Raise to Date
Pre Money Valuation
Total Round Size: US $4,000,000
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While the Hispanic population is the fastest growing in the US, there are few products specifically designed to suit the population’s unique health and beauty needs. Major CPG are lightly targeting Hispanics by repositioning products designed for non-Hispanic customers. Authentic health and beauty Hispanic brands are only available at a premium price point, typically two to three times drug store prices.
The increasing purchase power of Hispanic consumers is well documented. It is estimated Hispanics control 11% of total US spending power. Health and Beauty products are less elastic than other products in economic downturns as the relatively low price point provides consumers a “treat” when their budget is tight. In the US, Latinas spend twice as much on beauty products than other women.
The market sounds right for a genuine natural health and beauty product line to capture the large share of wallet Latinas are willing to spend.
Carson Life is a health and beauty company created by Hispanics for Hispanics. Carson Life products are designed for Hispanic customers’ “unique lifestyles” and marketed in an authentic, direct manner. Carson Life offers over fifty products among four categories: Hair Care, Beauty, Health and Sports Nutrition.
Carson Life’s target market is Hispanic customers, both men and women, who are looking for natural beauty products authentically formulated for them, at a price which will fit into their budget. While Carson Life’s CEO and staff are millennials who understand social media, the products target a wide age range. A key component of the marketing strategy is utilizing trusted Hispanic celebrity spokespeople. This creates a strong word of mouth marketing message, key to attracting this population.
Carson Life has two key direct competitors-
Genomma Lab is a publicly traded Mexico-based CPG company targeting Hispanics. The company has strong media relationships and retail partnerships. They focus on over the counter pharmaceutical products specially formulated for Hispanics. At this point the company does not claim to use natural products.
Yes You Can! was founded by a Venezuelan-American actor. The company focuses on supplements and weight loss products. Its products are sold online and via an independent sales force.
Of course, the large CPG companies are the biggest competitor. Thus far, CPG companies are only marketing products to Hispanic people on the edges and have much of the market. It is fair to assume if their market share starts to meaningfully slip, they spend more resources on the Hispanic market.
Sonia Guzman – CEO and Founder started Carson Life with a robust professional foundation in media. Prior to Carson Life, Ms. Guzman was the sales director for the launch of CNNMexico.com and exceeded her sales goal of $100M in advertising. Prior to CNN/Turner Broadcasting, Ms. Guzman was a sales professional at Harvard Business Review, Time Warner and Conde Nest.
Beyond Ms. Guzman, the Carson Life staff is entirely Latina with diverse experiences marketing to Hispanic populations. Carson Life’s board includes private equity leaders, retailers and supply chain experts. The company is lean, maximizing the outsourcing of manufacturing and distribution.
Why We Like it
- Celebrity Spokespeople: Ms. Guzman’s over a decade long experience in Fortune 500 media companies, enabled her to focus on the media strategy more than the product. Carson Life has secured three key celebrity spokespeople; Julian Gil, Natalia Rivera and Ana Brenda Contreras. All three celebrity spokespeople have their own line of Carson Life products, giving greater authenticity to their endorsements.
The rise in social media marketing has further fueled the need for authentic celebrity spokespeople. Using celebrities to fuel market growth has its pitfalls, Michael Vick, Ryan Lochte, Tiger Woods, etc… While celebrity endorsements in advertisements is on the decline, celebrities are extremely powerful as influencers through their respective social media accounts. Carson Life’s three celebrity spokespeople each have over 900k followers on Facebook and Instagram.
- Supply Chain: Establishing a robust, efficient supply chain is critical to maintaining growth. Carson Life claims to work closely with R&D staff of their manufacturers to formulate products to their Hispanic customers. Even more critical, Carson Life claims to have a 3 to 4-month cycle time from product concept to being on shelves. The means the company can be nimble to new celebrity product lines and shifting market interests.
- Retail Partners: Most CPG products strive to be available at leading retailers such as Walmart, Target, Walgreens… By 2017, Carson Life was available in the aforementioned retailers. On average, Hispanic shoppers visit a grocery store four times a week, and Hispanic shoppers are almost twice as likely to visit a Walmart than a non-Hispanic. Hispanics are way more likely than non-Hispanics to purchase their beauty products at grocery or drug stores. In 2019, Carson Life went international with retail distribution.
The Rating: Deal To Watch
Carson Life is already successfully selling its products in key retailers. According to the company pitch deck, its online sales include almost a 90% repeat rate. They state the retail margins are 76%+ while the online margins are 88%+.
The Hispanic market is growing and poised to be a dominant purchasing demographic. At this moment, few are properly targeting the Hispanic market. Carson Life has a foothold in the market. It does not have any patent-protected products, but it has successfully captured the wallets of Hispanics in search of a natural beauty product focused on their Hispanic values. Sonia Guzman looks like the type of CEO who knows how to move her company to the next level, and many consumers are interested in her products.
About: Meridith taylor
Meridith Blank Taylor has spent the past two decades providing strategic guidance to early stage businesses. Meridith has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.