Estonia’s natural cosmetics firm JOIK enters Japanese market


Estonian natural cosmetics and scented candles producer JOIK has started to export its goods to Japan in April this year, expanding its list of export countries to eight.

Preparations to enter the Japanese market started already in the summer of 2012 when interest from Japan first began. Eight months later, JOIK products are being sold at the five largest Plaza department stores in Japan. Plaza has 70 shops in Japan.

The owner of JOIK, Eva-Maria Õunapuu, said that in the Japanese market it is important for the product to have some kind of novelty and be top quality. The Plaza stores liked the modern and simple design of JOIK handmade products, which stood out from other natural cosmetic products. In response to their request, JOIK will produce special pink soaps for the Japanese market.

Joik: Scented candles

European Union quality recognition is not enough when one wants to start selling goods in Japan, as all exported products need to be tested by Japanese labs to secure product quality and safety for the country’s consumers.

JOIK has not made any financial goals in regard to sales in Japan. The company would like to  introduce itself in the market during 2013 and get positive feedback on their products.

Õunapuu started JOIK in 2005 when she started to make scented candles with natural soywax. Gradually she has managed to increase production volumes and the number of employees. JOIK saw a turnover of 607 thousand euros in 2012, up by 48% from previous year, and is now employing ten people. JOIK products are sold in eight foreign countries, including prestigious Russian Azbuka Vkus department stores as well as Stockmann department stores in Helsinki and Riga.

The success of JOIK lies in finding a precise niche in the market for a cosmetic product that is not just ecologically clean, but is glamorous, Õunapuu says. She adds that her products are honest: if it says that it moistens, then it does. The Estonian origin has aided growth in the local market, especially in the economic downturn years when it was important for consumers to buy local products.

Company information: http://www.joik.eu/ 

Source: Kreek, R. (2013) JOIK tungib Jaapani turule. Äripäev, 3. aprill.
Source: Palu, E. (2013) Karjääripööre: valgekraest käsitööliseks. Liidrite Lood, aprill.