Weleda eyes further expansion in South America

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainable cosmetics summit São paulo

Weleda eyes further expansion in South America
Despite awareness of natural and organic cosmetics remaining low, major naturals player Weleda says it sees huge potential for further expansion in the region.

“Among consumers the awareness about truly natural and organic products is still low but growing steadily in Latin America,”​ said Ulrike Weber, Weleda’s regional director for South America in an exclusive interview with Cosmetics Design.

“As ‘natural personal care’ is not defined legally yet, you can find confusion in the market about it. Therefore it is very important to explain exactly in a transparent way what it is about and also the benefits.”

The importance of educating the consumer

Weber points out that the process of educating and informing the consumer is a straight forward tried and tested formula that stressed the company’s commitment to superior quality, as well as its values and standards that are tied into the use of natural and organic formulations.

“We aim to use only the purest wild crafted, organically and biodynamically cultivated ingredients for our products: no synthetic preservatives, no synthetic chemicals, no artificial fragrances, no petroleum-derived ingredients, no GMO´s and never tested on animals,”​ said Weber.

“With it we try to help educate consumers the importance to use natural cosmetics. For their own benefit as individual health and authentic beauty and at the same time, taking care for the socio-ecological system.”

Weber will be explaining in greater detail about the company’s philosophy and its objectives in the South America region when she gives a presentation at the forthcoming Organic Monitor Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, which will be held in Sao Paulo in the last week of September.

Ulrike Weber, Weleda's regional director for South America

Expansion into new and fast emerging markets

During the presentation, Weber will also go into some detail about how the company is targeting further expansion into the region, which thus far has concentrated on the largest market, Brazil.

“In Latin America there are countries with a very interesting market potential for the future. In this moment Weleda Natural and Organic Cosmetic is represented in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Peru,”​ said Weber.

“For the future we intend to create a powerful growth in sales also considering to step into new dynamic markets.”

Importance of distribution channels

Key to getting the formula right is to be present in the right distribution channels in the market. And although these distribution channels are well established throughout the region, they do show marked differences to other regions, with each country displaying its own unique characteristics.

“Brazil, for example, is a huge country, and you need to be in all important distribution channels to reach your consumer. According to ABIHPEC 2010, in Brazil 34 percent of the sales come from traditional retail, 31 percent from direct sales, 29 percent from distributors and 6 percent from Franchises."

The Sustainable Cosmetics Summit​ will take place in São Paulo, 24 – 26th​ September and the event will consist of a one day workshop on green cosmetics and sustainable business opportunities together with  two days of presentations, covering ingredients, marking, ethical sourcing and sustainability.

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