North American demand for Hawkins & Brimble

Hawkins & Brimble will be lining shelves across Canada and the US after securing contracts.

An award-winning Cheltenham-based men’s beauty brand, Hawkins & Brimble, will be lining shelves in 300 stores across Canada and the US, after securing two new overseas contracts worth a combined £500,000 in the next 12 months.

Hawkins & Brimble was launched in December 2016. In just two years, the business has secured contracts with the UK’s biggest retailers including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Debenhams, as well as shipping its products to more than 10 countries including the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, China and South Africa.  

The latest contract wins have come off the back of support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of its Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to encourage local businesses to consider exporting or to grow their overseas operations.

Hawkins and Brimble first approached DIT in 2017, when International Trade Advisers supported the company with funding to identify opportunities in North America. 

After meeting with a Canadian distributor, the firm secured a £250,000 contract with one of the country’s largest retail pharmacy chains, Shoppers Drug Mart to sell beard oils, beard shampoo, moisturisers, and gift sets.

Texas-based grocery chain, Central Market, is also trialling Hawkins & Brimble products following introductions through DIT. Its products are currently on trial in 10 of its stores with the potential roll out to more stores in 2019.

Exporting currently accounts for 60% of Hawkins & Brimble’s £1.5million turnover, and this is expected to increase to 75% in 2019 as the brand plans to enter new markets including Scandinavia, Australia, India, Brazil and South East Asia. 

The brand is also a member of Made in Britain, an organisation committed to supporting British manufacturers making the most of both domestic and overseas opportunities and celebrating the provenance of British-made goods. They have also recently become one of the Department for International Trade's South West Export Champions.

Patrick Bos, Sales Director at Hawkins & Brimble, said:

“We’re still a very young company and in just two short years, we’ve gone from formulating six shaving products to selling a full range of male beauty products in the UK’s largest retailers and exporting our products overseas. 

“Our main highlights this year have been working with Twentieth Century Fox to create an exclusive range of products to celebrate the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, and entering the North American market for the first time. Our International Trade Adviser at DIT has been with us every step of the way and has even introduced us to the DIT team based in New York, which has been invaluable.

“However, exporting is not without its challenges. Before we entered the Canadian market, we had to do a lot of research about buying habits and had to make sure packaging was reprinted to include both English and French. However, anything is possible with the right team behind you and the right support. If we can find success in international markets, so can many other businesses.”   

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Exports in the South West, said:

“Hawkins & Brimble has seen tremendous success, both domestically and overseas, in a very short space of time. That success is due in no small part to its thorough preparation.

“The company has proved that researching buying trends and preparing tailored marketing strategies for overseas markets pays dividends.

“We know through working with firms across the South West that brands that export are more successful, profitable and resilient. That’s why we have a dedicated team based across the South West and in more than 100 countries to provide support to firms looking to export for the first time or grow their international footprint.”

  • How to get started

    To find out if there's demand for your product or service in global markets and what you need to do next, contact our International Trade Centre today. Submit your enquiry now and one of our export experts will be in touch to help in any way they can.

    Call us on 01275 370 944

  • DIT Delivery Partner Logo

  • How to get started

    To gain access to an experienced International Trade Adviser, who will act as your export guide and give you the confidence to explore or expand in overseas markets, simply contact our International Trade Centre today.

    Call us on 01275 370 944