The Australian brand, which specialised in organic products made from olive oil, just expanded into the US last year through online channels.
Now, the brand is looking for distributors in mainland China, as well as Hong Kong and Macau.
Sarah Kirk, managing director of Olieve & Olie, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the decision to expand into these markets was driven by the brand’s popularity among Chinese tourists.
“We get a lot of Chinese tourists visiting our shops and we see that they are really loving our products. Naturally, we thought China should be the next step we should take,” said Kirk.
Furthermore, the company is also aware of daigou sellers having success selling its products in China.
As such, it decided to step into the market to ensure that consumers will have access to Olieve & Olie products as Chinese policies continue to shift and evolve against the diagou sector.
As of right now, the company plans to distribute its products through cross-border e-commerce in order to maintain its cruelty-free policies.
Aside from launching its own Chinese website, the company is also considering listing its products on popular e-commerce sites such as Tmall and JD.com.
However, the company noted that some of its products can be exempted from China’s compulsory animal testing, making it possible for them to seek distribution in brick-and-mortar retail stores.
A grassroots strategy
Olieve & Olie prides itself on creating products from ingredients that are “basically unrefined, unfiltered and raw”, which is why they are able to produce such high-quality and effective products, said Kirk.
Aside from the olive oil sourced from its grove in Northern Victoria, the brand uses ingredients such as beeswax sourced directly from beekeepers and salts from the Victoria region.
Kirk believes that Chinese consumers really appreciate this philosophy. “They love our products because we are Australian-made with Australian-grown ingredients. The Chinese market wants high-quality, so those two things are the reason why they love our products.”
Another factor that will draw Chinese consumers to Olieve & Olie is its authentic brand story, said Kirk.
“Our products are obviously amazing. They are high-quality and because they are handmade, they are unique. You’re not going to find anything like them elsewhere because we make them ourselves. However, part of the appeal to our brand is our story.”
Today, Olieve & Olie has over 250 retail locations in Australia, but the brand started in a farmhouse kitchen making soaps on a stove.
“People look at it as success story. They are inspired by our story and I guess that’s part of why they like buying our products and supporting us. Our story has been integral to our success and it’s a real big part of our marketing,” expressed Kirk.
Kirk estimated it has taken around 15 years to establish Olieve & Olie domestically and admitted that it is a slow process. “The way we’ve been successful in Australia is a slow process, I call it a grassroots process with people trying and telling their friends or finding us on social media.”
She added that the strategy for the Chinese markets will be the same. “We are a really small company. We are natural, handmade and we don’t compromise. Because of this, we are never going to be massive company but we will just slowly continue to grow.”