UK natural health products manufacturer Weleda and ideas consultancy What If! have formed a joint venture, Dr Greenfingers, which will launch a range of products for children this month.
Jacquie Irvine, the former Procter & Gamble (P&G) marketer appointed to head Dr Greenfingers, says the launch strategy is to gain listings in health stores and independent pharmacies, in order to establish the brand, before tackling the bigger supermarkets and chemist chains.
Irvine, who spent 12 years at P&G and whose last role there was as marketing director in charge of new product development for haircare, says the target market is “mums who want an alternative and natural range of products because they’re concerned about what goes into things. We’re not after the hippy, sandal-wearing crowd – this is going to be a mainstream health brand, not a niche product range.”
Weleda, based in Derbyshire, has 15 acres of organic pasture and produces over 300 plant ingredients for herbal and homeopathic medicines, health supplements and natural bodycare products.
What If! generates ideas for major international companies including Coca-Cola, Diageo, Unilever and Kellogg. It also backs new launches: in 2000, it partnered Heinz to launch organic food company The Little Big Food Co.
Heinz has since withdrawn from the partnership, but What If! has relaunched the brand. Recently, it launched two food retail concepts, Bombay Junction and Mad About Pizza (MW May 12, 2005).