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Roc Skincare Tracks Global Growth, Introduces New Technology

The brand's strategy of playing to its French pharmacy heritage is resonating across key markets.

Almost three years after being acquired by Gryphon Investors, Roc Skincare is tracking growth across international markets.

The brand, which Gryphon carved out from Johnson & Johnson’s beauty brand portfolio in 2019, has grown globally over the past year, launching in new markets. As it looks to the future, it is also introducing new technology around its bestselling retinol products.

Although Fernando Acosta, the brand’s chief executive officer, is bullish on the brand’s continued growth, he said his strategy started by looking to its past. “Three years ago, we reimagined Roc. There’s so much noise in skin care and a lot of complexity,” he said. “Roc has a history of many firsts: the first brand to partner with dermatologists, the first to create UV protection and the first to stabilize retinol in 1996.

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“We discovered that six out of 10 women are confused or do not believe in the science in the category, so we wanted to bring efficacy and trust to those consumers and that’s what we’ve been doing,” he continued.

Playing to the brand’s heritage seems to be working. According to the brand, it grew 32 percent at Walmart and 31 percent at Walgreens, with its growth on Amazon reaching “high-double digits.” Roc relaunched in Europe, where it doubled distribution, and also entered Canada and Australia. Although Acosta didn’t comment on specific figures, industry sources estimate the brand’s sales will reach $150 million globally for 2021.

Communicating the efficacy of products has three main prongs, Acosta said, ranging from dermatological authority to doubled efforts on TikTok. “When we acquired the brand from Johnson & Johnson, we did not have a d-to-c platform and I had more followers on Instagram than Roc Skincare did,” he said, crediting the brand’s newfound virality — according to Tribe Dynamics, it garnered more than $1 million in EMV on TikTok in October — to chief marketing officer Hillary Hutcheson. “We are around 100 million views on TikTok in the last six months, and it’s because Hillary knows what works but has a lot of fun trying new stuff. She created a big campaign with dermatologists and experts on skin,” he said.

The brand is also taking a fresh approach on antiaging, where Acosta is hoping to shift consumer perceptions. “If you look today, 90 percent of women are pessimistic about aging, and this spans for women above 25,” he said. “We believe in efficacy, and we’re going to be doubling down with expertise not only on dermatologists, but also with plastic surgeons.”

In that vein, Roc is introducing its first wrinkle patches, which will bow exclusively at Target in January at $17.99 for a package of six. The patches feature peptides and hyaluronic acid alongside its hero ingredient, retinol. They also were clinically tested, with 97 percent of participants reporting a reduction in lines and wrinkles. “People want clinical proof, and they want value,” Acosta said. “It’s about how you bring innovation, to a complex category where woman has a new laugh line, a new dark spot, and there’s still a lot that people don’t know about the products.”


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