We manufacture and import a broad selection of diverse products that increase wellness in consumers’ daily lives. We invest in Finnish product development and production. Our products are developed at our head office in Helsinki and manufactured in Heinävesi.
Our strengths include local consumer insight, marketing and distribution expertise. Our goal is to be the preferred partner in retail.
Our brands continued to see generally positive development in sales in 2018. We launched new products and developed product packaging and communications. The year 2018 was a milestone year not only for Berner itself, but also for two of our brands: Nokian Footwear reached the venerable age of 120 years, while the Hai brand celebrated its 50th anniversary. Responsibility and sustainable development are important considerations in our packaging development efforts.
In 2018, our range of consumer products included daily consumer goods, leisure goods, cosmetics and daily accessories.
DAILY CONSUMER GOODS
Our products manufactured in Heinävesi
XZ – Finland’s most trusted shampoo brand
The Finnish XZ product family has been part of the daily life of Finns since the 1950s. XZ is still the best-selling brand of shampoo in Finland according to AC Nielsen Homescan. XZ was chosen as Finland’s most trusted shampoo brand for the eighth time in the annual Trusted Brands survey conducted by Reader’s Digest.
In spring, we launched the XZ Pea Protein product family, consisting of shampoo and conditioner. In the fall, we launched XZ Oat Oil, a product family, which includes shampoo, conditioner and rinse-off oil treatment. XZ styling products were given a new visual identity in collaboration with the award-winning illustrator Sanna Mander.
XZ launched a cooperation with Rovio at the beginning of the year, leading to XZ’s introduction of Angry Birds shampoos and haircare products for the entire family. Angry Birds and Hatchlings characters are featured on the product labels as well as augmented reality (AR) content.
XZ Men is an official partner of the Finnish Floorball Federation.
LV – a record-breaking year in sales
LV’s new core message “Less is just right” had an excellent level of effectiveness across all communication channels. The sensitive skin customer segment has been complemented by a new target group in conscious consumers whose buying decisions are largely determined by their desire to reduce the load on their skin and the natural environment.
The sales of LV products grew by 15 percent to reach an all-time high in 2018. The LV product family was expanded in both the skincare and laundry detergent categories. We launched three fragrance-free skincare products for men: LV Men shaving foam, LV Men after shave balm and LV Men moisturizer. The facial care segment ranks second in sales in the personal hygiene category (AC Nielsen, daily consumer goods purchases in Finland) and products targeted at the male segment hold potential for further growth within the category.
The LV brand’s degree of domestic origin was increased further by the launch of LV laundry detergent production in Heinävesi. The LV laundry detergent bottle comes from a Finnish supplier and the bottle mold was created by the internationally renowned agency Pentagon Design. Naturally, the product is also certified by the Finnish Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation.
LV 1.5-liter Laundry Detergent for colored laundry was launched in fall 2018. We also launched LV Norovirus hand sanitizer, which is the first home-use product in the market to provide protection against norovirus infection.
Herbina – a new brand identity
2018 was a year of renewal for Herbina, a series of skincare and haircare products made from natural ingredients. Herbina’s entire brand identity was redesigned and the new slogan is “Show off your nature”. The brand renewal also meant that Herbina grew from a girl into a woman.
We produced a new commercial and advertised on TV for the first time in a long while. The redesign of Herbina’s packaging started with the Herbina facial care product family. We commissioned an extensive segmentation study to determine Herbina’s target audience’s needs with regard to advertising as well as the labels and text on product packaging. The packaging redesign effort will continue in the other Herbina segments in 2019.
Oxygenol – xylitol now included in all products
We began the renewal of the visual style of Oxygenol’s packaging in 2018. The new visual identity supports and strengthens the brand’s other marketing communications.
Oxygenol wants to bring fun into dental care and toothpastes, without forgetting effectiveness. A new fresh and positive TV ad titled “120 seconds of fun” was premiered in the spring when we launched Oxygenol Long Active toothpaste and mouthwash as well as Oxygenol Pineapple, a toothpaste targeted at young consumers.
A co-branding partnership with Rovio led to the launch of the Oxygenol Angry Birds product family, with Hatchling Angry Birds toothpastes launched for the 6+ age group.
After we gradually introduced xylitol into all of our adult toothpastes in 2018, all Oxygenol toothpaste products now contain xylitol as well as fluoride. The combination of xylitol and fluoride has been shown to be the most effective in fighting plaque. For the optimal protective effect, the xylitol content of toothpaste needs to be at least 5 percent. Oxygenol children’s toothpaste products contain 10 percent xylitol.
Rajamäen increased its market share
Rajamäen products fared well against tough competition and further increased their market share.
