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Retailers Clear Shelf Space for The Seaweed Bath Co.

CVS and Target are among the chains taking a deeper dive with products harnessing the benefits of seaweed harvested in Maine.

As CVS and Target look for more natural beauty options to meet swelling consumer demand, The Seaweed Bath Co. is getting the nod.

Target added products from the sustainable seaweed-fueled personal-care brand in January and expanded the assortment in July. Four products from The Seaweed Bath Co.’s new Detox + Age-Defying Skin Care launched on last month and will be in stores in January.

The moves come as Target revamps shelves, clearing space for items that play in the natural, better-for-you category — often putting them in more visible spots. “Natural is an area which has done well for us and we put it near the front [of the department], Christina Hennington, senior vice president of Beauty and Essentials at Target said recently.

CVS is witnessing the same consumer migration to natural. The Seaweed Bath Co. expanded in over 2,000 stores within the chain with its Hydrating Body Creams and Detox Cellulite Soap. Maly Bernstein, divisional merchandise manager for beauty at CVS said over half of new stockkeeping units in its stores’ beauty and personal-care departments will be from natural and organic lines like The Seaweed Bath Co.

The burgeoning demand for the brand at mass comes on the heels of several years of robust growth in natural retailers. For example, Whole Foods has been a longstanding partner for The Seaweed Bath Co., according to Allison Grossman, the cofounder of the company.

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Whole Foods was the global launch pad for a new Detox collection that launched this summer. Added Kim Chisholm, the company’s chief executive officer, the naturals business hasn’t slowed with the expansion into mass. “Everyone is looking for safer, cleaner formulations.”

With an assortment encompassing more than 32 products, each retailer builds an assortment of what’s right for their customer — including its own e-commerce site. “We love the idea of letting consumers shop where they want to shop,” said Chisholm. Retail prices range from $3.99 to $40.

The Seaweed Bath Co. Is Making
Harvesting the seaweed in Portland, Maine.

The Seaweed Bath Co. was established by Allison Grossman and her husband Adam while looking for a natural solution for Adam’s sensitive skin. Relief was found in Irish seaweed spas.

Today the source is sustainable, hand-harvested Bladderwrack Seaweed found off the coast of Portland, Maine. It is picked every summer when the seaweed is at its peak for nutrient density in a way that allows it to regenerate to the same size or larger within 36 months.

Although suitable for those with sensitive skin, Chisholm said the formulas benefit all skin care needs.

The company is transparent about what is natural at a time when there is much confusion about natural, organic or “free from” formulas. Since a legal definition does not yet exist for natural, the company defines what natural means to its philosophy.  For example, the products do not contain parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde or artificial colorants. They are not tested on animals and bottles are made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.

“When you pick up one of the products, you’ll see claims,” Grossman said. “We are proud of the ingredients in our products and list them on every label. Our products are specifically formulated to be safe and effective. We work hard to ensure our products have combinations of ingredients that are not only calming and soothing but also effective to achieve desired results.”

Moreover, Chisholm added the company continues to tweak formulas as new and effective natural ingredients are discovered and integrated into products. “There is no need to give up on natural products thinking they won’t be effective. Science has evolved to allow consumers to have both.”