Kanebo to launch first new brand in 10 years

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Kanebo to launch first new brand in 10 years

Related tags Skin whitening Southeast asia

Japanese beauty player Kanebo has announced it will launch a new high-end brand across the Asia region in the coming months, to go global by 2017.

Kanebo has said that for its first major target, it’s looking to reach sales of 30 billion yen (USD 273 million), with company president Masumi Natsusaka stating his intention for the new brand to become Kanebo’s flagship offering.

“We will strengthen our weak skin care product [business]. We want to make the new brand our representative brand,​” he confirmed.

With 15 September tipped as the launch date in Japan, the company has also stated its intention to begin sale of the new products across Southeast Asia from November and across Europe and Russia from 2017.

Major push

Kanebo’s latest announcement confirms the Kao-owned brand is looking to attract much stronger sales growth in the coming period.

Indeed, it recently stated​ its attention to drive up sales of its established Kate brand, with a view to doubling them by 2020 to reach 40 billion yen (USD 369 million).

It is particularly pressing forward in China, where it recently invested in its third manufacturing facility for the county, which produces key ingredients for its personal care lines.

The new brand launch reportedly taps into strong consumer demand for naturals, the company has said, suggesting it is keen to give its brand image a fresh start.

Moving on?

Kanebo has been plagued by public perception issues since the high-profile case of skin damage sustained by thousands of consumers​ from some of its skin whitening products dating back to 2013.

In the most recent figures released last month, Kanebo states that 19,584 consumers of its rhododenol-containing skin whitening products suffer from vitiligo-like symptoms, while 11,873 consumers describe themselves or have been described by a doctor as ‘fully or almost fully recovered’.

To date, the company has reached settlement agreements with 15,350 customers. The launch of its new brand suggests Kanebo is keen to begin putting this episode behind it in terms of brand perception.

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