The use of wine vinegar is an emerging trend in Finland. Rajamäen spirits vinegar, which is produced in Finland using a natural fermentation method, benefited from the rapid rise in the popularity of using vinegar in laundry.
Last summer’s weather conditions were favorable to pickling, which boosted the sales of our spirits vinegar. We launched our spirits vinegar in a new 0.4-liter bottle, which was well received.
In the summer, we launched an entirely new category under the Rajamäen product family: superior quality extra virgin olive oil in 250 ml bottles. The use of olive oil goes hand in hand with wine vinegars, and the introduction of our new product category is aimed at promoting growth across all Rajamäen products.
Rajamäen is also moving towards the wellness category following the launch of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in 500 ml glass bottles late in the year. The health-promoting effects of apple cider vinegar have been recognized for a long time. We will also launch the products in daily consumer goods retail to make them available to everyone.
Tummeli maintained its popularity among consumers
Consumers are attracted by Finnish-made hygiene and skincare products, and the traditional Tummeli brand maintained its popularity among consumers.
Childcare products and wellness
Ainu – supporting parenting
Ainu operates in a challenging market, as 2018 was the eighth consecutive year of a declining birth rate in Finland. Ainu invests in research and up-to-date information on the needs of families with children and pursues renewal based on customer needs. Ainu has a strong presence in digital channels, aims to support parenting and plays a part in helping babies grow into children and adults grow into parents.
Omron – continued growth in sales
Omron saw strong sales growth in 2018, much like in the previous year. At the end of the year, we launched Omron HeatTens, a pain reliever solution that combines two effective drug-free treatment methods: TENS technology and heat therapy.
Berner received Omron’s Category Builder and Business Partner of the Year (EMEA) awards last year in Valencia, Spain.
Well-known imported brands
Kikkoman – building a stronger position as a market leader
Our naturally fermented and non-GMO Kikkoman brand strengthened its position as the Finnish market leader in the soy sauce category. In addition to its well-known soy sauces, Kikkoman also produces tasty dressings and marinades that bring full flavor to day-to-day cooking.
New products introduced in the Horeca segment have found their way into professional kitchens and, in the summer, we launched a new soy sauce seasoned with ponzu citrus for consumers, combining freshness, acidity and salinity in a way that excites the taste buds.
Kikkoman’s marketing and advertising were highly visible throughout the year in various channels: TV, magazines, online, outdoor advertising as well as various promotional campaigns and racks in retail environments.
Nokian Footwear and Hai – a special anniversary for both brands
It was a milestone year for Finland’s most popular brands of rubber boots in 2018, with Nokian Footwear reaching the venerable age of 120 years and the Hai brand celebrating its 50th anniversary. According to a consumer survey by the Dagmar media agency, Nokian Footwear and Hai are Finland’s preferred brands of rubber boots by a clear margin.
To mark the anniversaries of the two brands, we celebrated National Rubber Boot Day on October 11. The campaign was seen and heard in customer channels, retail locations, radio, influencer channels and social media, and many fantastic stories and photos of rubber boots were shared on the National Rubber Boot Day website. On the day of the event, many people wore rubber boots throughout Finland: in cities and in the countryside, even in offices.
Hai celebrated its jubilee year by launching Hai Colours collection, which saw the product family expand from rubber boots to canvas shoes, rain capes, backpacks and umbrellas. The new collection made a big splash at the Gloria Fashion Show and we received a lot of positive feedback about the colorful products. Hai products were also worn by the Helsinki Helper tourist guides. The full Hai Colours collection is available for purchase in the Haicolours online store, which celebrated its first anniversary in August 2018.
The Finnish Defense Forces trusts the quality of Nokian Footwear, with significant quantities of new summer and winter boots delivered in 2018.
Korrek – a new look for the Korrek Originals product family
The Korrek Originals product family was given a new yellow and black visual identity in 2018, replacing the old blue and yellow color scheme. The new yellow and black design matches the visual style of KORREK Pro, KORREK Boat and KORREK Pro Ceramic TFC products.
In the consumer market, we launched Korrek Pro TFC Glass Coat, a patented product based on thin film coating technology.
About 40 new service providers were trained to expand the network of authorized KORREK Pro partner network throughout Finland. KORREK Pro Ceramic TFC professional coating products became the market leader in their first full year. The professional coating solutions were applied to an estimated 10,000 new and used cars in 2018.
The contract manufacturing of S Group’s Rainbow windshield washer fluid was transferred back to Berner in 2018.
