Q&A: Drunk Elephant Founder, Tiffany Masterson on entering travel retail

By Charlotte Turner |

Drunk Elephant Founder, Tiffany Masterson.

Drunk Elephant Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Tiffany Masterson

At the end of 2021, Shiseido Travel Retail introduced skincare brand, Drunk Elephant, to global travel retail, initiating an ambitious roll out in locations such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Europe and the Middle East.

 

Drunk Elephant, which is known for its uniquely ‘biocompatible products’, distinctive brand voice, and ‘strong community engagement’ now boasts a loyal following worldwide, according to parent company, Shiseido, which set the stage for its timely expansion into the travel retail channel last year.

 

In Q4 2021 more precisely Shiseido Travel Retail initiated a roll out in Asia and EMEA travel retail including downtown and airport duty free locations in Greater China (Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, France and the Middle East.

 

The brand will look to further expand its reach in travel retail this year, with additional locations to open in Thailand, Germany and the United States.

 

“The introduction into travel retail is a major milestone that marks the first time that the Drunk Elephant range – along with new travel-exclusive sets – will be available to global travellers,” said parent company Shiseido.

 

Drunk Elephant counter at Lotte Duty Free flagship store in Seoul, South Korea.

Drunk Elephant counter at Lotte Duty Free flagship store in Seoul, South Korea.

OPENING UP IN CHINA

“Chinese travellers will now be able to purchase Drunk Elephant products at travel retail counters in some of their favourite travel destinations, as the brand has only been available for purchase online through its cross-border platform in mainland China to date.”

 

 

Since Tiffany Masterson founded Drunk Elephant in 2012, her goal to deliver ‘top-of-the-line’ skincare products that live up to their claims has remained the same. The Drunk Elephant range is said to be formulated with only biocompatible ingredients that focus on healthy pH levels, formulations the skin recognises, and ‘effective active ingredients that also support and maintain the skin’s acid mantle’.

 

What is left out of the products is just as important as what is put in, says the brand, as such, Drunk Elephant products are free from the ‘Suspicious 6’ ingredients that Masterson believes is at the root of almost every skin issue: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, SLS .

 

Consumers are encouraged to take a ‘Drunk Break’ by removing the Suspicious 6 entirely from their skincare routines, so that skin can reset and return to its healthiest, most balanced state.

 

The Drunk Elephant range is said to be formulated with only biocompatible ingredients that focus on healthy pH levels, formulations the skin recognises, and ‘effective active ingredients that also support and maintain the skin’s acid mantle’.

The Drunk Elephant range is said to be formulated with only biocompatible ingredients that focus on healthy pH levels, formulations the skin recognises, and ‘effective active ingredients that also support and maintain the skin’s acid mantle’.

AN IMPORTANT MILESTONE

Philippe Lesné, President & CEO,  Shiseido Travel Retail, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Drunk Elephant into our prestige portfolio. The opening of the brand’s first travel retail counters is an important achievement that underpins Shiseido Group’s goal to become a global leader in skin beauty by 2030.

 

"Travel has always been linked to Drunk Elephant for me," said brand Founder, Tiffany Masterson.

“Travel has always been linked to Drunk Elephant for me,” said brand Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Tiffany Masterson.

“With the launch, Shiseido Travel Retail is bringing Tiffany Masterson’s unique skincare philosophy to travelers worldwide for the first time – an opportune development with huge potential, as consumers increasingly seek out functional skincare and simpler routines.

 

“Travel retail is a global showcase for exceptional consumer experiences, differentiated products and digital engagement, and Drunk Elephant is a great fit. Thank you to our retailer partners for trusting and supporting us in this landmark launch – together with Tiffany and her team, we look forward to unlocking new synergies for growth and developing Drunk Elephant to its full potential in the channel.”

 

Q&A: DRUNK ELEPHANT FOUNDER, TIFFANY MASTERSON

In some exclusive comments, Drunk Elephant Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Tiffany Masterson told TRBusiness why it made sense to introduce the brand to travel retail in 2021 and what her ambitions are for growing its global footprint.

 

What has prompted Drunk Elephant’s entry into travel retail?

Tiffany Masterson: I created ‘The Littles’ as my ideal travel kit very soon after I launched Drunk Elephant, so travel has always been linked to Drunk Elephant for me. There’s obviously a convenience factor to shopping in a travel retail environment. I’m always on the go and love the idea of replenishing my favourite products while I’m waiting at an airport. It’s exciting that consumers who aren’t familiar with Drunk Elephant will discover us in a new environment.

 

Do you plan on creating any travel retail exclusive products?

Yes! We are excited to introduce our first-ever Travel Exclusive Drunk To Go collection for Travel Retail. The When in Roam Kit includes Protini and B-Hydra to keep skin firm, plump, and healthy. The Take Off Kit features T.L.C. Framboos, Lala Retro and B-Hydra, to moisturize and hydrate the skin for a smoother, brighter complexion.

 

Drunk Elephant counter in South Korea with the Shilla Duty Free.

Drunk Elephant counter in South Korea with the Shilla Duty Free.

Drunk Elephant has distinct USPs in its ‘ingredient-elimination philosophy’ and quirky branding, among other features. Do you believe this will help it stand to out in an over-saturated marketplace which travel retail is often accused of being?

Yes, our goal is always to educate consumers on our philosophy in a fun and engaging environment.

 

Through travel retail, leveraging the power of Shiseido’s network, the brand will debut in some foreign markets for the first time. In which locations do you believe it really has the greatest opportunity to thrive?

We are careful not to prioritise some locations over others and want to show up as the full expression of the brand wherever we are sold. Our goal when we enter any new market is the same – to educate consumers on our unique philosophy. I don’t know how Drunk Elephant will perform in any of the new locations where we are launching, but I hope that my line will help all people love their skin.

 

Social media platforms can make or break brands with a target audience such as Drunk Elephant’s. How do you manage these relatively volatile channels of communication?

It’s very important to me to keep a clear and open line of communication with the consumer and so I’m on our social media channels every day. After all, my goal is to make them happy and I can’t do that without their honest feedback.

 

I’m so proud of our social media community. I also love seeing people support each other, share experiences, skincare smoothies, barefaced selfies, while finding common values in our social community. My community members are loving and they praise each other. It’s always happy and fun when you see people being kind and supportive of one another and learning from each other. I think the Drunk Elephant is a word-of-mouth brand and because today’s main form of communication is social media, it makes sense that it’s helped drive a lot of awareness.

"We are excited to introduce our first-ever Travel Exclusive Drunk To Go collection for Travel Retail," said Masterson.

“We are excited to introduce our first-ever Travel Exclusive Drunk To Go collection for Travel Retail,” said Masterson.

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