The brand was established in 1995 and is still privately owned by its co-founders, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas. Today, Caudalie is best known for its vinotherapy skin care products, inspired by the family’s vineyard in Bordeaux, France.
This year, the company expects the brand to grow by around 15% to 20% in its existing markets in SEA, Australia and New Zealand.
“We have ambitious growth plans but we’re not expanding the distribution; in fact, we are mostly exclusive to Sephora for these markets. We will invest and continue to build the brand around us, build a community of fans, and just make sure that the customer knows we are there,” said Jean-Christophe Samyn, general manager, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, Samyn said that in addition to reinforcing its position in these existing markets, Caudalie has been busy widening its footprint in the region.
It recently relaunched the brand in Indonesia with e-commerce players Shopee and Lazada, and entered new markets, India and Vietnam.
“India is definitely a big priority. I don’t know if it’s the next China, but there’s definitely a lot of exciting news coming from there. The retail landscape is fast-moving at the moment. There are a lot of interesting new brands arriving on the market as well. It's a good time to be part of that,” said Samyn.
“Vietnam is potentially a big market and I think it’s an interesting market. It’s not new, it’s been dominated by a lot of very premium brands for a long time. The market is still very much split into the very premium brands and the mass brands. That middle segment is not quite there yet, and that’s where we belong.”
The brand is pursuing an omnichannel strategy for both markets, launching in both the brick-and-mortar space with department stores and online with e-commerce players like Nykaa and Shopee.
“These two markets are the big priorities for us this year and next year. We’re quite careful about where we want to go and we’re taking the time to really plant our seeds when we do so. Rather than opening in every market, we choose carefully,” said Samyn.
‘It just works’
Despite the troubles of the past couple of years, the brand has been doing well.
Last year, in its home market, the brand grew around 5% – its best growth in a decade. In the US, it finished the year up 25%. Across South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, there was high single-digit growth, nearly 10%.
The brand’s success could be attributed to the ever-increasing demand for clean beauty products, which had accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But more than its clean status, Caudalie’s products are effective, Samyn said.
“There’s a reason why our number one product [Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting] has 35% market share in French pharmacies – it just works… We have all these testimonials from women who tell us that our products have worked for them – we call it our honesty campaign.
“A lot of people have realised that it’s not a choice between an effective brand and a clean brand. It’s not about choosing one or the other."