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Childs Farm grows up with new range for adults

Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

The founder of child and baby toiletries firm Childs Farm has shrugged off the challenges of the coronavirus crisis to launch the brand’s first range for grown-ups, and is setting her sights on further global expansion.

Joanna Jensen, who set up Childs Farm in the 2008 financial crisis, said the launch of Farmologie follows five years of planning and development and marks the group’s latest “exciting chapter”.

The new range, which launches online from midday on Wednesday and across Boots stores nationwide from next week, will offer a range of products for adults with dry, sensitive and eczema prone skin – including moisturisers, hand creams, body washes, body oil and bath soaks.

It comes after the firm found more than a quarter of parent customers of the child and baby range were using the products themselves.

Joanna Jensen founded Childs Farm amid the 2008 financial crisis (Childs Farm/PA)

Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Jensen said: “I set Childs Farm up for my kids, but I thought why don’t I have something for me?”

She added: “Over the years, so many people asked me if I could make Childs Farm products for grown-ups, and whether we could extend our range to cater for adult skin care, so we’ve done just that.”

The launch has not been without its challenges, however, with Ms Jensen saying the Covid-19 pandemic threw up issues with manufacturing and packaging.

Ms Jensen said “if it could’ve gone wrong, it did go wrong” in the lead up to the Farmologie range launch after being beset by a series of delays.

But after overcoming packaging quality problems, shortages of bottle pumps and disruption to manufacturers in China and Italy during the peak of the pandemic, the range finally got the go ahead.

Now Ms Jensen is also looking to extend the reach of the original Childs Farm range as well, with plans to grow further internationally.

She wants to expand online sales further across China, Australia and South East Asia, but also enter new markets with her sights set on Germany, the US and Japan.

The group’s expansion comes after it saw online sales rocket around 7,000% higher amid the coronavirus crisis, though it took a knock on profit margins after some of the packaging woes.

Ms Jensen said demand surged for its hand-wash products and it was able to launch a new hand cream to market within just four weeks.

“It went quickly from thinking ‘how are we going to cope’, to realising we had an opportunity,” she said.