A beautiful mind

Ahead of her appearance at Natural & Organic Products Europe, Elizabeth Barbalich from Antipodes explains how a beauty philosophy born in New Zealand is offering a boost to British retailers.

Antipodes founder Elizabeth Barbalich has managed to bottle her home country’s reputation for health and natural wellness and bring it to the UK in a unique organic natural beauty range. Here she talks about the differences between the British and New Zealand markets, and how bloggers are helping to spread the word about organics.

Antipodes has been in the UK for some time now. What have you learned from the UK natural beauty market?
The UK market is exciting and dynamic, and also incredibly competitive. Consumers are seeking scientifically validated products, and quality is top of agenda for many people. Healthy relationships are paramount to building a brand in this market – relationships with key buyers, retail staff, and the end consumer. As a result , Antipodes has a strong focus on viral and social marketing, to ensure our message gets into the right hands, and behind key voices!

How do the two markets compare?
The New Zealand natural beauty market is mature, in that most women have good knowledge of key natural brands, and only a handful dominate this market – Antipodes is a market leader across several channels. However, new brands are entering the market at a fast and furious rate – and disappearing quickly. On the other hand, the UK market, has a wider and more diverse offering reflecting the differences in population and demographics.

How important is clinical research to Antipodes?
Very important! Along with our research & development team, we identified a significant market opportunity to produce skincare products that were certified organic and sourced from natural compounds that could also stand up to robust scientific scrutiny.

Scientific validation has been the number one priority of the company ever since. Antipodes has invested over $400K in Research and Development within 3 years, and has secured a government Ministry of Science and Innovation grant, which matches our investment dollar for dollar.

Antipodes combines in vitro laboratory investigations with human clinical trials to investigate product formulations involving New Zealand-sourced bioactive botanical ingredients. These independent tests have shown Antipodes products to significantly stimulate collagen production at a cellular level. More collagen means more youthful skin – plumper, smoother, healthier. Alongside the science is the real proof – rave reviews from customers – that Antipodes products are improving the appearance and health of their skin.

How important are independent retailers to your business strategy? What can they offer that big stores can’t?
Our independent retailers are crucial to our brand culture, and have been fundamental in building brand trust and loyalty. We love our independent retailers, and combined with our larger channels, we have found a good balance to offer our customers easy access to Antipodes.

Beauty bloggers are an increasingly important part of the market. Do you have any favourites to recommend?
The UK is sophisticated in terms of its blogger community and their knowledge, so its fun working with these ladies! Our favourite blogs include, but are not limited to: Pixiwoo, Essie Button, Ghostparties, Lipsofacto, A Beauty Junkie in London.