Product, Service & Design Innovation
Unilever Enters Natural Beauty Space with Launch of ApotheCARE Essentials

After recently receiving straight A’s on CDP’s A-List for its approach to climate change, water and deforestation, consumer goods giant Unilever is making moves to expand its portfolio of natural care hair and skincare offerings. The new line of products will target the growing number of consumers seeking more natural, responsible personal care products.

While product development takes around two to three years, Unilever put the petal to the metal to deliver ApotheCARE Essentials, with a core team of five developing and bringing the line to market in just one year.

“The marketplace is evolving so rapidly and there are so many different business models and new brands coming in it’s exciting that we at Unilever are piloting some of the new trends and even leading the trends,” said Piyush Jain, VP of Hair Care at Unilever and founding member of ApotheCARE Essentials.

Six base ingredients, four fragrances and a technique called phytoextraction serve as the building blocks for ApotheCARE’s 18 products. According to Matthew Seal, a biochemist and founding member of ApotheCARE, ingredients are carefully selected for their hair and skin benefits, then blended with burdock, white willow, rosemary, ginkgo biloba, sage and seabuckthorn.

While the ingredients themselves are enough to pique consumers’ interests, so too will the price tag. ApotheCARE’s entire range will be made available at retailers such as CVS for under $20. The decision to keep prices down is likely to give Unilever a competitive edge, providing consumers with an affordable alternative to the pricey boutique cosmetics that largely dominate the natural beauty space.

Unilever has high hopes for the new brand and expects ApotheCARE Essentials to become one of its core brands. Additionally, the experience has helped Unilever develop a roadmap to quickly create new brands in response to consumer needs.

“We’ll always develop technology and sometimes we’ll get a golden egg,” said Seal. “We can’t always radicalize the core of our portfolio, but we’ll always work to improve those brands and occasionally get something like ApotheCARE Essentials.”


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