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Chinese herbal brand focuses on the West thanks to increasing demand

By Michelle Yeomans+

25-Jul-2013
Last updated the 25-Jul-2013 at 12:20 GMT

Herborist, a brand positioned at the crossroads of traditional Chinese herbal extracts and the latest modern biotechnical achievement has further invested in the German markets following increasing demand from consumers for more Eastern based formulations.

The brand's name which stands for an 'oriental philosophy of mysterious beauty', has  in recent years begun to invest in international markets, particularly in several global branches of Douglas, the German cosmetics retail group.

From products, to packaging, to brand culture, the brand's salute to Chinese culture has attracted a certain amount of curious consumers.

With Germany holding the largest stake of the cosmetics market in Europe, its consumers are now beginning to discover this distinctive culture and are opting for more products featuring Chinese philosophies and medicinal herb theories.

This more aware consumer now means that the brand has the scope to market its products in the country, again opting for the German cosmetics retail group.

"Though neither professionals nor consumers have much knowledge about Chinese cosmetics yet, German consumers were pretty enthusiastic at the launch of Herborist, and they liked the brand's innovative concept and the quality of the product," says a company representative.

Building up an international portfolio

As aforementioned, Germany is not the first step along Herborist's European journey. Five years ago the brand was initially launched in the European market by opting for Sephora's flagship store on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Cultural differences hasn't stopped the brand's development, but instead stimulated consumers' curiosity, and within a matter of months after its launch, its' T'ai Chi Masks have become the top-five-selling items for the company.

"While buying Herborist products, consumers can hear salespeople explaining some skin-care concepts with deep philosophical meaning, which refers to natural balance, and the syncretism of body and mind. All of those have obvious imprints of the ancient oriental country from which the products are developed," adds the company.

Influence of the East in the West

Eastern beauty products has become a segment of its own within the Western cosmetics industry in recent years and is steadily continuing to build momentum.

According to market researcher Mintel, it is the popularity of BB Creams and the use of botanical and herbal ingredients that are prompting Western brands to launch products with extracts from Eastern traditions and the opportunity for international brands to develop more finished beauty products both locally and in the West.

The arrival of BB Cream in Western markets is more recent, but European retailers say sales are encouraging thanks to coverage in the beauty and national press whipping up excitement about the product,” says Mintel's Vivienne Rudd, director of insight, beauty & personal care.

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