‘Strong appeal’: L’Occitane targets young consumers after latest clean beauty acquisition

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

L’Occitane has moved to make its portfolio more appealing to millennials and Gen Z consumers with the acquisition of Grown Alchemist. [Grown Alchemist]
L’Occitane has moved to make its portfolio more appealing to millennials and Gen Z consumers with the acquisition of Grown Alchemist. [Grown Alchemist]

Related tags: L'Occitane, Australia, a-beauty, M&A

French cosmetics company L’Occitane has moved to make its portfolio more appealing to millennials and Gen Z consumers with the acquisition of Australian clean beauty brand Grown Alchemist.

The company announced that it had acquired a majority stake in the luxury Aussie brand on March 24. It was launched in 2008 by brothers Jeremy and Keston Muijs.

Grown Alchemist is best known for its holistic approach to beauty, with topical cosmeceuticals and nutricosmetics. It also emphasises sustainable sourcing and minimalist design.

“The acquisition of Grown Alchemist is a continuum in L’Occitane Group’s goal to build a leading portfolio of premium beauty brands,” ​said André Hoffmann, vice-chairman and CEO of the L’Occitane Group.

The addition of Grown Alchemist would strengthen the company’s position in the clean beauty market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% and be worth $1.16bn by 2027, according to data by Brandessence Research.

According to Nielsen IQ, growth in clean and sustainable products has outpaced the total beauty category in each of the last four years, especially during peak pandemic times.

By investing in clean beauty, the group would be able to better reach the younger demographic who are the main consumers of clean beauty.

“With its unique brand identity, product range extending to nutricosmetics, body and hair care, and strong appeal to millennials and Gen-Z, it is complementary to our product portfolio. The brand is also synergistic with the Group in its entrepreneurial management team and its support of sustainable sourcing, respecting natural biodiversity and reducing waste,” ​said Hoffmann.

This follows L’Occitane’s acquisition of Sol de Janeiro. The US beauty brand is the maker of cult favourite Brazillian Bum Bum Cream which is popular among millennials and Gen Zs.

At the moment, Grown Alchemist is available in retail in more than thirty countries in Asia, Europe, and North America. The group believes there is still room for the brand’s international growth.

In 2020, the brand unveiled a flagship store in Melbourne and is now gearing up to expand globally to fuel its growth with a full-scale omnichannel presence.

Hoffmann told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the firm was unable to share any expansion plans for Grown Alchemist yet.

“It is still early in the acquisition process, and there are many decisions that have yet to be made. That said, true to our guiding principles, the group will support and share its expertise with Grown Alchemist to expand its reach, while offering the co-founders the autonomy to lead and drive the business.”

Following this acquisition, Grown Alchemist will become a non-wholly owned subsidiary of the group with both co-founders remaining on board in their roles and retaining shares in the company.

This is L’Occitane’s third acquisition in three years. The company acquired US company Limelife in 2018. A year later it acquired the premium UK skin care brand Elemis for U$900m – its largest acquisition – and acquired a majority stake in Sol de Janeiro last year.

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