In good hands

Positive feedback for Verla’s hand and body solutions means the brand is well placed to grow market share.

Positive feedback for Verla’s hand and body solutions means the brand is well placed to grow market share.

The focus on hand hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a double-edged sword for respected hand-care products suppliers such as Verla.

While the demand for hand washes, sanitisers and skin care products has been on the rise, a flood of local and imported brands into the market – some of them of questionable quality – has underlined the importance of educating distributors and consumers about getting a premium product at a cost-effective price.

It is a task that Luke Fittler, National Verla Sales Manager, welcomes as an opportunity to showcase the premium products in Verla’s range for use in areas such as healthcare, education, childcare, health and fitness, hospitality, commercial property and office space.

“We have a genuine passion for professional hand care and hygiene,” he says.

“Since COVID-19, every business has sanitisers when you walk on to their site, but they’re not all made the same. You need to do your homework and make sure you’re getting hand-hygiene products that are fit for purpose.”

Verla, an independent brand offering luxurious hand and body solutions, is owned by True Blue, which is Australia’s leading service supplier of cleaning and hygiene products.

Specially formulated by its Innovation and Product Development team, Verla’s range of liquids, foams, gels and lotions have been carefully formulated for optimal skin care.

The range is 100 per cent Australian owned and made, and reflects Verla’s commitment to supplying luxury, premium skin care products at an affordable price.

Going for growth

COVID-19 or not, Verla is committed to expanding its footprint with like-minded, independent distributors who are looking for quality hand-care and skin care products that provide them with a level of exclusivity and loyalty.

As part of their education campaign, Fittler and his team are highlighting the fact that Verla purposely fills a gap in the hand-hygiene market, sitting between the large multinationals and the next tier down.

“We know where we fit in the market,” Fittler says. “We’re not trying to be in the top tier, but we feel confident that we’re offering a premium range of Australian products with great fragrances at a price that offers real value.”

Verla’s ingredients are naturally sourced and suitable for all skin types. The botanical fragrances of the soaps, gels and foams have been positively received by distributors and users alike.

The product list includes Red Pear & Ginger Hand Wash, Cedarwood & Rose Anti-Bacterial

Hand Wash, Apricot & Cotton Flower Hair & Body Wash, Fragrance Free Hand Wash, Verla Care Moisturiser, Green Tea and Sage Moisturising Cream, Verla Blue Hand Sanitiser (70 per cent ethanol), Cedarwood & Rose Antibacterial Hand Wash and Verla Blue+ Fragrance Free Hand Sanitiser (70 per cent ethanol).

As an example of Verla’s value for money, one of its 1-litre hand sanitiser foam dispensers can pump out 1667 shots, far more than most competitors.

This means the pod does not have to be replaced as often, which creates logistical and cost efficiencies for businesses that use the product.

“That’s a big selling point,” Fittler says.

Another key asset is the presence of on-site chemists at True Blue and Verla. They formulate all products in Australia and can make any product modifications rapidly, if required, or roll out new products as the market evolves.

“We’re constantly developing products where we see gaps,” Fittler says.

“That’s a strength from our perspective – we can genuinely respond to market demands quickly courtesy of our innovation and manufacturing strengths.”

Supply-chain edge

The pandemic has put the spotlight on supply-chain bottlenecks that have stalled or disrupted the distribution of a vast range of goods, from motor vehicles and homeware to cleaning machinery and hygiene items.

As an Australian manufacturer, Fittler says Verla has not experienced such challenges during COVID-19, reliably dispatching its hand wash and skin care products around Australia from its state-of-the-art plant in Sydney.

“Being Australian-made is a major advantage and having stock readily available here in Australia is a big plus.”

He believes the benefits of Verla’s Australian manufacturing presence will outlast the pandemic, with distributors and product users becoming increasingly attracted to the notion of supporting domestic manufacturers and enterprises.

With COVID-19 driving up the use of hand sanitisers in facilities such as healthcare centres, schools and industrial sites, the need for sophisticated but simple dispensing systems has also come to the fore.

In this regard, Verla has won praise for its two proprietary dispensers that are available in two convenient sizes: Verla Mini (500ml) and Standard (1 litre).

Developed in partnership with a leading Dutch engineering company that manufactures dispensers, they are reliable, easy to install, cost efficient, low in maintenance and come in the colours of black, white and blue.

“We’ve deliberately kept things simple with two dispenser sizes,” Fittler says.

Hand hygiene to stay on radar

In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated 80 per cent of all infections are transmitted by hands and it notes that frequent hand washing can help prevent the spread of flu and other conditions.

It is a message that is now clearly understood among the operators of all facilities across Australia, and especially in high-risk sites such as aged care centres, restaurants and schools.

Fresh from a recent tour of distributors in Victoria, Fittler says it is clear that businesses appreciate that they need to have some kind of hand hygiene program to protect their employees, customers and the wider community.

He is confident that Verla has a key role to play in this hand hygiene regime courtesy of its premium soaps, gels and foams that deliver on quality, fragrance and price.

“I think we’ve got the balance right with what we believe are the most cost-effective products on the market. We want to keep sharing our vision with great hand hygiene products that are proudly created and made in Australia.”

Verla’s range of products is available across Australia and New Zealand from Verla’s independent distributor partners, which can be found via the Verla website:

This article first appeared in the May/June issue of INCLEAN magazine