Anthem United States of Beauty, a U.S.-based manufacturer and supplier of skin care, haircare, body care, and home wellness products, has reported nearly 500% growth in 2020.
When quarantine began in March 2020 and the demand for at-home skin care and essential cleansing products increased, CEO Raj Prakash expanded the facilities by 40%, hiring 157 new employees and adding 131,000 square feet of warehouse space.
In March 2021, the company will further expand facility capacity by 35% to produce additional makeup remover wipes, personal care wipes and more.
Prakash leads a team of chemists that produces skin care, hair care and wellness products. He was the first manufacturer in the United States to produce facial sheet masks, typically associated with Korean skin care, and offer it to the American market.
Global Cosmetic Industry recently interviewed Raj Prakash, CEO of Anthem.
How has he addressed supply chain resilience over the last year -- has he had to do anything differently to ensure continuity of operations?
Prakash: We’ve fortified our supply chain by continuing to build upon the strong vendor relationships that had been established pre-2020. This means working with vendors as vendor partners and calling in transparent communication especially during such a fluid environment as working to maintain a consistent and resilient supply chain during the pandemic.
The strengthening of relationships helped not only to maintain growth but also played a key role in our expansion.
Many vendors were affected by situations like decreased production schedules due to whatever state restrictions that guided at the time or even transport delays with the trucking industry during the majority of 2020.
By working as partners with open, transparent conversations we were able to strengthen our long-term relationships even further which played a key role in ensuring continuity in operations, as well as supply chain resilience.
Working together to navigate what seemed to challenge and change on nearly a daily basis during the height of 2020 and the pandemic was a key factor in how Anthem was able to not only maintain continuity but to experience the exceptional growth it saw in 2020.
Insights into the types of projects brands are developing and any trends in product development he's noticed.
Prakash: Clean is key, and this refers to the act of cleansing and keeping all clean as can be and taking control of that aspect. There’s been an increased focus on cleansing from face to body to hands.
Consumers also leaned towards 2-in-1 cleansers and moisturizers to eliminate over-stripping, so moisturizing and balance are a focus as well. This brings the microbiome back into the spotlight as an area to address. Keeping balance is critical.
Self care was present in all aspects of development, from facial to anti-aging, and carrying over to protection of the body. Skincare became a way to strengthen outward through self care. Soothing products were popular for all as well as dealing with 2020 and current events spotlighted issues like maskne and HEV concerns.
Clean ingredients remain in the spotlight with the new focused defining factor of transparency. “Transparency” is being highlighted as part of or in place of the clean ingredient definition. So it’s not always the cleanest ingredient label but it makes clear statements and is easier to translate and better understood by consumers as they are looking to educate themselves and are looking to brands that share that mindset.