What a beauty! Unilever’s nutricosmetic interest continues with Garancia advances

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever continue to strengthen its beauty and personal care offerings with a binding offer to acquire the French nutricosmetic firm Garancia.

The British-Dutch consumer goods’ latest move follows up an agreement to acquire a 75% stake in the Italian personal care and well being business, Equilibra in June last year.

While Unilever did not disclose the terms of the current deal, the acquisition expects to close in Q2 2019, subject to customary consultation process.

“Garancia is one of the leading brands in pharmacies with a strong positioning between natural and science, offering fantastic beauty products with a touch of magic,”​ said Vasiliki Petrou, Unilever EVP and CEO Prestige.

“Thanks to Savéria’s vision and expertise in derma-cosmetics, Garancia’s hero product Pschitt Magique is much loved and has earned great loyalty from consumers across different generations. We are delighted to have the opportunity to grow this brand globally.”

Garancia’s Pschitt Magique product is one example of the firm’s natural and holistic approach to product formulation. The skin product fuses botanical extracts such as organic green tea extract, cucumber pulp and fresh lemon juice with enzymes to remove dead cells and promote skin renewal.

Other products include its ‘Mystérieux’ range of anti-ageing serums, creams and moisturisers that blend extracts like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and Alaria esculenta​ seaweed with scientifically supported ingredients like polysaccharides, enzymes and vitamin complexes.

Magical formulas

“Based on the combination of nature and science, my formulas are clean, sensory and so effective our consumers think they are magical!”​ said Savéria Coste, Garancia’s CEO.

“After sustained growth in France in recent years, Garancia is now ready to enter a new phase of its development.

“Unilever Prestige would be the right partner to help Garancia achieve our ambitions, while maintaining our continued commitment to clean ingredients, creativity and excellence.

“This will guarantee the preservation of Garancia’s core values. I am excited by the opportunity to work with the Unilever Prestige team in this new chapter in our history."

Unilever have made no bones about its commitment to the beauty and personal care sector, especially with an emphasis on natural, plant-based ingredients that the organisation is aligning itself towards.

Its 75% stake in Equilibra means it has a ready-made access to a healthy skin and hair care range that uses plant-based ingredients with functional benefits, such as Aloe, Karite’, Argan and Almond.

The Italian-based company also develops nutritional supplements, probiotics and sports nutrition products such as energy bars and high—protein snacks.

Change of guard

Unilever’s focus on this segment also meant a change of personnel earlier this week as the company announced ex-Proctor & Gamble and Amazon head Sunny Jain would become Unilever’s new president of beauty and personal care.

Tasked with overseeing the Dove, Axe, Lifebuoy and Lux brands, Jain is also been bought in to aid in the transformation of Unilever’s portfolio and its move into high growth spaces such as Prestige and ecommerce.

In 2015, the company made further gains in the prestige skin care market with four key purchases– REN, Kate Somerville, Dermalogica and Murad, making Unilever the second largest personal care business in the world after L’Oreal.

“In line with our strategy, we continued to move the portfolio in the direction of the faster-growing segments of the market, especially those that speak to consumers’ growing desire for more natural products and purpose-driven brands,”​ said Unilever in its 2018 annual report.

“Younger consumers continue to prioritise meaning over materialism and are demanding more authenticity, transparency and natural ingredients.”

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