New arrival in biobased baby care, but Amyris isn’t only one turning to skin care : Biofuels Digest

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In California,  Amyris has a new baby in town. Babies are booming with about 250 babies born every minute on the planet, and clean and green baby care demand is booming along with it as parents and caregivers are more aware of toxic chemicals and questionable ingredients in cosmetics and skin care. Amyris knows this and is now meeting that demand with their clean baby care brand, Pipette, following on the heels of their Biossance 100% plant-based squalane skincare line that was launched in 2016.

“In response to parents asking for better-performing, safer products for their babies, Amyris conceived Pipette: a new Amyris brand reinventing clean personal care for babies and moms using the fewest possible ingredients from the purest sources,” according to the Amyris press release.

But Amyris isn’t the only one using their R&D and technologies to move from a lab straight into consumer products. Before we go there, let’s start with the new baby in town – Amyris’s new Pipette line.

Pipette Products

First, what’s so special about Amyris’s Pipette baby care products? Similar to their Biossance products, Amyris’s proprietary sugarcane-derived squalene is a key feature of the Pipette products. Squalene used to be derived from sharks, not too ethical of a way, so it now is being sourced via olive oil, but according to Amyris, that is too unstable, which is why Amyris uses Brazilian sugarcane instead.

Ok, so sugarcane – used for ethanol, biochemicals, bioplastics, and a host of other things is now also a source for squalene, a cosmetic and skin care ingredient. Talk about hitting many birds with one stone.

In addition to the ethical and stable squalene ingredient, every product in the Pipette line is EWG Verified Leaping Bunny Approved, dermatologist tested, pediatrician approved, hypoallergenic, nontoxic, vegan, and synthetic fragrance-free. How’s that for covering all the bases?

The line includes seven products: Shampoo & Wash, Lotion, Oil, Wipes and Balm for baby, and Belly Butter and Oil for expecting and postpartum moms. And talk about going straight to consumer – Amyris already has placement in several online stores like buybuyBABY.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Dermstore.com, as well as in-store exclusively at buybuy Baby stores nationwide. That’s in addition to their own direct to consumer website at Pipettebaby.com of course.

Stakeholder Reactions

“buybuy BABY is thrilled to be the exclusive omni-channel retailer for the launch of Pipette,” said Glen Cary, President of buybuy BABY. “We are the trusted destination for curated best-in-class baby products for new and expectant parents and Pipette’s clean and sustainable personal care products are a fantastic addition to our assortment.”

“Pipette is raising the bar for clean baby care,” stated Caroline Hadfield, President of Pipette. “Our millennial consumers are now becoming parents, and they demand a cleaner, safer option for their babies. Pipette was born from this overwhelming need for gentle, nontoxic products that scientifically work for babies’ skin.”

“Brand partners and supporters of Pipette’s mission and products include dedicated parents, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Justin Baldoni and Tamera Mowry-Housley, who are all passionate about baby products that are free from potentially harmful chemicals. This dynamic trio understands how daunting the sheer volume of information and misinformation can be when it comes to caring for babies and their skin. Huntington-Whiteley, Baldoni & Mowry-Housley will help moms and dads navigate these parenting decisions in a way that is educational and empowering.”

“I’m very pleased to support the Pipette brand mission of giving parents the best-performing and safest choice when it comes to caring for their loved ones,” said brand partner, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. “Pipette is responding to the needs of parents who increasingly refuse to buy products that are harmful to them, their children, and our environment.”

Let’s talk money…

Amyris just presented a few weeks ago about their latest products and proprietary process of engineering organisms (yeast) using renewably-sourced carbon from plants (sugarcane) to make sustainable, custom molecules at the Jefferies 2019 Global Industrials Conference. Check out The Digest’s 2019 Multi-Slide Guide to Amyris’ Latest Products here.

Also in August, as reported in The Digest, Amyris said on a business update call for investors that their revenue plan year-to-date is on track to meet their plan of $150 million for the year. Flavors and fragrances are expected to exceed revenue plan for the year and there has been a great market reaction to Purecane with early successful inroads into innovators, small- and medium enterprises (SMEs), formulators, and global brands each with their own time to revenue profiles; launching direct to consumer in U.S. before year end.

They also told investors that their LAVVAN program is on track to deliver commercial scale up and targets for CBD during first half of 2020. Of course, they also mentioned that Pipette was on track to launch in September and their Clean Beauty segment is on track for delivering around $60 million in sales for the year.

Amyris also raised $34 million in private placement of its common stock and warrants to purchase common stock with accredited investors, as reported in The Digest in April.

Baby’s not alone…

Amyris’s baby brand Pipette is not alone, though as other bio companies have ventured into the cosmetics and skin care game too. Take Pennsylvania’s Renmatix, for example, when they introduced Celltice – its “zero-chemical self-emulsifying active,” built from cellulose and lignin. As reported in The Digest in May, their product is aimed at the clean beauty movement towards petro-free, plant-based ingredients for clean cosmetics with minimalist formulations, seeking sustainable, cruelty-free ingredients that also deliver comparable or superior performance to traditional ingredients. It’s billed as a “a cost-advantaged, high-performing, multi-functional ingredient,” which hits just about all of the high notes. Sounds an awful like Amyris’s Pipette and Biossance brands, doesn’t it?

Another example is Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel which is integrating traditional Hawaiian planting practices at their sunflower fields and expanding beyond biodiesel. As reported in The Digest in February 2018, the sunflowers are being converted into cosmetic-grade sunflower oils and food-grade cooking oil, as well as biodiesel. The cosmetic-grade oils are being sold at local spas as part of the Kuleana beauty product line made by Maiden Hawaii Naturals, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies. They plan on planting coconuts, ulu, chickpeas, and safflower as well this year. As reported in The Digest this April, Pacific Biodiesel also unveiled the island’s first commercial hemp farm and plans on using the high value hemp oil, not for biofuel, but for cosmetics and culinary oils.

Japan-based Euglena is another fascinating company, using microalgae to develop foods and cosmetics as well as conducting research for the production of biofuels. As reported in The Digest in August, Euglena’s sales last year reached $133 million, no small feat, and 99% of it comes from their food and health care sectors, not biofuel.

Bottom Line

There are many others like Amyris, Pacific Biodiesel and Euglena that have pivoted from biofuels to cosmetics and skin care, or even produce them in tandem, and there will probably be more considering how huge those markets are today and forecasted to be in the future.

There are even a larger slew of companies like Global Bioenergies and their bio-isobutene that can be used for fuels and cosmetics, and Versalis which is integrating renewable chemicals into things like cosmetic products, so the range of possibilities is enormous.

So as long as babies continue to be born, and at a staggering rate of 250 babies each minute, there is plenty of potential for biobased companies to expand into new markets.



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