Ready to fly? First insect-based skin oil brand Point68 eyes China and Macau as potential markets

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

The name point68 is a reference to insects and other arthropods used in sustainable agriculture, which have 6 legs and 8 legs respectively. ©Point68
The name point68 is a reference to insects and other arthropods used in sustainable agriculture, which have 6 legs and 8 legs respectively. ©Point68

Related tags: Insect, Oil, China, Hong kong

The brand behind a skin oil derived from black soldier fly larvae extract is looking to expand into China and Macau following its recent launch in Hong Kong.

Point68 Insect Beauty, is a joint venture between US organic and clean-beauty brand SIBU Sea Berry Therapy, and Asia-based insect industry professional Josh Galt.

There is only a single product, a youth regenerating face oil, which is a luxury face oil formulated to improve skin hydration with cellular healing and rejuvenation.

Galt told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​: “We have sold fairly well compared to our initial first year targets, both through international distributors and direct to consumer online sales​.”

In Hong Kong, Point68 is distributed by Starnergy on online platforms such as HKTVMALL, as well as pop-up booths in shopping malls. The product is also sold in the US.

Hong Kong acceptance

Point68 was first launched in Hong Kong this year.

According to Starnergy’s marketing director Joseph Leung, the novel insect oil in Hong Kong has been well-received so far.

We have received positive feedback of Point68 once consumers had tried the product. As this is the first insect oil used in skin care, people may hesitate a bit, so we need to explain to customers at road shows. Once they tried it on their skin, about 75% liked it and said they would buy it​.”

Still, as a novel cosmetic product, Leung said it would take some time for people to understand the benefits of insect oil.

Generally, insect-based products like cosmetics and foods are very new to people in Hong Kong. People have heard of insect-based foods but will hesitate to try them. It is also very difficult to find any insect products here in Hong Kong. The insect-based business is a totally new market here and it would take some education and marketing strategies in order to expand the market​.”

In Hong Kong, the distributor is working on more roadshows and pop-up stores to allow users to test and feel the product.

We also may work with local key opinion leaders (KOLs) to promote the product in Facebook and Youtube​,” Leung said.

China and Macau expansion

Beside Hong Kong, there are plans to distribute Point68 to China and Macau.

We are now currently focusing on the Hong Kong market and will probably expand to China and Macau end of this year or early next year depending on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. China is a huge market opportunity, and consumers there are willing to try new products with the suitable marketing strategy.

For China and Macau, we may have to work with partners to explore the markets as China is too big to do it by ourselves. China's marketing strategy is very different than Hong Kong so we might use more online and KOLs promotions with promo videos or direct sales with incentive programs​.”

According to Galt, the biggest impact of the pandemic for the business in 2021 was marketing.

As social media platforms and other sales channels censor, block, and remove references to natural health or other properties which are key selling points for the product's efficacy, such as it being anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, nobody is allowed to say these anymore and that presents an unfortunate challenge that we're still navigating​.”

Big leap for insect cosmetic

Most recently, Point68 received the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS Hong Kong 2021) award for the best skin care product.

Galt commented: “We're looking forward to continued growth on the back of receiving the LOHAS best skin care product award as recognition from the clean beauty sector that this is a sustainable product that truly functions to achieve healthy, beautiful, younger looking skin​.”

Its insect oil is made of a proprietary blend of 10 organic active botanicals including Sibu’s Premium Himalayan Sea Buckthorn oils along with cold-pressed pure soldier grub oil, one of the richest natural sources of lauric acid.

For the insect industry overall, this award is a big leap forward into more mainstream recognition for insect-oil based cosmetics, and provides a positive first impression of soldier grub oil as a sustainable clean-beauty ingredient to a broader demographic of savvy, eco-conscious consumers.

The name point68 is a reference to insects and other arthropods used in sustainable agriculture, which have 6 legs and 8 legs respectively.

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