A range of specialist skincare products that were first developed around a kitchen table in Queensland is now being sold in hundreds of Holland & Barrett stores in the UK and Ireland.
MooGoo products are made with natural and edible ingredients and designed for babies and people with sensitive or easily irritated skin.
The well-known brand and its first product — a cream to treat dermatitis and psoriasis — was created by Craig Jones who developed his own version of an ‘udder cream’ that is used on dairy cows to help treat his mother’s skin conditions.
Now, 15 years on, the MooGoo range has more than 40 products, which are sold by more than 4000 stockists in Australia and 1000 in the UK, as well as via online channels in Australia, the UK, and the US.
The Burleigh Heads-based business, which doesn’t disclose revenue figures, employs 55 people in Australia and another six in the UK, with founder Jones still involved and leading its product development and innovation.
Since May, those UK stockists have included 550 Holland & Barrett stores, thanks to a supply deal with the health and wellness retailer that has been in the works for some months.
MooGoo products are also stocked in Lloyds pharmacies across the UK.
MooGoo chief executive Melody Livingstone, who joined the company in April having previously held top marketing roles at Domino’s and YouFoodz, tells SmartCompany the interest in MooGoo products has been steadily growing in the UK since the brand launched there in 2013. However, demand “took off” in early 2018, says Livingstone, after a teacher, Megan Underwood, shared how MooGoo products helped ‘cure’ her severe eczema.
“We had a lot of enquiries,” says Livingstone.
“That was a big turning point for us.”
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What’s the environmental impact of the product inside the bottle? When it comes to Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash, most of it ends up down the drain, and then of course back into our water system and onto our oceans, rivers and lakes. Ingredients like silicone in hair conditioners and micro-plastic beads used in exfoliating products have been found in abundance in the environment and the long-term effects of this have not yet reared its entire ugly head. So if environmental consciousness is something that you’re concerned about, think inside the bottle and consider the effects of the products you use in the shower every day, not just the container it comes in. Natural ingredients tend to break down more quickly in the environment and that’s one reason we prefer them. 📷 @thefriendlieschemist
MooGoo a “necessity”, not a “luxury” for those with skin problems
Despite launching into the Holland & Barrett stores in the middle of a global pandemic, Livingstone says online sales via the retailer have been “extremely strong”, with UK online sales up as much as 90% in recent months.
“There was a bit of a decline due to the [coronavirus] restrictions, but we’re quite hopeful as those are starting to ease,” Livingstone says of the brand’s sales from Holland & Barrett.
MooGoo has seen similar trends in its Australian sales, says Livingstone, who says online sales grew by 30% during the pandemic.
“There was a lot of panic buying going on,” she explains, adding that MooGoo stockists also reported higher sales.
“Our product is less of a luxury and more of a necessity, as it does treat skin problems.”
While those living with skin conditions such as eczema were looking to stock up on the creams they rely on, other shoppers were looking for products to treat new skin conditions caused by continuous hand-washing and the use of anti-bacterial hand sanitisers.
“There is also a lot of anxiety surrounding the pandemic, which seems to have increased eczema, psoriasis and other skin flare-ups,” says Livingstone.
She says the company is seeing positive signs that this sales growth will continue as restrictions are eased in some Australian states and retailers are able to start returning to normal trading operations.
The brand is also continuously working on new product development, says Livingstone, and is looking at further developing international markets, including by working with distributors in China.