Beiersdorf loves the skin you're in and wants to improve it, one product at a time. Part of Beiersdorf AG's Americas' business, the US subsidiary makes and markets skin care brands NIVEA, Aquaphor, and Eucerin. Though Beiersdorf, Inc. was founded in 1960, its flagship product NIVEA was developed in 1911. Named from the Latin word "nivius" meaning "snow-white," it marked the foundation of Beiersdorf's product portfolio. The parent company also discovered Eucerit, the industry's first water-in-oil emulsifier, at the turn of the century. Beyond body care, the NIVEA lineup extends to lip balms, facial creams, and men's grooming products, sold through grocery stores and mass merchant retailers, such as Target.
Despite the economic downturn that hurt consumer spending for skin and beauty care products, Beiersdorf's Americas segment grew modestly in 2009, but jumped year-over-year by more than 20% in 2010. The improvement was fueled by demand for NIVEA's mainstream body care, shower wash, and NIVEA for men lines, particularly in Latin America. Business in the Americas, which accounts for less than 20% of group sales, is important due to its unparalleled demand.
The Americas segment has managed to retain and build market share through product innovation coupled with shedding underperforming brands. To this end, the parent has established a laboratory to focus on the needs of Latin and South American consumers, a rapidly growing region for skin care products. Among its introductions, the Eucerin brand added its first series for protecting men's skin after shaving.
Product innovation and its launch, however, went too far in 2011. Nivea was forced to pull an ad that portrayed black men as needing to use the line to "re-civilize" themselves. The advertising blunder followed a nine thousand dollar fine by the FTC for the suggesting that consumers could slim down just by applying Nivea's My Silhouette! lotion. – less