Baby boomer: Aromababy looking to strengthen its position in China as category rockets

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Aromababy is aiming to solidify its profile in China on the back of baby care boom. ©Aromababy
Aromababy is aiming to solidify its profile in China on the back of baby care boom. ©Aromababy

Related tags Baby care products Australia China

Australia-based natural baby care brand Aromababy is aiming to solidify its profile in China where it sees tremendous opportunities amid the rising consumption of baby care products.

The company was founded in 1994 by Catherine Cervasio. Using her experience in personal care product development, Cervasio aimed to develop a range of natural infant care products backed up by scientific research.

Currently, Aromababy products are distributed in top retail chains in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. It is also available in China, where it is sold through cross-border e-commerce channels.

Even though the brand has been around for two decades, Cervasio said the company has observed a surge in demand for their products.

“In the last one or two years, we have seen an enormous change in the market. We were plateaued for 10 years, then we saw a 30% increase. Right now, we’re working on one contract that can triple the company’s revenue,” ​said Cervasio.

The company has seen interest from many countries, but it is particularly focused on the potential of the Chinese market.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in China. They are more aware of how pollution and other environmental factors can affect infant skin, so they are looking for very established brands. They are looking for brands that have the expertise and are ethical and trustworthy. We get approached a lot simply because we have been around for so long in this specific space.”

Greater awareness of pollution is one of the key drivers of the segment, Cervasio said.

“In countries like Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and China, babies are kept indoors a lot with heating and air-conditioning, which can dehydrate skin. And when they are outside there’s pollution, which can potentially trigger allergies or eczema. So, consumers are looking for the gentlest, most effective, natural solution.”

Rising needs in China

While baby skin care is not a new category, Cervasio said that it is a segment that is still in its infancy.

“The opportunities are so much more mature right now. The market is much more mature as well and open to these kinds of products.”

She pointed out that the brands that take up most of the market share are the large multinationals and there was plenty of room for smaller players in the category.

“China alone is a huge population and now with the second-child policy there is a greater need, greater consumption potential,” ​said Cervasio.

Aromababy entered the Chinese retail market 12 years ago, before the cross-border e-commerce era. Today, it is only available through cross-border e-commerce as it does not support animal testing and is certified cruelty-free

“Back then, we were told that because of the nature of the ingredients, [the products] were not tested in animals. To be honest, we don’t actually know anything beyond what we were told. Since then, our first licences have now expired. Now that we are more aware of the procedures and systems, we decided not to renew and go through the cross-border channel,” ​Cervasio explained.

The brand is available in China through dedicated Chinese platforms on Pharmacy Online and Australia Post. It also has its own website, but Cervasio noted it has yet to set up Alipay and WeChat Pay systems.

In the future, Cervasio said she hopes to see more regulation in the industry around products meant for infants and more transparency from companies.

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