Sun. Jul 12th, 2020

A rosy future for rooibos-based brands

There’s a global trend towards a more natural-based life, as millions of people wake up to the curative properties of plants as a remedy for the ravages of modern living.

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The world is increasingly one of concrete and technology, which is why it’s no surprise that the plants are a definitive trend in 2019.

The power of plants

From vertical gardens to the simple natural beauty of a terrarium, the feeling of linen and cotton against the skin and natural palettes in interior design to the massive move towards plant-based food choices, there’s a yearning for natural – and knowing the source of things we choose to use.

That’s great news for rooibos, the tall-leafed herb that’s sourced from only one place in the world – the Cederberg mountain region in South Africa.

Rooibos and its many benefits

Enjoyed as a mild red tea and used for everything from soothing colicky babies to treating skin problems, the leaves of this hardy plant contain amazingly high levels of antioxidants.

There’s much excitement in the international research community, too, for its apparent ability to protect cells and tissues from the debilitating effects of lifestyle diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, as well as premature ageing.

As the name rooibos becomes better known and exports grow, so rooibos-based products and brands are increasingly mainstream – from rooibos lattes at high-street coffee shops, to iced teas, supplements and beauty products.

South African rooibos brand comes out tops

One of the fastest-growing South African skin-care brands is African Extracts, which has as its signature ingredient a particularly antioxidant-rich extract of green, unfermented rooibos.

Taking on the likes of Nivea and L’Oreal in the local market, this Cape Town-based company has now officially launched African Extracts Rooibos skin care in the UK, with its own e-commerce platform.

“The appeal of the African Extracts brand is sustained – and right on trend,” says CEO Rob Tiffin.

“The antioxidant benefits of rooibos and the provenance of the plant are at the heart of our brand. The brand is cruelty-free and most of the products are vegan – soon all will be. We’ve also been able to offer a quality skin-care range at an affordable price point.”

The growing popularity of rooibos in the UK, focused digital marketing and the convenience of online shopping are also seen as positive factors.

“African Extracts was built Africa from a start-up to a brand with an R80 million annual turnover in South Africa largely on word of mouth and customer loyalty – once you try our rooibos skin care, you’ll love it,” he says.

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