Category Archives: Brand Profiles

Retail notes from Shanghai: Urtekram China [Yatikelan]

The last stop on my recent Asia trip was Shanghai; China’s largest city (according to Wikipedia) and one of the country’s four so-called top tier cities. It was my first visit to Shanghai (and mainland China) and I loved it.

Granted, I only saw the (touristic) city centre – I was there for just four nights (on the 144 hour transit visa deal for EU citizens) and two of those days were spent at China Beauty Expo 2017 – but still: such a cool city!

It’s great for exploring on foot, has a fascinating cityscape, interesting buildings, stores and markets, and the food!!! And Shanghai has a fabulous bar scene, too – I wish I could have had an extra few nights to try out all the bars on my short list; thank you @asia.cocktails! – but at least I managed to visit Speak Low bar. An excellent night.

But this article isn’t about Shanghai’s tourist attractions, it is about an organic beauty brand which I discovered quite by accident in a Watsons drugstore on Nanjing East Road (Pedestrian street ). Even more surprising was the fact that I knew the brand – Urtekram is one of THE best-known and oldest Danish organic beauty brands and they have a wide European distribution. However, it seems that Urtekram (or “Yatikelan”) also has a product portfolio of around 100 sku designed specifically for the Chinese market. Exciting stuff!

Essences, toners, lotions, BB creams, CUSHION FOUNDATIONS, men’s care; face masks – these are Asian formats and textures. None of these product ranges are available anywhere in Europe (or in East Asia either; at least I haven’t seen these products in any of the beauty stores I’ve visited in Tokyo, Taipei or Hong Kong). The ranges aren’t listed on Urtekram International’s website either.

I tried to contact Urtekram China through their official Shanghai address but didn’t get a response. I can’t read a word of Mandarin, unfortunately, and Google Translate doesn’t work so well with non-Western scripts, but I did my best to dig up some info for y’all. Keep in mind that most of this info is based on assumptions, conclusions, inferences and some creative lateral thinking.  If anyone of you kind readers out there can confirm or correct the facts or has additional info about Urtekram China, please let me know and I’ll update the article accordingly.

I also took a whole bunch of photographs (I think I spent almost an hour sitting in front of the product display; the sales assistants were starting to give me distinctly nervous glances) and I bought two of the hydrating toners which are SUPERB! Loving the textures.

Anyway, this is probably the longest teaser paragraph I’ve ever written for a trend-traveller article, so click on the link below for more info and pictures!

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Organic beauty from Romania: Prisaca Transilvania and Sabio Cosmetics

I recently visited Bucharest for the first time and really liked the city. Amazing city architecture – a very cool mixture of modern Communist-style buildings, Bauhaus and Art Nouveau; in the city center many buildings are renovated, others look like they are about to crumble into pieces any minute now.

Bucharest also has tree-lined wide boulevards, art museums, many green spaces, bakeries everywhere; antiquarian book stores and cafés…and there are some FABULOUS bars, especially Fix MAD Bar and the Origo Café  in Strada Lipscani which turns into a cocktail bar at night (check out their drinks on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/y74xkhjs / https://tinyurl.com/y9vgat5rhttps://tinyurl.com/y88ek4re). And don’t even get me started on the Romanian food…..*happy sigh*…..

But this article really is about two rather cool organic beauty brands from Romania, Prisaca Transilvania and Sabio Cosmetics. Both were completely new to me – then again, I don’t know much about the Romanian C&T market, let alone the domestic organic beauty industry. I came across Prisaca Transilvania in one of the Bucharest outlets of German drugstore chain DM. Sabio Cosmetics, on the other hand, I discovered right here in Berlin, in the recently opened Pravalia Romanian Delights store in Neukölln neighbourhood.

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Retail notes from Seoul: [Brand Profile] Yuri Pibu – organic beauty from Korea

While I was in Seoul I had the opportunity to visit the marketing office of organic Korean beauty brand Yuri Pibu. Yay! I should explain that so far I had only read about Yuri Pibu’s iconic beauty products (like the famous parsley toner and artichoke serum) on various  K-beauty blogs and forums.

Yuri Pibu is not retailed in Europe (yet!); in Korea the brand is sold online only and Google Translate wasn’t particularly helpful with the Korean-language website. Basically, I was intensely curious about the brand and although I’m really good at online research I was getting nowhere with Yuri Pibu.

So I was very excited when EGT Korea, the company behind Yuri Pibu, invited me to visit their office and check out the products myself. I also asked them a bunch of question about the brand, the products and Yuri Pibu’s further expansion plans. Click on the link below to read more!

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[Brand Profile]: Jath from ENS Korea/Jallon

And here – as promised – is the brand profile about Jath, the new organic beauty brand from Korean natural products manufacturer Jallon. I had met Jallon at Cosmoprof Asia 2016 back in November; the company has recently taken over the marketing for my all-time favourite beauty brand Whamisa. At the trade show, Jallon presented two new organic brands: Nature Belle (you can read my article about Nature Belle here) and Jath.

Jath is a premium anti-ageing face care range which was launched in the summer of 2016. Like its sister brands Whamisa and Nature Belle, Jath is manufactured by ENS Korea, certified organic by German association BDIH (Cosmos) and the entire range is completely water-free: the first ingredient in all five products is aloe vera leaf water.

The Jath line-up includes an eye cream, a face cream and three serums/elixirs which are packaged in glass bottles and jars; the outer packaging is made from stiff cardboard. All products have been scented with a similar blend of essential oils (rosewood, bergamot, geranium and lemongrass) and the fragrance is rather invigorating: zesty citrus notes, aromatic herbals and spicy wood accords.

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[Brand Profile]: Nature Belle from ENS Korea/Jallon

At Cosmoprof Asia last month I also met one of my favourite organic beauty brands from Korea: Whamisa. Whamisa’s manufacturer ENS Korea was a first-time exhibitor at the trade show, together with organic manufacturer Jallon which has taken over the marketing and promotion for the Whamisa brand.

And Jallon presented two new certified organic product ranges: premium anti-ageing range Jath and children & baby care range Nature Belle. I’ll post a more detailed article on Jath soon. This brand profile is about Nature Belle. Click on the link below for more information, ingredients and pics!

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Retail notes from Taipei: Fasun [Brand Profile]

I first came across organic Taiwanese beauty brand Fasun a couple of years ago. The packaging is rather cute (also, there are not that many certified organic domestic C&T brands) and the INCI list looks interesting.

When I was in Taipei last month I finally had the opportunity to check out the brand more closely. I’m particularly interested in face care so I bought two products, a foaming facial wash and an intriguing-looking face mask. Click on the link below for more information and pics on Fasun.

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CBM Magazine: Retail Focus articles from 2016 [Ainz & Tulpe, Olive Young, Belport, Parashop, Wahanda, Mankind et. al.]

Here are some of the Retail Focus articles I wrote for CBM Magazine in 2016. Retail Focus is a monthly article series of short company/brand/store profiles.

I often write about retailers or stores that I have come across on my travels – like Japanese drugstore chain Ainz & Tulpe, Korean perfumery retailer Belport, Korean drugstore chain Olive Young or French parapharmacy chain Parashop.

This year we also published articles on interesting online retailers, like Vegane Pflege from Germany, UK salon booking company Wahanda (Wahanda also owns the Treatwell and Salonmeister sites) and men’s grooming store Mankind.

Other retailers, like US drugstore chains Ulta or CVS, I’ve never actually visited but still managed to write in-depth company profiles about them (thank you, Internet!).

The copyright to these articles belongs to HPCi Media/cosmeticsbusiness.com.

Enjoy!

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