Caribbean consumers opt for home-grown labels

The Caribbean’s call for locally-sourced organic products is set to challenge imports of big name brands, as Gemma Handy reports

The Caribbean may be a small and fragmented regional market, but it is a hotbed of innovation in the personal care product industry, and a potential source of inspiration in formulation and ingredients for major brands.

Its island nations, politically independent and dependent territories, have long relied on imports – especially from the nearby US. But recent sluggish economic growth, coupled with sky-high freight and import duties, has seen a surge in pioneering Caribbean-based cottage industries and thriving niche enterprises in the beauty sector.

A natural demand

The global shift towards organic, chemical-free products is echoed in the Caribbean where manufacturers are incorporating local tropical plants into their creations, inspired by the islands’ luscious natural environment.

From coconut cream to Jamaican black castor oil, such ingredients are as wholesome and diverse as resulting final products. In Antigua and Barbuda, Natalie Fuchs, owner of start-up beauty company NDF, says increasing health consciousness is fuelling demand for her handmade natural . . .

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