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Who is actually behind Balea? Dm brand in check

Balea, the in-house beauty line of drugstore giant dm, was born 27 years ago. But what makes the brand so successful and who is actually behind it? Tikbow checks out facts, figures – and a secret or two about the beauty brand.

Aldi, Rossmann, Rewe – and also dm has it: Its own private label as a cheaper alternative to the big-name labels. Balea was launched in 1995, and today, according to dm, the skincare range comprises over 600 products. Shower gel, callus remover socks, dry shampoo – the list is long. There are now special beauty series for skin over 30 (Q10), 35 (Beauty Effect), in the mid-40s (Beauty Therapy and Vital) and over 55 (Vital+). A decisive factor in the success of a private label is its image: it should be inexpensive, but not appear cheap.

Balea seems to have succeeded in this balancing act: On Instagram, the beauty brand has 760,000 followers (as of 07.02.22). In 2019, the opinion research institute YouGov conducted a survey on the topic "Which brand stands for good value for money?" – in the category "Care and cosmetics" Balea took first place with 48.3% of the votes – ahead of Nivea (38.7%).

The Nivea disappearance theory

There is still a persistent rumor on the Internet that Balea is actually the Nivea brand. The rumor is fueled by the similarity of the two names, but Kerstin Erbe, Dm’s head of product management, emphasizes to Tikbow: “Balea is a private brand of dm-Drogerie-Markt that has no connection to the Nivea brand. " Balea is a "fantasy name." But who manufactures the Balea products for dür dm? There is still a lot of guesswork and silence about this. "Our dm brand products are produced by experienced and renowned manufacturing partners" – Kerstin Erbe does not disclose more.

Balea is a hit in Süd Korea

Normally, many trends from Asia spill over to us. Balea, however, has managed to conquer not only the market in China – since 2019, the dm Beauty house brand has also been available for purchase in Süd Korea. In Europe, Balea is available in 13 countries: Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and northern Macedonia.

Founded in 1973 by Prof. Götz W. Werner in Karlsruhe, Germany, the dm drugstore chain today comprises 3862 stores and achieved sales of 9.04 billion euros in Germany in the 2020/2021 fiscal year, and 12.265 billion euros for all of Europe². In 2018, the trade journal "Werben & Verkaufen"³ reported that dm generated a third of its sales with its private labels alone. However, Kerstin Erbe would neither confirm nor deny this when asked.


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  • ³Private labels are the new premium brands,