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One Year Post-Acquisition, Seed Phytonutrients Plots Phase Two

New owners and a new strategy have enabled the brand to double its revenues year-over-year.

Seed Phytonutrients has plotted its next growth phase.

The brand, which owner Karika Purohit Patel acquired from L’Oréal last year, is entering 2022 with rebranded products and packaging, plans for international expansion and a slew of new launches.

“The brand was started as an incubator brand under the L’Oréal Group in 2018, and my family’s business, which is a beauty manufacturing business, was actually the formulating and manufacturing partner for all of the products,” Purohit Patel said. “I’ve been intimately involved with the brand perception, even when it was just a concept.”

Purohit Patel said the opportunity to acquire Seed Phytonutrients came when its original packaging — which included plant seeds in an outer paper shell for consumers to bury — barred it from international expansion. “L’Oréal was looking to scale some of their brands on a more international level, and the way the brand was built at the time, specifically relating it to packaging, limited it from expansion,” she said.

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She did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but said she saw “the opportunity to take the brand on, and then implement a few key strategic decisions to allow it to really soar and take it to the next level.”

Purohit Patel said the brand’s sales had doubled year-over-year from 2020, and were expected to double again in 2022. Although she didn’t provide a figure, industry sources expect the business to hit a sales volume shy of $5 million next year.

Chief among the brand’s priorities was rebranding with aluminum packaging to enable it to enter new geographies. Purohit Patel reasoned that pivoting to purely recyclable products would also boost adoption rates.

“Our aluminum can be recycled in your normal recycling stream at home. Our paper packaging was a bit complex to recycle, and you had to break it down into multiple components,” she said.

Purohit Patel also tweaked the distribution model. The brand had exited from Sephora at the end of L’Oréal’s tenure, and Purohit Patel refocused the business to health food stores, such as Sprouts, and digital retailers like Grove Collaborative and Thrive Market.

“We’ve achieved 70 percent e-commerce growth over the last year, which we’re really proud about and we believe was a missing part of our strategy,” she said, not ruling out the prospect of trying specialty beauty retailers again.

Purohit Patel noted that feedback on the new packaging has been “strong,” and said her next step is bringing more innovation into a category defined less by what a product does and more by what it’s made of. Product refills are in the works, too.

“We’re excited to fill the gaps in our skin care routines in the first quarter of this coming year,” she said, noting that skin care is only five of the brand’s currently available stock keeping units.

“We’re expanding our skin care line to add some incredible efficacy, but also some pretty important products that are missing in our routine today. We’re excited to fill those gaps in Q1 of this coming year.”

A pride point for the brand is its powdered products. “What’s great is that from a sustainability standpoint, one bottle is equivalent to one liter of liquid product, and what’s great about that is you’re not really shipping around a bunch of water-based product,” she said. “People are doing it in hair and maybe in face, but we’re doing it in body, face and hair.”

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