Andy Rah had the right recipe for megahair care launches during his more than 13 years in the industry in roles with Macadamia Beauty, Flawless Beauty (with Gabrielle Union), Tigi/Unilever and L’Oréal. But in his new job as chief executive officer and founder of Sauce Beauty, he’s literally invading the kitchen for inspiration.
“I wanted to do something on my own that marries two of my passions — I love to cook, and I love hair care,” Rah said. The result is Sauce Beauty, an eight-item assortment of hair products featuring ingredients like Greek yogurt, avocado and coconut water. Sauce launches exclusively in a two-foot department at Sally Beauty on Oct. 1. Following that, hopefully Sally will extend its footage, Sauce will launch on its own web site and with Amazon and Rah is planning a rollout to the mass market. “It is especially a good fit for upscale grocery stores,” Rah said. International expansion is also part of his plan.
As distribution heats up, Sauce should eclipse the $10 million sales market, according to industry sources estimates.
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There’s an explosion on social media of food-driven hair-care trends propelling interest, Rah said. Hair is indeed having a moment with The NPD Group reporting luxury hair care expanded 19 percent in the most recent 52 weeks and the most recent IRI numbers (for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 12, 2018) grew in almost every segment. Rah said major acquisitions of up-and-coming hair-care lines by majors like Unilever lends credence to the confidence in hair care.
“The first question a lot of people ask is if it is like putting food in their hair — that’s not the direction. It isn’t a food brand, but hair care inspired by food. These are true efficacious hair-care products perfected by science.”
Leveraging his background in luxury hair care, Rah has tried to bring quality at a value to the Sauce collection. Products include shampoos and conditioners, deep conditioning masks, a thermal protectant spray, a leave-in conditioner and detangler and an oil treatment. All items are priced at $9.99 except for the deep moisture mask 1-oz. trial size that retails for $2.49.
Product names borrow from the kitchen, too, such as Island Marinade Moisturizing Shampoo, Creamy House Dressing Moisturizing Conditioner, Chimichurri Mint Tingle Intense Repair Shampoo and Evoo Intense Repair Oil Treatment.
Going forward, Rah expects to explore other food-related beauty categories. “There are so many fun things we can do with our brand name. I can see lip glosses in honey pots or chopsticks for hair accessories.”
The food tie-in also opens up Sauce to influencers beyond beauty, including food experts and chefs. Knowing consumers want to delve into ingredients, Rah’s web site is transparent about what is in every product. People can search by ingredients they want, or those they want to avoid. Consumer testing reveals several market segments are especially in tune with Sauce, including multicultural consumers and a young audience ready to experiment with “something different,” said Rah.