GreenCare – decision made to shift to recycled plastic
Climate change, responsibility and sustainable development are on the mind of many consumers these days. We have taken a step forward in sustainability in our Finnish-made GreenCare products by starting to use recycled plastic in their packaging. The use of recycled plastic and the optimization of packaging will reduce the need for virgin plastic by approximately 35,000 kg in 2019.
Among GreenCare fertilizers, recycled materials are used in products including Ympäristön Ystävä recycled nutrient fertilizer, Nurmikon Kevät Kesä + and Puutarhan Syksy. The production of Ympäristön Ystävä makes use of food industry by-products, and the product is fully plant-based. The fertilizer recycles by-products back into the soil and sequesters carbon.
Ympäristön Ystävä fertilizer cooperates with the Baltic Sea Action Group, with a portion of each unit sold donated to support the protection of the Baltic Sea.
Five years ago, GreenCare launched Grobiootti, the first product in the market to contain beneficial microbes. Grobiootti has since been expanded into a full range of products for various uses and in different packaging sizes. GreenCare Grobiootti products have been shown* to boost crop yields by as much as 25 percent thanks to the action of Grobiootti beneficial microbes. (*Peracto Agricultural Research Organization, 203)
GreenCare participated in the Pori Housing Fair in summer 2018, where we created a balcony garden in a display house in collaboration with garden designer Minna Toivanen.
Miklu and Minna’s garden summer
We produced a series of YouTube videos with garden designer Minna Toivanen and rap artist Mikael Gabriel creating four gardens of different types and sizes. Finnish-made GreenCare products were prominently featured in the four episodes, which included creating a green space on the rooftop terrace of Jare from the rap duo JVG and a GreenCare herb garden in the yard of Sara Chafak’s holiday home. The view counts for the episodes were in the hundreds of thousands.
Free – carrying the Allergy Label since late 2017
The Free line of fragrance-free insect repellents against mosquitoes, blackflies, gadflies, ticks and lice were granted the right to carry the Finnish Allergy and Asthma Federation’s Allergy Label in 2017. The label underscores the Free products’ suitability to all members of the family.
The active ingredient in Free repellents, IR 3535, is recommended by the World Health Organization. Free products are equally effective to traditional repellents, but the more advanced active ingredient means they are entirely fragrance-free.
RODENT CONTROL PRODUCTS – REGULATIONS CHANGED THE PRODUCT OFFERING
Authororities’ regualtions significantly changed the product offering of rodent control in 2018.
The rodent fighter product range included mechanical traps from January to October. The new rodent control authority registrations were completed towards the year end and deliveries to stores began in November.
Our cosmetics business was expanded in 2018 by the representation of two new brands: France-based Nuxe skincare and the Switzerland-based semi-selective Bronx Colors make-up products. Among the series of cosmetics products represented by Berner, Clarins, IsaDora and Sensai have fared well in the challenging competitive landscape and outperformed the market in terms of their growth. Our goal in 2019 is to expand the distribution of our newly represented brands and to acquire representation rights for new brands that fit our product range.
The most significant new products launched in 2018 were the renewed day and night creams in the Extra-Firming product line, Joli Rouge Velvet lipstick and the Skin Illusion SPF 15 foundation.
IsaDora’s most important new product was the Active Wear foundation, which caters to the athleisure trend of combining wellness with athletic activities. Another important new launch during the year was Grand Volume Lash Curler, which curls eyelashes and increases their volume.
SENSAI continued the renewal of its makeup products in 2018. The most prominent new launch was expanding the classic Mascara 38°C line-up with the introduction of Lash Volumiser 38°C. In skincare products, SENSAI’s new launches included the Wrinkle Repair Essence serum and Extra Intensive 10 Minute Revitalising Pads for skin around the eyes.
This new colorful arrival in the world of makeup entered the Finnish market in April. The most popular products in the series include single colors of eye shadow and blush that customers can combine to put together their own palette in an empty makeup case.
Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse oil, which has a cult-like following, was complemented by Huile Prodigieus Riche, a product for dry and very dry skin. Other important products launched during the year included Deliciously Nourishing Body Scrub and Repairing Super Balm with Honey.
The business operations of Make-Trade Ltd, which was acquired in 2017, were successfully integrated into Berner in 2018. The sales of the most significant product categories grew as planned and we acquired several new customer accounts.
BIC – sales growth achieved
The sales of BIC products grew across all product categories. The strongest growth was seen in lighters and razors. Several new products were successfully launched in the school supplies category.
M.E.C. – strengthening the product family
The M.E.C. product family includes contact paper for covering books, modeling clay, fingerpaint and pens, among other things. We trimmed the selection in 2018 to build a stronger product family. We also conducted a consumer survey and will put the results to use in 2019.