We manufacture and import goods that bring more wellness to people’s daily lives. We invest in Finnish product development and production. Our strengths include local consumer insight, marketing and distribution expertise. Our goal is to be the preferred partner in retail.
As a leading cosmetics importer we represent several international brands. In addition to cosmetics, we also market high-quality food, baby products and wellness equipment brands.
After several economically challenging years, commerce began to improve in 2016. At the same time, the transformation of the commerce sector is continuing. Mobile shopping is expected to see sharp growth and technology is also being introduced to physical retail locations, where consumers seek better experiences and convenience. Responsibility is increasingly highlighted in consumer decisions.
Digital service development is emphasized in our day-to-day work and brand building. Going forward, we will continue to invest in the development of sustainably and ethically produced products and increasing transparency in our product communications. We offer consumers information and support in their daily choices.
XZ – A strong Finnish brand
XZ has been part of the daily life of Finns since the 1950s. Today, our products are developed and manufactured by a large group of professionals. All XZ shampoos and conditioners are produced at our factory in Heinävesi, a place of natural beauty in Eastern Finland.
XZ was chosen as Finland’s most trusted shampoo brand for the sixth time in the annual Trusted Brands survey conducted by Reader’s Digest. Consumers gave XZ the highest marks in its category for quality, value for money and ethical responsibility.
Late in the year, XZ launched a partnership with the Finnish Floorball League. The partnership will see XZ and the new XZ Men product range prominently featured in floorball matches and the Finnish Floorball League’s digital channels. In addition to visibility, XZ’s goals for the partnership include active brand encounters with floorball players.
New products for Finnish hair
In spring 2016, XZ continued its renewal by strengthening its selection of products aimed at men: the new XZ Men series comprises six shampoos that address the most common challenges in male haircare and daily haircare needs. The new products have been developed with consumer needs and the characteristics of Finnish hair in mind, using high-quality raw materials.
The haircare range was also expanded by the launch of XZ Rhubarb-redcurrant products aimed at dyed hair. The shampoo and conditioner in the product family help hair color last longer while nourishing and moisturizing treated hair.
The selection of styling products was revised. The XZ Styling & Care product family has been developed for daily use on Finnish hair. The modern and clear visual style makes it easy to choose the right product, while the fragrances used in the products bring a sense of luxury to hairstyling. In addition to the newly introduced products, the range of six products includes a genuine XZ classic in the form of XZ Combing and Styling Spray, which has firmed up rollered and blow-dried hairstyles since the 1960s.
In the latter part of the year, we launched XZ Blueberry, a new seasonal product to celebrate the centennial of Finland’s independence. The development of XZ Blueberry was inspired by Finnish ingredients and innovation. The product contains Finnish Blueberry seed oil as well as Finnish betaine extracted from sugar beet. The centennial of Finnish independence is also reflected in the product’s festive label designed by the Finnish illustrator Sanna Mander. XZ Blueberry shampoo and Berner Ltd are part of the Finland 100 program in 2017.
LV – Knows your skin
The LV product family for sensitive skin, which includes washing detergents as well as skin and hair care products, continued to see strong growth in 2016.
One of the most significant product launches during the year was in the important laundry detergent category. LV’s new products make laundry safer and more convenient particularly for families with children and people who are physically active: LV Little Ones is an effective liquid laundry detergent especially for baby and toddler laundry, while LV Sport Liquid Laundry Detergent is designed for outdoor clothing, sportswear and sensitive technical textiles. LV Color Liquid Laundry Detergent was improved with a new and even more effective formula. The unscented and uncolored products were developed in cooperation with the Allergy and Asthma Federation to ensure their suitability to sensitive skin.
The LV range of skincare products was also complemented during the year. The LV 55+ series saw the launch of a new SPF 15 facial cream to meet the challenges of aging skin. Due to its increased vulnerability to sunburn, aging skin requires more protection. The range of facial creams was also extended with a new day cream for normal skin. It has a lighter formula than the facial cream in the 55+ series and is suitable for all skin types.
An entirely new product launched during the year was the trendy Moisturizing Micellar Water 3 in 1, whose emulsion-like formula makes it a more effective skincare product than other micellar waters in the market. Compared to other micellar waters, which are typically colorless and fluid, the new product is unscented and white in color. Micellar water cleanses and moisturizes facial skin and is also effective as a makeup remover.
