PARIS ­­– Beiersdorf AG has just launched Chaul, its first brand developed specifically for the Asian market.

The three-unit, premium face-care line has products formulated with fermented tea. It was introduced first in South Korea a few weeks ago.

The range includes the Early Ritual Water Essence, Early Ritual Ampoule and Early Ritual Cream, each billed to be antiaging and giving an even complexion.

Beiersdorf said in a statemeent on Wednesday that if the brand is successful in South Korea, it will then be launched incrementally in Asia, with a focus on China, the largest country market in the region.

South Korea is among the most competitive – and pioneering – beauty markets worldwide. And Asian consumers, especially the Chinese, are major skin-care product purchasers. Skin care is now the leading beauty category worldwide.

Beauty manufacturers have been forging east-west connections with homegrown brands over the past few years. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton launched Cha Ling, skin-care products based on tea culled from China’s Yunnan Province and developed into formulations in France. Meanwhile, L’Occitane Groupe has created the Erborian Korean Skin Therapy brand.

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The Nivea Accelerator (or NX Accelerator), which is Beiersdorf’s Seoul-based innovation hub, is spearheading Chaul’s launch. The brand is considered to be an in-house startup and will benefit from synergies with other startups in the accelerator, such as gleaning learnings about relevant e-commerce platforms, the company said.

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“The Korean market is playing a pioneering role in Asia when it comes to developing innovative beauty products and digital technologies,” Stefan De Loecker, Beiersdorf’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The moniker Chaul was inspired by the Korean word for tea, “cha.” The brand’s tag line reads: “Own Your Moment. Own Your Beauty.”

In the Hadong region in South Korea, wild tea leaves undergo a natural fermentation processes.

“With our Chaul products, we specifically address the needs of consumers in the region,” said Endrik Hasemann, general manager of Beiersdorf Korea and NX cofounder.

“Throughout all project phases, we have involved the NX startups extensively in the development process,” he continued. “Starting with consumer studies, through packaging design and digital marketing, to our DTC business model. In less than 10 months, the Chaul team was thus able to bring the product to market readiness.”

NX, which was launched in 2019, has evaluated more than 500 startups. Each year, it chooses five to join the accelerator program. Those selected have a strategic partnership agreement with Beiersdorf, plus mentorship support, office space and the ability to pitch for venture investment.

NX, the first global beauty accelerator in Korea, aims to become the leading one in Asia by 2022, Beiersdorf said.

Hamburg-based Beiersdorf generated sales of 7.6 billion euros in 2019. The company’s brands include Nivea, Eucerin, Hansplast/Elastoplast and La Prairie.

For related stories, see:

Beiersdorf Accelerator Unveils First Korean Start-up Crop

Reinventing Beauty Retail in France

L’Occitane Opens Start-up Incubator

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