Botanicals Fresh Care by L’Oréal Paris: engaged, beautiful and inspired by nature
This month, L’Oréal Paris is launching Botanicals Fresh Care, its new premium hair care brand inspired by nature. Anne Machet, Deputy CEO International, explains how the brand meets new consumer expectations.
A premium hair care brand infused with natural ingredients
Innovating on the hair care market is no easy feat. While it still remains the number-one beauty market, with mass-market products reporting annual growth of 3.3% and representing a potential of €23 billion*, the market for hair care has experienced major changes in recent years. “For the longest time, hair care products played a purely functional role. Nowadays, however, consumers expect a lot more from them in terms of natural and organic composition, the experience they offer and their ecologic footprint. People want products that look after their hair but also the environment. The success of nature-inspired product lines from the likes of Garnier, with Ultra Doux, and OGX, an American brand that markets ‘pure and simple’ products, are prime examples”, claims Anne.
As such, this is the backdrop for the launch of the new Botanicals Fresh Care line. “Our goal is to offer a premium experience and high-quality products inspired by nature to the largest number of people as possible, especially devotees of a healthy lifestyle – those who, if given the option, would choose their bike over a moped and organic food over junk food – as well as eco-conscious consumers.” Coming in four versions – coriander, safflower, geranium and camelina – Botanicals Fresh Care products are the result of several years’ worth of work by the Group’s raw materials sourcing teams, hair research centres, perfumers and packaging engineers. “We use only raw materials of the very highest quality. All our products are silicone, paraben and dye-free. To replace the silicones, our designers came up with a coconut and soy-based botanical complex to protect the hair without greasiness or heaviness, offering a gentle, natural and light touch”, says Anne.
Demanding specs at every stage, from sourcing to bottling
Developing care products that incorporate natural ingredients is not the only goal for Botanicals Fresh Care: the brand aims to provide consumers full transparency about its procedures and offer environment-friendly products. For this reason, Botanicals Fresh Care made specific commitments at every single stage of the value chain. From ingredient selection to manufacturing methods, the brand adheres to a demanding set of specifications covering three areas: sourcing, extraction of raw materials and packaging.
On the sourcing front, Botanicals Fresh Care promotes sustainable agriculture. “We are always extremely attentive to biodiversity and are conscious about available volumes. We are mindful about not damaging our sources and are committed to supporting an environmentally friendly, sustainable production”, explains Anne. Botanicals Fresh Care also keeps an eye on the extraction methods used by its producers. To give a good example, the brand signed a partnership with a cooperative group from the Vendée region of France for camelina production. “We selected the group because it harvests with great care, applies natural extraction methods without solvents and follows an environmentally respectful storage approach”, she says. These selective requirements extend to product packaging as well. “All our containers are made of PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET), which is 100% recycled and recyclable: we expect to use 153 tons of PET in 2017”, Anne says, before going on to explain that Botanicals Fresh Care packaging uses less plastic than standard ones. “We also offer larger containers – 400ml instead of 250ml – to reduce the number used per year.”
Education and experience: the watchwords in consumer relations
The challenge for L’Oréal Paris now is to spread the word about its endeavours. As Anne comments, “Our priority is to educate as much as we can, in our stores and through our communication”.
Distribution-wise, Botanicals Fresh Care is working on the one hand with well-known retailers, including Boots in the UK, DM in Germany, Monoprix and Carrefour in France, and is striving to educate shoppers at the point of sale on the other hand. “Each of the four versions – coriander, safflower, geranium and camelina – is thoroughly explained through point of sale promotions. A map shows the origin of all our ingredients, describes their benefits and provides tips on product application. We even took the consumer’s sensory experience to a higher level by installing perfume diffusers in our store to immerse them in our aromatic olfactory universe”, says Anne.
This educational effort also shines through in L’Oréal Paris’s communication strategy. Botanicals Fresh Care will post YouTube tutorials and “Meet the Makers” videos. It will also be supported by “Botanicals Addicts”, a community of local social media influencers. Rit.kit.tatoo, a Ukrainian tattoo artist, earned 347,000 Instagram followers because of her tattoos made from real plants. Christophe Guinet, an urban gardener better known as Monsieur_Plant, has thousands of followers as he “greens” random daily objects such as baskets and computers. However, the community is not just online. As Anne explains: “We are organising an Urban Green Retreat in Paris at the end of January to bring the Botanicals Fresh Care experience to life. Christophe Guinet will be there, making art out of product bottles. After all, creating a fun experience is often the best way to get your message across!”
Two unique versions, multiple new markets
“Botanicals Fresh Care is an exciting new adventure on a market that is reinventing itself. This is why we are setting the bar high and why we want to be a major force in natural hair care. The next step will be to develop two new versions ready for 2018, in addition to winning over new markets. Launched this month in France, Germany and the UK, the brand will expand quickly to penetrate new continents”, says Anne in conclusion.
*source: 2016 Nielsen Panel