Sustainable hygiene brand Baresop lands national distribution deal with Go Vita

Sustainable hygiene brand Baresop lands national distribution deal with Go Vita

L-R: Baresop CCO Michael Bronfman and founder Prisca Ongonga-Daehn (Provided)

A Melbourne-based brand offering refillable body wash and hand soap through a patented powdered formula has secured a distribution agreement with health food chain Go Vita to roll out its products in 200-plus stores across Australia.

Baresop’s in-store debut will be staggered across the next three to six months, and marks the first time the brand has partnered with an offline distributor.

Current retailers selling Baresop’s products online include Nourished Life and Flora & Fauna, both of which are navigating the collapse of their current owner BWX (ASX: BWX) – a natural products player that fell into administration two weeks ago.

“It's really quite exciting for us to have Go Vita as our first offline health and wellness partner,” Baresop founder Prisca Ongonga-Daehn told Business News Australia.

“We went online with Flora & Fauna and Nourished Life. We’re also with healthylife, a Woolies online store [that is] their health and wellness channel - it was a no brainer at that time. But the market is evolving and changing. As a brand you can’t be comfortable, right? You have to be very versatile - to keep changing based on what's happening.”

“How are we going to reach our customers where they're already shopping if we don’t have an offline partner? Especially one like Go Vita, who is already quite popular – they’re well respected in the industry and cover the whole of Australia.”

Founded in 2019, Baresop offers customers plant-based hand soap and body wash in a pump bottle made of recycled plastic, which can subsequently be topped up with powdered refills packaged in compost-friendly sachets.

To turn the powder into a hygiene product, consumers have to add about three quarters of warm water into the bottle, tip the contents of the sachet and shake the bottle for 30 seconds.

“When we launched this concept, we were literally the first to do it and that's why we patented our formula. Our challenge is how do we make it better? As you can imagine, for people to actually change what they're doing now it’s got to be a better product,” Ongonga-Daehn said.

“I think that's the challenge that we are aware of and we’re always trying to solve because for a product like ours - the experience has to be literally the centre of everything that we do. I feel like there's no way you can actually succeed within sustainability without really being empathetic to the customer experience.”

“Our customers are also asking for a haircare alternative to what we offer, so that will definitely be our next launch - a shampoo and conditioner.”

According to Baresop, its customers are mostly females aged under 35, mid-to-high income earners who are ethical consumers interested in sustainability and mindful ingredients.

The company notes the age range is slowly broadening to include consumers aged 40 to 55.

“We did a very heavy discovery around our demographic and our shoppers online. We started thinking: Okay, where else do they shop outside of online? Health food stores seemed to be a very good fit for that demographic that we've defined,” Baresop chief commercial officer (CCO) Michael Bronfman said.

“[We] approached Go Vita directly with the intention of being able to expand the offering into other health food stores…so that we can diversify during these economic downturns. I think any business that can grow during this time as is doing extremely well.”

“We're very focused on making the customer experience a frictionless one.”

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