In January, the H&H Group finalised its acquisition of UK-based Aurelia Probiotic Skincare for £21m ($25.5). In July, the firm’s innovation arm, NewH2, made investments into US personalised skin care brand Proven, as well as health and skin care company Bod Australia.
With these new investments, the company now has a strong foundation in the skin care space, said Sarah Chibnall, Global Communications Director of H&H Group.
“Investing in skin care is not new for H&H. We’ve been involved with skin care for eight years through our wellness brand. Now, with a skin care presence in both parts of the business I think, it feels like we have a strong investment in skin care.”
Probiotics and personalisation
Aurelia is a high-end anti-ageing skin care brand that “combines sustainably sourced Bio-Organic botanical ingredients and probiotics.” While H&H has dabbled in the skin care and beauty sector, Chibnall said Aurelia is the firm’s first full acquisition in skin care.
“We identified that Aurelia is doing something disruptive and new. The brand delivers probiotics into the skin in a way that hasn't been done before. Also, one of the things about Aurelia is that it has such a strong alignment with H&H Group which was founded on probiotics,” said Chibnall.
H&H now plans to boost its online presence and reach outside of the brand’s home market.
“Aurelia has an incredible offering and we want to share that with more people around the world. We certainly want to share that with consumers in Asia, because we believe it is a wonderful brand for that market,” said Chibnall.
“We certainly see Aurelia as something that will be highly appealing in the Asian market. It's disruptive and we know Asian consumers like new, up and coming products that are clean and green.”
However, Chibnall added that there would not be any plans to expand Aurelia into China’s offline retail space.
“Aurelia is a Leaping Bunny certified brand. Animal testing is not something we are prepared to do, it’s very important to us.”
Aside from probiotics, H&H Group also sees massive potential in personalisation, which is why NewH2 acquired a minority stake in Proven.
Chibnall said the firm was interested in Proven’s approach to personalisation and the Artificial Intelligence behind the brand.
“I think the focus for us is not so much the skin care but more about where we are going with personalisation. Personalisation is really key today. We believe it’s only going to become more valuable in the future, and it’s something that moved from food to health and wellness,” said Chibnall.
She added that the firm saw potential growth in future uses of Proven’s products and technology.
“While Proven is a skin care brand and we do see potential growth, it’s also the technology and the personalisation that we are keen to understand more about and keen to leverage in the future.”
Capitalising on future trends
H&H Group’s latest $5.5m investment into Bod Australia will allow it to tap into the cannabidiol and hemp trend in health, wellness and beauty.
“[CBD] is a really interesting niche industry that is growing rapidly and our new partners have strong clinical evidence for CBD applications. BOD Australia has expertise in the health benefits associated with CBD and hemp, where we are getting involved.”
Early this year, Bod Australia announced that it was launching Manuka honey and hemp seed oil skin care range, True Earth.
With a partnership with Bod Australia, the firm hopes to extend the beauty trend to Asia.
“There is a big trend in CBD skin care particularly in Asia, we are hoping to launch skin care products under a new brand in the coming year,” said Chibnall.
Moving forward, Chibnall said the company will continue to build up the brands.
Chibnall said: “From here, we are going to focus on building the brands that we have and the brands we are working with. Our intention is to grow the brands – particularly Aurelia – in the direct-to-consumer space.”