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32 AFRICA FOCUS


Partnership to assist start-ups in Africa


Richard Musgrave - Stephenson, UK


Speciality soap base and natural ingredients manufacturer, Stephenson, has combined innovation, technical expertise and a flexible approach to deliver tailor-made solutions for personal care brands and manufacturers worldwide. Twice winner of the Queen’s Award for


Export, Stephenson develops and supplies products for global personal care brands and manufacturers – from large blue chip brands to indie brands and small and medium-sized craft businesses. Its expertise embraces world-class


innovation for a wide range of industries. Reliable supply of cutting-edge, speciality personal care ingredients is underpinned by distribution channel partners worldwide, alongside facilities in North America, Europe and China, that assist prompt delivery to customers in more than 50 countries. Approximately 85 percent of everything that Stephenson makes is exported, with around one third of its production output going to customers in Europe, one third to the United States and the remainder to the rest of the world.


Partnerships in Western & Central Africa In 2020, Stephenson struck up a new relationship with MEKZ, a UK-based business specialising in supplying ingredients, packaging solutions and product lines for the cosmetic sector and Africa Processing, a UK-based consultancy specialised in getting companies off the ground in Africa. MEKZ and Africa Processing have evolved with the needs of Africa and offer a complete suite of tailor-made business solutions with the aim of replacing mass imported products with sustainable, competitive and profitable local production. MEKZ and Africa Processing also work


in collaboration with market leaders with experience and expertise within their individual market segments. Stephenson are working with


entrepreneurs and businesses in Western and Central Africa to accelerate personal care projects as well as other areas such as packaging and food and drink manufacture. Its expertise in this field can save valuable time when it comes to selecting and sourcing the best ingredients for products and markets. A global portfolio of suppliers, and exclusive


PERSONAL CARE July 2021


partnering arrangements, offers a diverse range of ingredients for most personal care products ranging from petroleum jelly, white oil, pigments, glycerin and talc. The African personal care, cosmetics and


natural ingredients market is in its infancy at present and has not been a key focus for Stephenson as part of its ongoing international expansion. However, Stephenson recognises that there is growth potential and as the market begins to open up and develop further,


the opportunity exists to introduce more premium products together with natural and organic ranges. This is where the partnership between


MEKZ, Africa Processing and Stephenson is beginning to flourish. MEKZ currently has dealings with 25 countries mainly in West and Central Africa. Africa Processing has been establishing projects using products from Stephenson’s innovative melt and pour range together with various creams, lotions and other cosmetic bases with a key focus on hot process products and ingredients. The potential for growth in cosmetics and


personal care is considerable. Africa is home to the youngest population in the world with more than half of its one billion people below the age of 20. This is also combined with a large and


growing ‘middle class’. A significant proportion of Africans in this expanding middle class are young and educated city people who are alert to modern trends in grooming and fashion, mainly influenced by western culture. Besides meeting increasing personal


hygiene needs, cosmetics have also become vital to self-esteem and confidence levels. As such, beauty and skin care products have established themselves as the fastest selling items in Africa after food! The beauty and personal care market


www.personalcaremagazine.com


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