Founder and CEO of Anihana, Sophie Cooper, worked as a florist for ten years. The most rewarding aspect of her work was the chance to create and make people smile.
“It was a no-brainer for me to purchase the soap manufacturing business. It was a different way to help people feel good,” said Cooper.
At the time of purchase, Cooper was eight months pregnant, the two major life events culminating in a hectic time for her.
Cooper said that Anihana soaps are unique-smelling products with a game-changing, non-drying formula, thanks to the moisturising combination of shea butter and coconut oil.
Anihana was built on its sustainability ethos, creating soap bars using significantly less water throughout its manufacturing processes, with the products creating a small footprint to ship globally as a result, and almost all of the products are packaged in home-compostable materials.
Sustainability is an area where Cooper hopes to inspire other manufacturers in the FMCG industry. Anihana was designed to show that creating joyful and impactful products for consumers does not need to come at a cost to the environment.
There is a world of sustainable options out there.
“There is a world of sustainable options out there.”
Anihana has a supportive customer base and audience who have shown time and time again that they are excited about new and innovative formulas and products. Anihana’s Mint Refresher and Lavender Love Shower Steamers received exceptional love from customers through social media for the benefits of the oil blends within the products, specifically chosen to relax and soothe users during daily showering routines.
However, Cooper said that a significant drive for purchasing was related to increased consumer desire for sustainable, New Zealand-made, high-quality products that are small daily luxuries.
“I think we nail that. Bonus: we have a scent for everyone’s personality.”
Cooper hopes that sustainability and eco-friendly practices will become the new normal, with this shift already being seen within the health and beauty category, as sustainable packaging has slowly become the only option for numerous manufacturers as more have begun to recognise the importance of reducing negative impacts of production on the planet.
The demand for sustainable brands and fun, content-worthy products is driven by consumers recognising the need for carefully crafted items that don’t worsen the planet's health. This has been supported through an influx and rapid growth of video on social media, including unboxings, product spotlights, and self-care routines.
“These are performing well on these social media channels, and creators are always looking for items that are not only functional but look the part too.”
She continued that consumers were more frequently spending money prudently due to the current cost of living rates. However, she added that there was still a need for affordable treats for consumers to relax with. Anihana, for example, allows consumers to have a spa-like experience at home for the same price as a takeaway coffee.
Consumers and the beauty category are each facing the global cost of living challenges, with Cooper stating the importance of working to remind consumers what benefits brands like Anihana can offer them.
“Whether that’s high-quality ingredients or a moment to relax after you’ve put the kids to bed. Make sure consumers see us as a need. We want everyone to still feel the love that comes from self-care.”
Anihana has created an everyday line, Feel Good Soaps, specifically for the more affordable grocery channel while still carrying the same personality and characteristics as the Anihana Handcrafted Soaps range. Cooper dubbed the Feel-Good soaps as the true embodiment of Anihana.
Cooper’s favourite Anihana product is the Raspberry Marshmallow Bath Bomb, as she loves anything raspberry-scented, and it was one of the first products made under the Anihana brand.
“But then I also have favourites that change. Right now, it’s the Mango Passion Feel-Good Soap; it smells like you’re on a tropical holiday.”
Read more about the beauty industry below starting on page 30!