L’Oréal East Africa, a subsidiary of L’Oreal Group, has introduced a new range of beauty products that are named after its US based affiliate, Maybelline in the Kenyan market. The company hopes to use the popular brands to tap the Kenya’s growing middle class to grow its business that is spread worldwide.
L’Oréal, a French cosmetics company, says the beauty products will include: Maybelline New York Lip balm, Great Lash Mascara, Collossal 100% Black Mascara, Colossal Kajal Eyeliner, Clear Smooth All in One Powder and Baby Lips.
The products started selling quietly in the market early last year and can be purchased from leading stores in Nairobi including Nakumatt Mega, Nakumatt Village Market, Lavington, and Nakumatt Junction. It also has outlets across the country: Bondo, Kirinyaga, Thika, Meru, Embu, Isiolo, Murang’a, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyeri, Kajiado and Kisumu.
L’Oréal is at present running a face of Maybelline promotion dubbed “Maybe it’s You Competition”, which aims at scouting all over Kenya for a model to be the new Face of Maybelline Kenya. All participants are required to upload their photos on Maybelline Kenya’s website which will be voted by the public. Those who make the top ten will face a celebrity panel at the grand final. The winner will be used as the face in Maybelline Kenya 2016 advertising campaigns which will involve an all-expenses paid trip to New York for a shoot with top makeup artists.
L’Oréal has also appointed Muthoni Njoba as its lead brand ambassador and official makeup artist for Maybelline New York Kenya and she will be one of the celebrity panel at the grand final.
Maybelline New York, says started as a small, family-owned business in the U.S which has grown to become one of the leading cosmetics companies in world. L’Oréal acquired Maybelline New York in 1996 for $660 million in a bid to gain access to the big American middle class.
L’Oréal has been keen on capturing the middle class market both in Kenya and abroad through buyouts and in 2013, it acquired Kenyan brand Nice & Lovely for a reported Sh3 billion. The acquisition has helped the company to tap the low-end market and in that year, it sold a total of 40 million units compared to two million products it sold in 2012. L’Oréal also sells Dark and Lovely hair and skin care range of beauty products, which includes, Amla Legend, which targets the African women. According to the company, Nice & Lovely now accounts for two thirds of its business, with Dark and Lovely contributing a third.