Looking good: the cosmetics business is growing in the Middle East.
A small UK company is aiming to tap into the growing halal cosmetics market with the May launch of a new range at the Beautyworld Middle East trade show in Dubai.
And Middlesex-based Sapona – whose toiletries have traditionally been aimed at children – believe that the British origins of its Tamese&Jackson products will appeal to a young, modern, style -conscious target audience across the Muslim world “who value their tradition and heritage as well as having a keen appreciation for contemporary design, style and quality”.
Currently the majority of rival products are produced in Southeast Asia.
Director Armen Saboonchian, who predicts that exports will make up over 90% of sales, says: “We think that the UK manufactured angle will give us the edge over many other competitors as there is a premium/luxury/quality element attached to goods manufactured here.
“Also we have come up with designs which will be appealing to a style conscious target market.”
The halal range, which includes hand soap, hand lotion, body wash, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and talcum powder, is free from alcohol, GMOs, pork and all other animal-based ingredients.
“They are entirely free from animal cruelty and the processes and manufacturing units are all certified by the Halal Trust UK, which ensures that all products conform to the strict halal standards,” says Armen.
But just as importantly they smell good, and Armen adds: “A collaboration with leading global fragrance houses has allowed us to create compelling scents using both Middle Eastern and Western ingredients.”
There will be three unisex ranges for adults – Lime&Reyhan, Blue Orchid and Mint Noir, plus a range for infants and babies called Tamese&Jackson Junior, containing honey as a key ingredient.
The company hopes that the Beautyworld Middle East exposure will lead to distribution deals in Muslim-majority countries first, such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Gulf and MENA countries, followed by Turkey, Southeast Asia, Russia and other European countries.
“As well as the Muslim-majority markets, we are witnessing a growth in demand for halal-certified products in Europe,” says Armen. “So we are looking at retailers, grocers and pharmacy chains within Europe who are constantly trying to win over previously untapped markets sectors and consumers.
“With an average Muslim population of around 2-5% in most European countries, the halal market is one no retailer can afford to ignore.”