Garancia, joining forces with Pharma-Recharge
Photo by ian dooley / Unsplash

Garancia, joining forces with Pharma-Recharge

Eva Lagarde

Launched in June 2023, the pharma-recharge initiative is led by 5 brands which are mainly distributed in pharmacies. With Garancia (Unilever Prestige), Bioderma (NAOS), Pierre Fabre, La Rosée and Mustela (Laboratoires Expanscience), the initiative intends to release a refillable beauty format accessible to all in the french extensive pharmacy network in France. The consortium was first launched in October 2022, with a single objective of boosting refillable beauty solutions in the market, and the machine was released less than a year later.

More details here.

Garancia was approached by Mustela in 2022 when they started to work on the current Pharma-Recharge consortium. “From start to finish the project only took 9 months”, explains Anne-Claire Morin, demonstrating the commitment of the brands involved in the idea.

Mustela invited 4 other brands and selected the RE)SET consultancy to support the project. The project consisted of the development of a piece of furniture for product display and bulk delivery for 15 products! The design is from Mobil Wood, a company specialising in eco-designed furniture made from French wood. The refillable structure uses the Jean Bouteille technology (who has developed bulk delivery fountains for L’Occitane and Mustela), a company with a pioneering impact in the introduction of bulk and re-use solutions, for the fountains. The consortium also selected a common glass bottle for the trial, compatible with most of the products. (sources: here)

The machine for distribution works on a low technology, meaning liquids for product refill are delivered by gravity which is a single solution to dispense a wide range of viscosity. “ Bulk is delivered and replaced in the machine in a bag-in-box system. Then the pressurised system in the gravity avoids the brittling that often occurs in standard bag in box packaging while optimising the perfect flow for all products” explains Gérard Bellet from Jean Bouteille.

“ The  offer is conducted on existing products in the market, and Jean Bouteille was selected for efficiency, speed, and low maintenance.” explained to us Anne-Claire Morin, Marketing Director at Garancia.

The user journey is simple: 

  • consumers follow the steps in the order module, 
  • attach the bottle proposed for this trial to the fountain of the product of their choice, 
  • a predefined dose is poured automatically, 
  • they have to pick up their bottle at the end. 

The refillable bottle is the same for every brand and product, and there is an added foaming pump for Garancia’s Pschitt Magique. 

An animation is created in-store with a beauty advisor, to conduct qualitative surveys and collect feedback from consumers.

An expansion after a conclusive experience

After 4 months of successful implementation, the project has been released in more pharmacies in France since November 2023. The experience demonstrated a 90% satisfaction rate from consumers and indicated that the main drivers of purchase were price and reduction of plastic waste.

The experiment also shows that in-store advice is key, and clear instructions, with a step-by-step guide on the machine, make the process easier and smoother for the end user.

Customers really appreciated the modernity of the concept (a consortium of well-known brands, furniture, and use), the commitment to contributing to a better planet, and the price offering.

One of the successes is the active partnership with the pharmacy and Pierre Morati, Managing Director at Pharmacie Carré Opéra, explained that “in addition to the experience, which customers appreciate and find easy, they are increasingly coming with a view to buying, not just testing; which is the key to making the project sustainable and transforming usage over time. “