Back in September 2009, Laboratoires Serval acquired Copar, specialists in skin care and body care based on natural actives and oils, and formed Laboratoires Biocos.
According to marketing manager Virginie Raffait, 2010 will see the company reworking the Copar brand in an attempt to grow its consumer base and distribution, and 2011 is likely to see a number of new product launches.
“Copar makes products based on natural actives such as argan oil, olive oil, honey and shea butter which fit well with the focus of the Lovea brand on the Monoi de Tahiti” she said.
In addition, Copar’s products have always been available in France’s supermarkets (albeit on a smaller scale) – a distribution channel that is central to the strategy behind the Lovea brand.
Supermarkets – the chosen distribution channel
The brand's strength in the supermarket distribution channel was present before Laboratoires Biocos (then Serval) started developing the organic side of the range.
After the purchase and restructuring of the company in 2006 it was necessary to find a way for the sun care brand to compete with the big names already available in the supermarket channel, explained Raffait.
Organic was chosen to be the new focus, as it reflected well the brand’s flagship ingredient Monoi de Tahiti.
“Now the central idea is to democratise the organic sector, making products, which usually retail at a significant mark-up, available cheaper to a wider audience,” Raffait explained.
Although the majority of organic cosmetic brands are available through parapharmacies and specialised retailers, the sector has become more mainstream in the last few years and a number of supermarkets have launched own-brand organic products.
In France, both Carrefour and Auchan have launched their own private label organic ranges and in Germany private label makes up 10 per cent of the organic cosmetics market.
According to Raffait, the growth of organic cosmetics among supermarkets private label ranges does not pose a threat to the company.
“Moves in this direction will only boost the segment, and that can only be a good thing for our company,” she said.