The new LV Soothing series is designed to relieve scalp problems. The series includes a soothing shampoo, a soothing conditioner and a scalp care liquid.
Another new product launched during the past year of active product development was a skin-nurturing roll-on antiperspirant product for women. Cosmetically pleasant in the underarm area, it leaves a softer feeling and provides more effective antiperspirant action for 48 hours.
Herbina – for your natural beauty
Herbina has produced gentle and charming products designed for Finnish women for more than 30 years.
The Herbina range was extended with the introduction of five trendy Mango Spa and Aqua Spa body care products with tropical scents. The company applied for, and received, Key Flag certification for the new body care products in 2016.
Herbina also refreshed its range of haircare products in the spring with the launch of the Gloss & Shine series. The shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner spray provide shine and health for all hair types, while the Volumizer series shampoo and conditioner help add more volume to hair. The familiar Herbina Deep Cleanse Shampoo received a new fresh look. All of the products carry the Key Flag symbol as evidence of their Finnish origin. The new products are manufactured in Heinävesi, Finland, and they are designed to suit the needs of Finnish hair.
Oxygenol’s products are based on Finnish raw materials such as xylitol. The products are Key Flag products manufactured at Berner’s Heinävesi factory.
The Oxygenol series was complemented with the launch of of a fluoride-free toothpaste for children under the age of three. New guidelines recommend that small children have their teeth brushed once a day using toothpaste with a fluoride level between 1,000 – 1,100 ppm (parts per million) and once a day without toothpaste, or with fluoride-free toothpaste. This meant that there was a clear need in the market for a fluoride-free children’s toothpaste.
During the year, we received recommendations from the Finnish Dental Association for all Oxygenol toothpastes with a fluoride level exceeding 1,000 ppm.
Rajamäen has brought flavor to Finnish households for more than 125 years. In 2016, the Rajamäen brand introduced new flavors of wine vinegar and balsamic dressing. The range of flavored wine vinegars was extended with two new varieties: chili red wine vinegar and ginger white wine vinegar. Both products come with a pour spout that makes them easier to use. Rajamäen also expanded its range of ready-to-use balsamic dressings with the introduction of Fig and Strawberry. The oil-free dressings are great with salad, cheese, fruit and desserts, as well as for flavoring and marinating food.
Quality products for car care, yard work and gardening
Korrek and Lasol
With more than 50 years of experience, Korrek is Finland’s best-known and most trusted brand of car care products. Lasol is the market leader in its category. The success of both brands is based on strong Finnish product development and cooperation with distribution channel partners.
In spring 2016, Korrek launched new Korrek Pro TFC coating products for consumers. The launch was the most successful in the Korrek brand’s history and significantly strengthened the brand among retailers as well as consumers.
Late in the year, Berner acquired the consumer car and boat coating business of SC Design Ltd. The transaction helped Berner acquire significant expertise and know-how related to thin film coating (TFC) products. TFC technology and its continued development will support the strengthening of the Korrek Pro series of products and the expansion of the business into the professional car care product market and the international markets.
An investment made at the Heinävesi factory to enable the packaging of flammable liquids in pouches instead of bottles led to new product launches in October. Lasol launched new ready-to-use windshield washer fluid pouches for consumer use, and their sales got off to a good start in the early stages of the winter season.
We continued to see strong growth and development in consumer channels in our garden care business. Our business is based on expertise, profound understanding of consumer needs and strategic partnership with retail trade. Our investment in these, along with successful product launches, increased our sales in all key product segments and channels.
The GreenCare brand of garden care products maintained their strong popularity. The classic GreenCare products, Spring Garden, Fall Garden and Granulated Garden Lime, saw higher sales. We also had a strong focus on lawn care. We carried out a multi-channel soccer-themed consumer lawn care campaign during the spring and summer. The campaign boosted the sales of lawn care products and solidified GreenCare’s position as the leading brand of lawn care products.
The mosquito repellent market was favorable after several subdued years. The sales of Free mosquito repellents saw strong growth, outpacing its rival brands. We carried out a TV campaign to boost the sales of Free mosquito repellent products, emphasizing the products’ effectiveness and unscented nature. We also redesigned the Free website at the beginning of 2016 and carried out Facebook and Instagram campaigns.
