‘A slice of the tropics’: Malaysia's Tanamera targets UK to strengthen presence in Europe
Tanamera is the maker of plant-based personal care products based on remedies and herbs of Malaysian traditions.
It was founded over a decade ago by local manufacturing company F.A. Herbs, a family-owned business that develops personal care products as well as health supplements for clients such as Amway and Tupperware.
Tanamera was conceived as a truly natural and eco-friendly personal care concept to show clients what natural products were supposed to be like.
“We noticed that natural products were going to be a big thing in the market years ago. However, the natural products out there at the time were expensive. And because our expertise is in formulation, we knew a lot of so-called natural products were [not natural],” said Mohamad Faisal Ahmad Fadzil, the brand’s co-founder and managing director.
However, the company’s ground-breaking products did not manage to find many supporters outside the company.
“People loved the idea, but they didn’t pick it up. They didn’t want to go against the grain at the end of the day. We carried this line for years till we finally decided to invest and carry the brand ourselves.”
Today, aside from its home market, the brand is available in markets such as Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan and Germany. It is currently in talks with potential partners to penetrate the UK market.
“We are really serious about working towards this expansion because the UK is still a place people look to. It’s still the entry point to Europe, despite Brexit,” said Faisal.
The believes it can tap into the growing natural market in the UK by offering all-natural products at affordable mid-range prices.
“The natural market in the UK is very developed and is continuing to grow very fast. But most of the brands are either crazy expensive or very Euro-centric. That makes Tanamera very unique,” said Faisal.
He added that Tanamera would stand out with its representation of the tropical South East Asian cultures.
“A common feedback we get from Europeans is that our products smell and remind them of tropical beach holidays. That’s exactly what you get, a slice of the tropics when you use Tanamera. It gives the spa feeling. There are a lot of spa products in Europe, but Asia is the heart of spa culture, its where it came from.”
Faisal continued: “The best part is that we are real. We have the history, the expertise, the certifications. We are a blend of the modern and the old world. I think that would resonate with UK consumers.”
An untapped demographic
Aside from utilising botanical ingredients, the company does not test on animals and utilises recycled packaging materials.
Its attention to product design and formulation has made it one of the only two South East Asian brands to win a Good Design Award.
It is also certified vegetarian by The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom and most of its products are vegan even though it has not been certified so.
Faisal noted that the only non-vegan products utilise honey and egg and are only part of its professional spa line.
Tanamera is also a halal-certified brand, which Faisal strongly believes gives the brand a huge edge in the UK market.
“A lot of people overlook that 60% of the population in London is Muslim. Being halal-certified puts us in a very strong position,” he said.
Additionally, he explained that the company can tap into a network of Malaysian-owned restaurants in the UK.
“There are over 400 restaurants all over UK run by Malaysians, it’s a very strong network we can tap into in order to advertise, send mailers… there’s a lot we can do there.”