by Elisabeth King

Organic and natural beauty ranges have gained enormous traction in mass retailers and pharmacies over the past few years as the ‘nature knows best’ mantra has become a universal belief among beauty buyers irrespective of education, income or demographics.

Tony Rechtman, CEO and Founder of Total Beauty Network (TBN) has always been ahead of the pack. “Women today are driven by the desire to be healthier, many have concerns about certain ingredients, want to be on-trend or all three. The overall interest in naturally-derived skincare and cosmetics is at an all-time high but there’s still a lot of room for expansion”, says the entrepreneur.

Rechtman’s ability to read the market has few equals. Following a 20-year career in cosmetics in the US and Australia across product development and marketing, he launched Designer Brands 13 years ago. The pharmacy-only makeup brand is as famous for its high quality as its affordable prices and has become a runaway success. Available in more than 4000 pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand, over two million products are sold every year and the brand enjoys annual double digit growth. A key point of difference Designer Brands shares with stablemates in the TBN portfolio – Colour by TBN and Inika Organic – is vegan and cruelty-free certification, with all products being free from nasties such as parabens, talc and bismuth.

Raww, a World First in the Marketplace

The jump from consumer interest in natural beauty products to actual usage has been a high hurdle in the past because many brands have hefty price tags. As always, Rechtman set out to completely eradicate the outdated notion that ‘natural’ means more expensive or poor performing.

In October, TBN launched Raww, billed as the world’s first Australian-made superfood cosmetics and skincare range. “Raww is unique in the marketplace”, he says. “The hero is WildBerry Harvest™, a blend of three Australian berries with clinically proven hydration qualities – Pepperberry, Riberry and Muntries. Other superfoods such as Kale, Goji Berry and Moringa boost performance to make Raww the healthy, natural alternative to mainstream mass brands so many women are looking for”. 

One of our core missions is to drive more customers into pharmacy, adds Rechtman. “The idea for Raww surfaced three years ago when I returned from CosmoProf in Hong Kong. There was just nothing new in the market and too much same-same. I couldn’t sleep one night and between 3am and 6am in the morning I wrote a five-page document for a brand that not only looked good, it made women feel good”. 

Ticks All The Boxes for Australian Beauty Buyers

Aimed at young-minded customers aged 20 to 35, the 93 SKU and cruelty-free shade lineup has the affordable price points TBN is known for – from $15 to $35. Millennial customers are the driving force behind the future of skincare and makeup and Raww also dovetails with key trends in the beauty market. More than 46 per cent of Australian women nominate “not tested on animals” as a feature important when purchasing beauty products, reports Roy Morgan Research. The top two priorities are value for money and a natural look. In spite of the dominance of global mega-brands, nearly one quarter of Australian women are also looking to buy Australian-made beauty products, says the researcher.  

“Like all of TBN’s brands, Raww ticks all the boxes Australian women think are important when buying skincare and makeup and the interest has been phenomenal”, says Rechtman. “By the end of the year, we will be in more than 700 locations. There has also been strong interest in the UK and from two major retailers in the US. We will also be launching Raww in New Zealand this year”. 

Beauty sales in pharmacies have always been a strong profit centre with one in five Australian women buying beauty products in pharmacy. The Raww range is a powerful example of what’s being called Organic 2.0. More sophisticated and natural products influenced by fashion such as Raww’s Acai Berry Glow Illuminator, Pomegranate Crush Blush and Wildberry Nourish Foundation. More effective than first generation natural products and with reasonable prices to fast-track higher volume sales. “Organic and natural beauty has become one of the biggest opportunities for pharmacies to grow their businesses”, says Rechtman.

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