SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Unilever agreed to buy skin-care brand Tatcha, which makes creams based on a foundation of green tea, rice and algae, seeking to ride a wave of demand for Asian-influenced cosmetics.
Tatcha, founded a decade ago in San Francisco, has an innovation centre in Japan. Japanese skin-care labels have been vying with South Korean brands for consumers looking for high-end alternatives to western brands. A price wasn’t disclosed.
The world’s largest cosmetics companies have been acquiring upstart brands in recent years as they search for the next big hit, often picking labels that attract younger, trendier shoppers. Estee Lauder Cos. acquired Becca, Rodin, Le Labo, Glamglow and Too Faced while L’Oreal SA bought CeraVe, Atelier Cologne and It Cosmetics. Earlier this year, Unilever added French derma-cosmetic brand Garancia to its lineup.
Under new Chief Executive Officer Alan Jope, Unilever has been snapping up niche labels in areas ranging from skin care to healthy snacking. The company, which also owns Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, has seen sales growth slow for mainstream brands.
The Anglo-Dutch giant’s high-end personal-care brands include Dermalogica, and three years ago it splashed out $1 billion on Dollar Shave Club.
By Eric Pfannert, Kim Bhasin; Editors: Eric Pfanner, Lisa Wolfson, Jonathan Roeder