The brand was founded in 2014 by husband and wife duo Megha and Pritesh Asher who observed rampant greenwashing among so-called natural, organic and Ayurvedic brands in the beauty market in India.
The direct-to-consumer brand offers a wide range of Ecocert certified organic waterless products. In addition to its home market, the products are available in markets such as Australia, South Africa and France.
Since it launched, the company has seen a distinct shift in the beauty market, including more knowledge about organic products and greenwashing.
“When we started out, there was a lot of education that needed to be done. It took us almost two years to pass on the knowledge to the consumer, and even today we are doing the same because there is still so much greenwashing around natural products in the market,” said co-founder Megha Asher.
This consumer awareness was driven by the spread of social media and the growing number of natural and organic beauty brands in the market. Even with more such brands sprouting up, Asher remains confident in the company’s prospects.
“While a lot of brands came up in this segment over the years, the one thing that set us apart was that we did not change our brand ethos and philosophy. Also, we because we have attained Ecocert, consumers have faith that ‘organic’ is not just a term we use. They know our products are not just made with certified organic ingredients but the finish product itself is also certified organic.”
At the start of 2020, the company was expecting to see growth because of the aforementioned consumer trends and because it was well-placed to tap into them.
However, the COVID-19 outbreak forced India into a lockdown that paralysed even e-commerce businesses for almost two months.
During that time, the company doubled down on its social media presence, using it to supply its customers with useful skin care information, including DIY recipes.
“That really connected with the consumer because they knew we weren't abandoning them at a point when they were not ready to make a purchase. In return, post-lockdown we saw a huge jump. It's been very exciting, and our consumer base has increased tremendously in the last five months.”
According to Asher, the brand saw sales grow twice over in the first-month post-lockdown. Subsequently, the company continued to grow in the next few months between two to eight times.
At the end of 2020, Juicy Chemistry's business grew five times year-on-year.
Forging on in 2021
Asher revealed to CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the firm will continue to fire on all cylinders in 2021.
She said its customers can expect to see new products and some of its overseas consumers may get better access to their favourite Juicy Chemistry products.
“We are looking at increasing our presence in the West because there’s a lot of demand coming from there. While there are a lot of organic offerings in those markets, the product portfolio is quite different from ours – that's why we are getting a lot of traction from markets in Europe.”
The company is also eyeing markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as Australia and the US.
“We want to get the right distribution system set up and do a good job. We don’t want to do it on a small scale. We want to take it to the next level,” said Asher.
The company is also up for its Series A round of funding this year.
“With the funding, we are going to use it a lot on digital marketing because its what's working for us right now. We’re also want to open a couple of retail spaces in India if possible. Of course, we are also looking at a global expansion,” said Asher.
The company’s other big goal is to send its entire portfolio of products for efficacy testing.
“We’ve already got the Ecocert but there’s still doubt if an organic product is effective at all. So, the next step is to send our products for clinical testing. We have already sent out five of our products and are awaiting results for that,” said Asher.
She added that being able to prove the effectiveness of its product would be a huge selling point for the brand.
“We’ve already seen tremendous before-and-after results with our products, but clinical testing will make a whole world of difference to the consumers. At the end of the day, we want to change people’s mindset that organic products don’t work.”