No doubt you can easily find baby products that claim to be organic and natural all over the internet now.
However, the founders of Offspring Inc. (Offspring) weren’t convinced that those could be completely trusted.
“Offspring was born when we realised that there are a lot of baby products in the market that claim to be ‘organic’ but are misleading—to an extent it can be regarded as marketing false claims,” said Datuk Azrin, the Chairman of Offspring.
Wet wipes and baby powders that claim to be “organic” may be sneakily using ingredients such as parabens and menthol—chemicals that are dangerous to both you and your child.
Some lists outright hide what they’re putting in by disguising it with other terms. For example, when you see the word “parfum” in your wet wipes, be wary, because it’s used as a blanket term for a mixture of hidden ingredients, such as phthalates.
So, Offspring took this problem into their own hands and began producing cruelty-free and eco-friendly baby products.
Understanding that millennial parents tend to be more conscious about the impact of their purchases, Offspring also makes it a habit to practice transparency.
As a family brand, a strong ethos is what makes us authentic. We believe in ethical and transparent practices, as parents deserve to know what they apply on their babies’ skin.Datuk Azrin Mohd Noor, Chairman of Offspring Inc.
“Natural” Isn’t “Organic”
“Consumers are often confused with the term ‘natural’ versus ‘organic’, and there is a lack of knowledge in identifying organic certification in our market,” Datuk Azrin revealed.
“Products with natural ingredients are not equivalent to being organic, as genuine organic products carry certain certification logos on its packaging, proving that it has gone through stringent audits of its organic sources.”
According to Offspring’s website, their products are manufactured and packaged in Australia, with ingredients sourced from around the world.
Aware of how expensive doing so might be, we asked Datuk Azrin if costs were an issue.
“Even though some of the Offspring products are manufactured in Australia which is costlier to produce, we believe that quality is not something that can be compromised when it comes to organic baby products,” he replied.
“With certifications from Australia, penetrating the US market (toughest market to get into) took us 8 months as opposed to the usual period of 2-3 years without.”
They also manufacture in small batches, with every single pack made and audited with a compliance report.
Offspring’s website showcases the number of certificates they’ve been awarded, as proof of their given word.
Apart from using organic ingredients, Offspring is vegan and cruelty-free.
No Cost Too Great
When I visited Offspring’s online shop, the first thing that struck me was the pricing. The cheapest was RM8 for a pack of plant-based wipes, but other products could go up to RM70 or more.
They’re definitely pricier compared to popular commercial brands like Huggies and Drypers, but despite that, Datuk Azrin revealed that the brand is growing and that their products are in demand.
Though he declined to share their revenue numbers, he told us very generally, “We grew by 10x in the last 18 months.”
“To date, with the investment we’ve made, we are seeing a positive return of investment, and with that, we are confident that we are on the right track.”
Apart from their online store, Offspring has grown their physical footprints, distributing their products in major grocery shops and department stores such as AEON and Ben’s Independent Grocer.
“On a more recent note, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened our sales, so much so that we need to expand our manufacturing capabilities to cater to the sudden spike in global demand,” Datuk Azrin shared.
Today, they’re present in 9 other countries, including the US, Russia and Singapore.
The Bumpy Road To Growth
Along the way, Offspring has had its fair share of challenges.
For one, the market for organic baby products is highly competitive, with other brands such as Applecrumby & Fish (A&F) maintaining a dominant presence in the industry.
To set itself apart from the competition, Offspring prioritises its services and product quality.
“Ensuring supply chain efficiency in optimising the cost, as well as focusing on service level and product qualities are our main ingredients to be of a different level from our competitors,” Datuk Azrin said.
And despite the fact that they experienced heightened sales during the pandemic, it also posed a challenge in other ways.
As some of the components in their products were used to make personal protective equipment (PPE) and N95 masks too, their costs skyrocketed.
Datuk Azrin admitted that they’ve had to absorb some of the costs due to the scarcity of the materials, and added that the imposed restrictions on the flow of goods added to their problems.
Baby Steps Towards The Future
Datuk Azrin shared that Offspring’s unwavering mission is to educate parents all over that there should be no substitute for their child’s health and safety.
“In terms of geographic expansion plan, we are always looking to grow our global presence to reach out to more struggling parents out there,” he told us.
Offspring is currently processing distribution requests from different markets, and will announce them once they’ve finalised their decisions.
Furthermore, they’re looking to improve their current products and innovate new ones.
“Offspring is not just another business, but it is a family brand that supports our modern parents to live a fulfilling life by becoming their source of inspiration and assurance,” said Datuk Azrin.
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Featured Image Credit: Offspring