Jeju experts: K-beauty brand banking on ‘made-in-Jeju’ label to boost international presence
Accoje is the brainchild of South Korean ODM/OEM company UCL Co. Ltd. The company has over four decades of experience manufacturing cosmetic products for some of the most popular K-beauty brands in the market.
UCL launched its own brand around five years ago to showcase its expertise in Jeju-made cosmetics.
“We have a specialisation in Jeju Island raw materials and the largest cosmetics factory on Jeju Island. We wanted to create a brand that really embodied our expertise in Jeju. Even our packaging is inspired by the shape of Jeju Island,” said Bang So Ra, assistant manager, global sales marketing, UCL.
According to Bang, what really sets the brand apart is that it has obtained the Jeju Cosmetics Certification, which she stressed was not easy to get.
“It’s very strict. You must manufacture on Jeju Island, use the raw materials and water from Jeju. We have the biggest factory on the island and we also source from our own farms. Some of the more well-known brands in the market do not have the [credentials] we have,” she elaborated.
According to Bang, more than 70% of the materials used are sourced from Jeju Island.
Bringing Jeju to the world
Outside of South Korea, Accoje is available in markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Germany and some parts of the US.
While the brand has been in the market for a few years now, Bang believes it is still in its infancy and has plenty of potential to grow.
“We understand that the trend now is very focused on naturals. Also, these days, people are looking for products that are authentic. They can tell what is real and they look for labels like Jeju Cosmetics Certification as proof that products are what they claim to be.”
Moving forward, Bang said the company would see more certifications such as vegan or cruelty-free in order to “prove” its authenticity to an increasingly knowledgeable consumer.
She added clinical studies were also becoming more important to the consumer, which was why the company places emphasis on backing up its claims with scientific data.
The brand was primarily available in South Korea where the business has been growing steadily, according to Bang. Recently, however, it has seen more demand from overseas markets in Asia.
“Based on order quantity, out biggest market right now is Vietnam, followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan, we see there is potential to grow more,” she said.
Bang revealed that the company will be entering the US market soon and was currently in talks with a leading beauty retailer and a departmental store chain to carry its products.
She added that the company was expecting to receive approval to export its products into Europe by the end of 2019.
“Once we have that approval, we will expand into the European market. We may look at the UK and German markets first.”