As is so often the case these days, the company’s founders will remain involved with the brand. It’s an acquisition strategy meant to help preserve the brand’s ethos and loyal consumer base while leveraging the infrastructure of the acquiring company.
Commenting in mid-December, when the deal was first publicized, Jaime Schmidt, founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, said, “Today is a momentous day in the history of Schmidt's Naturals as we announce our joining of the Unilever family of brands.”
“Thanks to our community, what started humbly in my kitchen and local farmers’ markets has grown into homes worldwide. I am proud to say that as a result of our partnership with Unilever, we are better positioned than ever in our mission to make natural products accessible to all. Moreover, Unilever’s substantive actions towards creating a more sustainable and equitable future for diverse peoples across the planet further fuels the enthusiasm behind our alliance.”
Schmidt’s Naturals began in 2010 as a natural deodorant brand. In the Schmidt’s product portfolio there are five scented deodorants; a fragrance free version; and a new, very on-trend charcoal and magnesium deodorant. The brand also creates seasonal scents and sells travels sizes and jars of its signature deodorants too.
Beyond deodorant, Schmidt’s has expanded its personal care product line over the years to include toothpastes and bar soaps.
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America describes the new acquisition this way: “Schmidt’s Naturals is a strong, innovative brand in the fast-growing natural category, and nicely complements our existing portfolio of US deodorants which includes leading brands Degree, Axe and Dove,”
Emphasizing Schmidt’s vision for the future of natural beauty, Kruythoff adds, “The brand’s focus on transparency and mission to make natural products accessible to everyone aligns closely with Unilever values and represents an exciting category expansion for our family of brands.”
As natural formulations improve and consumer trust rises, more multinationals are upping their natural (or clean, green) beauty propositions.
In September 2016, Unilever bought the well-established natural home and personal care brand Seventh Generation. Summarizing Unilever’s interest in that brand, Nitin Paranjpe, president of the company’s home care business told the press, “Seventh Generation has long been a disruptor in the US marketplace, leading the industry in sustainable innovation while attracting new generations of conscious consumers,” as Cosmetics Design reported at the time.
Now, the Schmidt’s Naturals deal is doing more of the same for the company’s personal care business. “Schmidt’s Naturals is a great strategic fit for our Personal Care business, allowing us to reach new consumers who prefer natural options,” says Alan Jope, president of Unilever personal care. “We look forward to utilizing our Personal Care leadership to extend Schmidt’s Naturals into new sales channels and geographies.”