Fri, 14 May 2021

by Martina Fuchs

GENEVA, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Weleda, a natural organic health, wellbeing and beauty company based in Switzerland, hopes to gain a stronger foothold in China thanks to an increased consumer interest in green and sustainable cosmetics and to its flourishing online retail business.

"We definitely want to launch more products on the Chinese market and we also want to expand our sales channels," Heiko Barth, Weleda's regional director for Asia and Pacific, told Xinhua ahead of the first China International Consumer Products Expo, in which the company will take part.

More than 1,000 global brands from 69 countries and regions will participate in the expo in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, between May 7 and May 10.

Barth said the impact from COVID-19 has been muted on the company's China business for two main reasons.

"First, COVID mainly impacted buyer behavior and our sales channels. We saw a lot of Chinese consumers move from offline to online."

"Second, Weleda is a very resilient and strong brand. In China, we have registered double-digit growth rates since 2015, when we started our cross-border online business," he told Xinhua.

Weleda was founded in 1921 as a pharmaceutical laboratory with its own medicinal plant garden.

Today, it is a world-leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics and anthroposophic medicines. It is present in over 50 countries and employs approximately 2,500 people worldwide.

Barth said that one of the most exciting consumer trends in China is the growing awareness about natural products.

"This is true for cosmetics but also for food and clothing. COVID has clearly increased people's understanding and awareness of the need for a healthy environment, a healthy world and sustainable operations," he noted.

"Today, people in China want high-quality and highly efficient products. At the same time, they are also price sensitive," Barth explained, adding, "We want to develop and produce top-notch natural organic cosmetics at an affordable price."

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