By  on August 10, 2007

German beauty company Cosnova aims to bring its "Essence" to the U.S. this fall, as the company plans to enter the market for the first time.

Founded five years ago, Cosnova wants to offer consumers high-quality products at a budget price.

"We saw an opportunity for growth in the U.S., and since the market [here] hasn't been growing, we felt the time is right. We've already proven in Europe that our products work across different cultures and races," said Javier Gonzalez, Cosnova's general manager.

Cosnova offers Essence, a cosmetics brand for the younger set between the ages of 14 to 22, and Catrice, a cosmetics line for a more sophisticated consumer ages 30 to 45. Gonzalez said Essence is the second largest cosmetics brand ranked by a June report from A.C. Nielsen in Germany, following Maybelline, which ranks number one.

While products in the Essence collection range from $1 to $3.50, Catrice items retail from $1.50 to $5.

Cosnova gave U.S. retailers a preview of its products late last month at Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing's Cosmetics & Fragrance Efficient Program Planning Session.

The products are available in 20 countries and sold in about 10,000 doors, including European department stores such as Germany's Kaufhof and France's Galeries Lafayette, in addition to food, drug and mass retailers.

In addition to trying to enter the food, drug and mass market in the U.S. this fall, the company has plans to expand in the U.K. and Scandinavia next year.

Although company executives wouldn't comment, industry sources estimate that Cosnova's two brands will generate about $150 million in retail sales in Europe by yearend. The company has plans on doubling the size of its European business over the next three years, making its North American business account for half of its European business, said Gonzalez.

The Essence assortment includes everything from color cosmetics for the eyes, lips, face and nails to skin care items for the face and hands. Essence's PocketBeauty assortment of treatment products for the face and hands includes items such as cleansing products, combination and problem skin products, cucumber eye and face pads and vitamin eye gel pads.According to Gonzalez, the company routinely updates the product assortments for both brands, as well as releasing 30 limited edition promotional sets per year.

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