Nokian Footwear is Finland’s best-known brand of rubber boots, followed by our own iconic Hai brand. Nokian Footwear combines nearly 120 years of experience with Finnish design and state-of-the-art technology. Nokian Footwear carries the Design from Finland label awarded by the Federation of Finnish Work to Finnish design, innovation, engineering, research and product development.
Cooperation with the Finnish Defense Forces remains a significant aspect of our operations in the footwear and clothing category.
Focusing export operations on the neighboring markets increased sales around the Baltic Sea, where we work together with long-term partners.
In 2016, Nokian Footwear launched a significant product placement partnership with the popular TV show Vain Elämää (the Finnish version of The Best Singers), to let the Finnish audience see Hai boots worn by the participating artists in natural environments. The partnership created a solid foundation for campaign building in our customer relationships and produced good results. The visibility was utilized in retail stores and campaigns as well as social media communications. We also began a collaboration with the rap artist Mikael Gabriel and will continue it in 2017.
We substantially strengthened the brand’s visibility in social media during the year. We shifted the focus of our marketing efforts more towards digital channels and also began the redesign of the Nokian Footwear website.
Wellness and baby products
Finland’s best-known brand of baby products, Ainu, has a strong presence in the daily lives of Finnish parents. In 2016, Ainu aimed to further enhance its insight into Finnish parenting trends. Ainu also began a brand renewal process to introduce a more modern touch to the brand’s reliable and lovable identity. Ainu’s goal remains to help parents with the challenges of parenting and child-rearing, and to make the first years of parenthood unforgettable.
Omron is closely involved in wellness trends. Blood pressure measurement is Omron’s most important product category. In 2016, Omron focused on blood pressure measurement at home. The product range was expanded with the introduction of the M3 Comfort and its innovative Intelli Wrap Cuff, which makes it easier to measure blood pressure at home. Drug-free pain relief became a significant category for Omron in 2016.
Omron achieved strong sales performance in 2016 and focused on strengthening its customer relationships. In client cooperation, Berner contributes strong local expertise and contact points with partners, customers and media. Berner’s marketing expertise further strengthens Omron’s position as a trusted healthcare brand and makes it available to new consumers.
Our well-known imported brands
Our naturally fermented and non-GMO Kikkoman brand introduced many new cooking products during the year.
Two new Kikkoman Teriyaki sauces were launched for summertime cooking and barbecues. The honey-flavored Teriyaki BBQ sauce goes very well with grilled meat and vegetables, while the roasted garlic Teriyaki sauce is great for wok dishes as well as marinating and flavoring meat. The Kikkoman range of sauces was expanded further late in the year with the launch of Teriyaki sauce with toasted sesame seeds and the Gluten-free Teriyaki marinade. Kikkoman also launched a certified organic soy sauce whose production process and ingredients are subject to strict quality control.
International cosmetics brands
The unstable market climate in the commerce sector, exemplified by the Anttila bankruptcy, was also reflected in our international cosmetics business. At the same time, ongoing digital service development and the activation of consumer dialogue present attractive opportunities. Consumers are more and more interested in the ethics and safety of cosmetics products, and we intend to respond to this growing interest by developing our interaction with consumers and providing even more comprehensive product information to support consumers’ decisions.
Among our international cosmetics brands, IsaDora, Clarins, Sally Hansen, Calvin Klein and Tabac, in particular, increased their sales during the year. We discontinued Clarins Tax Free sales, the Gatineau salon skin care series and the Sampar skin care brand.
New products in 2016
As a counterbalance to the trend of contouring, IsaDora launched a strobing collection consisting of three products during the year. Whereas the contouring approach to makeup highlights and shapes facial features using light and shade, light and dark tones, strobing makeup uses only light shades to highlight the areas of the face where the light naturally hits.
During the year, Clarins launched three new concentrates that activate skin function: Booster Energy, Booster Detox and Booster Repair, each with different skin strengthening and brightening effects.
Tabac launched Gentle Men’s Care, a new series of skin care and products and fragrances for the modern gentleman, consisting of six products. The series includes four products to be used during and after shaving as well as an eau de toilette perfume and a deodorant stick.
In the autumn, Rimmel celebrated its 15 years of collaboration with Kate Moss by launching a special collection of lipstick and gel nail polish products. The collection includes six lipsticks and three nail polishes in red and nude tones. Kate Moss has been Rimmel’s muse and a flag-bearer for the London look since 2001, and the two British beauty icons have collaborated on creating London looks for 15 years now.