Coco & Eve boosts R&D and broadens presence in Europe

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Inspired by the wellness and hair care culture of the island of Bali, Australian entrepreneur Emily Hamilton created Coco & Eve in 2018. Initially focused on hair care, the brand now puts forward the multiple botanical ingredients found in Indonesia and the tropics.

Gen Z and Late Millennials

The first – and now cult – product, our Like a Virgin mask, resulted in 1.5 million units sold. It gave its name to the whole range. Based on natural ingredients, including a fig extract and coconut oil, we created a clean, short formula to restructure the hair fibre. So, the category that launched the brand was hair care: it now represents 50% of our turnover and portfolio”, explains Nassim Belhaq, Director of Innovation of Coco & Eve.

Today, the brand boasts about thirty, mainly hair care and self-tanning references, but there are also sunscreens, and face care products will soon be launched as well: the first range is expected this September.

If it was always particularly active online, including on social media, the brand gradually opened to retail. By the end of the year, it will count over 2,500 physical points of sale around the world. Just like Australian brand Sand & Sky, Coco & Eve is part of the Supernova group, also founded in 2013 by Emily Hamilton and husband Alex Ostrowski. It has a team of 150 employees at the Singapore headquarters, but the production team is European – mostly Italian –, although sun products are made in Australia.

Boasting a 240% growth since 2021 and a soaring turnover which has doubled every year, over the past three years, Coco & Eve is booming.Several factors can explain why we were able to appeal to the typology of consumers we wanted to target, i.e. the Gen Z and Late Millennials, who are very fond of social media: naturalness, the brand’s aestheticism, with a visual identity easily identified on social media, and the formulation history, focused on the efficacy of ingredients derived from South-East Asia botanicals. It is the convergence of all these key elements that made us successful. Plus, recently, we refocused our strategy on science, to get even better results than in the past two years”, explains Nassim Belhaq.

R&D investments

Over the past two years, 300% of additional resources were allocated to innovation, so that the brand launched more than ten new products in 2023, including a sun care range composed of four high-performing SPF products, and about 20 launches are scheduled for 2024.

This way, it puts an emphasis on new actives with high, proven dermatological efficacy. “While we kept a formulation basis inspired from botanical ingredients to preserve the brand’s initial signature, for our latest launches, we also worked on a different positioning to instil more science to our actives and make them more technical, for example by using biotechnologies”, says the Director of Innovation.

Our product development strategy is based on categories. For hair care, we aim to push forward our expertise and achieve more targeted benefits, because treatment is a growth driver in this segment. We will also keep investing in sun care to enhance our self-tanning expertise. And as for skincare, we would like to gain ground by investing in biotech and green tech. Basically, what we are trying to do is make more premium, more ecodesigned formulas”, he adds.

Ambitious objectives in Europe

The brand is distributed in about 40 countries around the world, mainly in North America and Australia. These markets account for 75% of its turnover. But it is also present in South-East Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand… Now, it is developing on the European selective network: first, in the United Kingdom, but also in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, where it aims to strongly increase its turnover.

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