Stateside ambitions: Kiwi brand essano ready to ‘invest heavily’ to drive growth in US beauty market

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

essano is making its US expansion a ‘key focus’ for the company. ©essano
essano is making its US expansion a ‘key focus’ for the company. ©essano

Related tags New zealand natural beauty Us

New Zealand-based skin care brand essano is making its US expansion a ‘key focus’ for the company in response to demand for natural and clean beauty brands.

essano is one of the largest natural skin care brands from New Zealand with products that centre around organic rosehip oil.

Recently, the company announced that it had rolled out the brand across 3,000 stores in the US via retailers Rite-Aid, CVS and Harmon.

Founder Anthony Gadsdon told CosmeticsDesign-Asia ​that the company saw an opportunity to tap into the US consumer demand for natural skin care brands like essano.

“We conducted extensive research with US consumers over the last year to deeply understand the fast-changing consumer needs and ensure that the essano brand delivers on those needs. We quickly understood the key role essano could play as consumers look to switch their skin care to more natural options but are not willing to compromise on results.”

The company’s research highlighted that the brand could tap into the demand for “natural, authentic and clean beauty brands”​ and its hero ingredient, organic rosehip oil.

Gadsdon added: “We also support the move towards positive ageing with essano’s Collagen Boost range. Consumers are educated on active ingredients more than ever and we can support this with essano’s Concentrated Serums range.”

With its accessibility in the market, Gadsdon believes consumers that are interested in natural products are more likely to adopt the brand.

“Skin care can be a complicated space and empowering consumers to enhance their natural beauty, rather than concealing it is something we take great pride in. We knew we had a brand that made it easy for consumers to switch to clean and natural products as we’ve seen the same trend in New Zealand and Australia.”

As the largest skin care market in the world, the US will be a “key focus”​ for the company in the next 12 months.

“Our early success in the US has been very encouraging and we will continue to invest heavily to build the market by building strong retailer relationships and ensuring we deliver on the ever-evolving consumer skin care needs,” ​said Gadsdon.

SEA, Japan and China expansion?

In Asia, essano is available in Singapore, Malaysia, and has most recently expanded into Japan earlier this year.

“We have a strong partnership with Watsons in Singapore, Guardian in Malaysia and a number of premium retailers in Japan,”​ said Gadsdon.

He revealed to us that the company is also looking to extend its APAC presence into China and was in the midst of discussions with potential partners to enter the space.

“We will continue to grow and support our markets in Singapore, Malaysia, China and Japan and will continue to assess opportunities in Asia as they arise.”

Furthermore, the company is also looking to expand its footprint in its home markets of Australia and New Zealand where it still sees “huge growth potential”,​ said Gadsdon.

“We have recently launched our own e-commerce platform in response to huge growth in this channel and the changing ways our consumers learn about products and purchase.”

Moving forward, the company expects its ability to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing trends to be a key driver to its success.

“Our business is very much consumer-focused and data-driven. We have a team of cosmetic chemists within our factory where we control every element of production, so we tend to identify trends and deliver on emerging trends ahead of the market,”​ said Gadson.

“In an industry that can be revolutionised by an Instagram post, that gives us a real commercial advantage because we can quickly pivot and develop new products that capitalise on rapidly emerging trends.”​ 

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