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Biosphere Corporation is a manufacturer and distributor of household and hygiene products in Ukraine and one of the largest in Eastern Europe. In less than 23 years the company, led by Andriy Zdesenko, has evolved from a local startup to a CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) regional leader with net sales at around €200 million, delivering its goods into thousands of households in more than 25 countries in Eastern, Central and Northern Europe, Central Asia and Africa.
Today, Biosphere has five production facilities in three countries, employs 3000 people and strives to be a trendsetter in Ukraine and beyond in manufacturing top-quality household and hygiene goods that are really helpful, inspire emotions and create value.
Personal care wipes is a key market for Biosphere. The company launched its first wipes production line in 2006 in Dnipro, Ukraine, and later followed up with another factory in 2018.
Biosphere’s brands Smile, Smile Baby, Superfresh as well as private label wipes go as antibacterial, antiperspirant, daily, décor and other types of wipes in packages of 15, 60, 100 and customized offerings. Biosphere currently runs more than 10 converting lines with a monthly output above 20 million wet wipes packages.
What helps the company stand out in the market, according to Oleksandr Lavrov, head of Hygiene Business at Biosphere Corporation, are the Disney, Universal, Sanrio, Marvel and other licenses allowing it to offer bright and appealing products featuring the worldwide beloved characters Minions, Mickey Mouse, Cars, Fixies, Hello Kitty and others. All wipes are safe to use, hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested.
“In light of the coronavirus outbreak throughout Europe we’ve put a special accent on antibacterial wipes as a safe and easy precaution: as a result, the demand for this type of wipe surged within a week following the outbreak,” Lavrov explains. “Smile wet wipes with either D-panthenol or alcohol-based formula have grown 10 times more popular in Bulgaria, seven times more in Poland, three times in Lithuania and two times in Estonia.”
Biosphere is also actively developing bio-based products, aiming to double the share of environmentally friendly categories in its portfolio by 2024.
“Producers largely operate on equal or comparable equipment, so it is the operational excellence, strong R&D and customized innovative approach that give an edge and help to find the way to a consumer,” says Lavrov. “Biosphere pioneered in producing wipes with natural oils for skin care, wipes on colored nonwoven fabric and wipes with augmented reality on the package. All of this resulted in a surge of demand across Europe, Asia and as far as Africa.”
Lavrov says the wipes market in Eastern Europe is tough and dynamic, just the way a growing market should be. “There are more players here than in the EU, more local brands and private labels do not dominate the shelf so overwhelmingly,” he adds.
The European market, meanwhile, is oversaturated in the baby wipes category, which in addition to A-brands is dominated by private labels of high quality at extremely low prices. “I believe that our marketshare can grow together with the market itself,” he says. “Apart from Europe, we are closely studying the African markets where we do see lots of potential. We have made non-regular shipments to Africa and South America in the past, but now we are looking for a more long-term partnership and dominating presence in certain markets. Central Asia is traditionally one of the export focuses, Middle East becomes more and more interesting too.”