Burt’s Bees’ natural cosmetics fly into Canada

The health and beauty brand worked with retailers on custom displays to help new products stand out in a crowded category.
Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees will be expanding its presence in Canada’s cosmetic category come January.

The Clorox-owned natural health and beauty products brand is rolling out Burt’s Bees Beauty nationally, having launched the line in the U.S. in August. The brand already has an established Canadian presence through its lip balm, lip colour and skin care products. The new collection expands the Burt’s brand into seven beauty category staples, including powder and liquid foundations, mascara, eye shadow and eyeliner.

Carolyn Hungate, Burt’s Bees marketing lead at Clorox Canada, says the the brand has tried to position itself as a “pioneer” in the category. She says the move will see it become one of the first brands to bring natural cosmetics to market in Canada at accessible prices.

Product will begin shipping on Jan. 8 and will become available by the end of the month in retailers across the country, including Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Rexall, London Drugs, Pharmasave and Lawtons Drugs.

To better stand out in-store, the company has been working with retailers on “custom solutions” that are suited to specific environments, says Hungate. Cosmetics present unique challenges to brands at retail, she says, due to limited shelf space in an often highly competitive category.

At Shoppers Drug Mart, where real estate is scarce, Burt’s Bees will be selling the line from an upgraded side wing display (which it calls “the hive”), next to its existing product assortment. In regional east-coast drug retailer Lawtons, however, the products will be showcased in the store’s four-foot-long colour wall. The extra space has given Burt’s Bees the opportunity to market its cosmetics alongside the “I Am Not Synthetic” campaign it will be launching in February.

The campaign includes TV, print and digital assets and is focused on empowering women by asking them to question why they should use synthetic products on their natural bodies, says Hungate. The global campaign originally helped support the October launch of Burt’s Bees Beauty south of the border.

Packaging for the brand’s powder foundation, blush and eye shadow products come in a honeycomb-shaped compact, while some even have the honeycomb pattern pressed into them. This is intended to be reminiscent of Burt’s Bees brand philosophy and story. The company started out making candles from unused beeswax, which eventually turned into a lip balm business.

Hungate says the packaging also reflects Burt’s Bees philosophy around environmental sustainability. When it first got into cosmetics a year ago, the products were packaged in 60% post-consumer recycled material. That number has since increased to 75% post-consumer recycled material. And the products themselves do not contain the synthetic ingredients that are found in a lot of other cosmetics.