Holistic Honey Blend a potent anti-aging ingredient that benefits the skin due to its antioxidant density and curative factors. The product line includes Honey Thyme Hand and Body Lotion, Queen Bee for a Day Cream, Bee Line Free Eye Cream, Bee-yond Body Balm Skin Care Repair Cream, and Bee-Hair-Now Hydrating Honey Shampoo & Conditioner - all are made using the company's honey blend. The line will be launched in a dozen stores in Florida, as we as in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts, as well as being available online on an international basis.

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